Monday, 15 May 2017 08:32

Berghaus Fastpacking Extrem Jacket tested and reviewed

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 The latest lightweight shell from the Berghaus team combines Extrem level performance in a UK-compatible jacket. Utilising Berghaus' own Hydroshell 2.5 layer fabric it's designed for summer backpacking without taking up excessive space in your pack.

Berghaus Fastpacking jacket in action 002 

What Berghaus Say:

A lightweight, highly packable waterproof, ideal for backpacking and days in the mountains when weight really matters.

A well thought out waterproof shell for backpacking fast in the mountains, exceptionally lightweight and extremely packable but still strong enough to keep you protected when the weather turns. With a fully adjustable hood and pockets that vent this jacket is perfect for high energy walking on lightweight adventures.

Features:

Exceptional breathability – reduces feeling of humidity inside the jacket and keeps you comfortable when you’re working hard.

100% Waterproof – Hydroshell 2.5 fabric guaranteed wet weather protection for summer backpacking.

Packable protection - Stuff it into the pocket of the jacket for easy compact storage.

Venting pockets allow heat to escape when you’re pushing it hard on an ascent.

Superb durability – twice as strong as other typical 2.5 layer jackets.

Trail hood with one pull cordlock adjustment for protection during bad weather.

Two A-line pockets for extra capacity that are clear of your rucksack belt.

Diamond gusset under arms to allow much more freedom of movement.

Adjustable cuffs with Velcro for a close ergonomic fit.

Full hem adjustment to prevent wind or rain ingress.

Adjustable hood with cordlocks to give you added protection in windy weather.

Two harness/pack compatible hand pockets.

Phone specific internal pocket that holds the device in place when you’re on the move.

On test with me:

When I was first handed the jacket I panicked a little. The first thing I noticed was the size on the label, this being a medium. Why the panic? At 6ft2 I’m tall and typically need a large jacket just for length and mediums have typically been to short on the sleeves or length on the body.

I didn’t need to panic though. The medium was a perfect fit! Plenty of room to fit another layer when cold but not baggy so it would rustle in the wind or whilst walking, perfect for hiking, climbing or moving 4 tonnes of stone and sand. As a whole I found the jacket very comfortable to work in, plenty of movement and give on the arms and body.

Berghaus Fastpacking 1

Berghaus say the jacket is exceptionally light weight and boy is it! Light as a feather and when weight matters you want this with you. It’s hard to believe a jacket which is this light can be tough as well, you would think due to it being so lightweight and packable that is would cut or tear easily.

Wrong, so very wrong. It’s tough and can take running through branches, crawling through caves and catching it on rock faces and even withstand wet dogs. I was a little gutted to say the least when this happened, the lovely clean, new jacket was muddy but the jacket was easy to clean and dries out extremely quickly.

Berghaus Fastpacking 6

When it comes to packing the jacket down it packs down small, tiny in fact. If you are good with your rolling you can get this to fit nicely inside your trouser pocket. With this and how light it is a day in the mountains or a 4 day expedition is even easier now.

Even though lightweight it offers great protection from the elements and I found it great for taking the wind chill off at the top of the Roaches on my recent expedition. With no fleece on underneath this jacket was all I needed for climbing up. When it was colder however, adding a fleece layer below was all that was needed and at no point did I feel uncomfortable or hot.

The chin strap was also a great feature I welcomed when outside in the wind and the rain but when zipped right up I did find pulling the hood over a little more difficult but was possible.
Another point I found a little frustrating was the cords on the guard to tighten the hood would always get caught in the zip or stick out so when I was in a rush to get moving this cord would get stuck.

Berghaus Fastpacking 2

The hood is over sized to fit a helmet or a thicker beanie inside which is great but when not needed the over sized hood acts like a kite and takes off. It would be great to be able to roll it up or button it down. Whilst wearing hats in the jacket, the hood was large enough to go straight over with no problem, as long as the jacket wasn’t zipped right up.

Berghaus Fastpacking 5

When the full sized hood wasn’t required the cinch points on the rear of the hood could be pulled whilst wearing the jacket to shrink the hood down and in reverse, the cord was easy to adjust to expand the hood out again.

The main pockets on the exterior of the jacket are webbed on the inside to help with breathability but also helps that you can see through which is helpful if you need to read a map for example. The jacket also features two interior pockets which is often missed on jackets of this size and weight. The right pocket is a good size for your phone (Fits a 5inch screen *tested with iPhone 6 & Sony Xperia) and on the left is a glasses pocket both of which are soft lined to help protect your valuables. In addition both these pockets are easy to access when whilst wearing the jacket and the exterior pockets can be opened with one hand and are a good size to fit maps or documents inside without the need to squash them up.

Berghaus Fastpacking 3

As a whole the jacket is comfortable in a mixture of conditions, a great light weight waterproof that can save lots of weight and make packing a lot easier. The fact it is windproof, breathable and tough making it a must for climbers and cyclists the added benefit of an over sized hood for helmets makes it even more appealing to these sports.

As a hiker the Berghaus Extrem jacket is even better for those expeditions and long hikes in which every gram makes the difference and with how compact it rolls up means it takes up no room at all, fitting inside smaller pockets on your rucksack which are perhaps easier to get at. The deep pockets and interior pockets means you can have glasses, phone and other vital kit on you at all times without the need to pack them away in your bag in order to keep them safe.

Berghaus Fastpacking 4

If you’re a regularly climber or even cyclist then this jacket is made for you, offering strength, light weight, packable and ultimately protecting you from the elements in a highly convenient and adaptable jacket.

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 May 2017 08:52