Honestly, Berghaus is never a brand I have gravitated to. I have always thought they were for the older sector of the outdoor market, and primarily for those who have dogs. OK, I know I am no spring chicken but my son always accuses me of being 'so immature', and I very sadly don't own a dog. So, when I was asked to review a Berghaus Jacket I accepted with a little trepidation...
However, the first thing I noticed when the jacket arrived was how incredibly light it was. The Berghaus Women's Extrem Micro Down Jacket comes in at approx 390g but despite this it packs a real punch with just how toasty it is. The jacket is packed with Hydrodown® with a Nikwax® coating. This means that not only is this jacket warm, but it stays warmer for longer in wet condition. Perfect for out British hill weather!
It is advertised as being an alpine jacket which is 'streamlined' and 'bodymapped'. This is certainly true. Firstly I like the micro baffles, they create a great shape to the jacket and set it aside from many of its competitors. It is thoughtfully designed, with lovely details under the arm. However, it is a little snug round the hips, I am a size 12 in all outdoor brands but the 12 in this is a bit tight (but I am carrying a little extra padding at the moment so.....). On the plus side this makes it great to wear under a hardshell when it's raining. I also wear it under my work softshell for warmth when on sessions. Win win!
Then there is the colour. It is a glorious cobalt blue which in a women's outdoor market that is drowning in pink, teal and purple is incredibly refreshing. The jacket is part of the Extrem range, which is designed for the harshest and toughest environments. And it has certainly been battered about by me on the Brecon Beacons, Lake District and every day in my job as an Outdoor Instructor. Unfortunately there are only 4 items in the current women's Extrem range as opposed to 18 in the men's. However this discussion is perhaps best left for another blog...
One issue I have had is with the cinch cords. When it's chilly and you are wearing gloves they are impossible as the toggles are so small. Also, I struggled to get an even cinch on each side round the bottom. I am sure though that with practice I can get these even, but when you are on the top of a cold hill and its blowing a hoolie fiddling with tiny toggles is a bit of a pfaff.
The only other slight grumble I have is that it is quite crinkly. When the hood is up there is a lot of noise which makes it hard to hear people talking. Which, as a walk leader is a problem. But - the hood is helmet compatible which is a joy.
Overall I really like this jacket and it has become my no.1 jacket of choice. It's always the one I grab out of the van when faced with the wide choice of insulated jackets I own. It is toasty warm, close fitting, windproof and very lightweight. Love it! ....and can I just say again.....the colour!! Lush!