Berghaus waterproof jacket review

It’s about time I reviewed a waterproof jacket on this blog. I’ve had this one for about 4 months and it’s taken me that long to review it because I take waterpoof jackets very seriously. I grew up in the rainforest of Vancouver where it is totally legitimate to wear waterproof jackets on a night out.

I’ve worn my Arc’teryx waterproof for over 10 years now. It cost me all my savings when I was a poor graduate with no job and had just returned from 8 months backpacking in Asia. But I knew the first thing I needed to invest in was a good waterproof jacket.  Since then it has done 8 ski seasons at the wettest of mountains (Whistler & Mt. Baker hello soggy snow!), and travelled with me on camping trips, hiking trips and even made the cut in the 1 suitcase I brought to London.

Needless to say Berghaus has a lot to live up to on my body. I tested a unisex monsoon jacket and honesty I wasn’t too impressed in the first place. My Arc’teryx is a women’s fit with a slimmer body & arms and loooooonnnnnngggggg back to cover my butt (all important features for waterproofs, not just for style but it really does keep you warmer/dryer).  Out of the box this jacket looked boxier.  It also didn’t have the same waterproof zippers or higher quality gore-tex material.

Then I looked at the price tag. My arc’teryx retails for £300 while this Berghaus jacket is £80. So, I put aside my arc-teryx for a few months and wore the jacket for what it is.  An affordable waterproof jacket for people who step out for country walks or mountain hikes a few times a year.

I wore the jacket out a few times in London on especially cold and wet days, but the real test started when I brought it on my trip to Chamonix for the Mont Blanc marathon. I wasn’t planning to run in the jacket, but we were planning to watch the marathon race and the weather wasn’t looking very kind.

IMG_20140629_101529

 

Positives:

  • Even without the premium features of taped seams and waterproof zippers this jacket did just fine for what I needed it to do. Keep me dry while standing in a downpour.
  • It looks OK and not as boxy on as I thought.
  • Packs away very small which was great when I was wearing it and the sun came out blazing to 25* after the rain.

Improvements needed:

  • The hood is not big enough. I have a large head (and still have traumatic memories of playing softball on a team that only had one XL helmet. When the little headed girls would accidentally use it on their turn and I’d have to squish my noggin into a hard batting helmet? Ugh) and combined with my hair in a ponytail and/or bun makes it so hoods have to be large to be able to even attempt to cover me from the rain. This one did not even come close. The hood itself is tiny, there is no visor on it (I had to wear my own!) and even with the drawstring done up (fashionably shown in the photo above) it would slide off my head.
  • It is not long enough. My lower half was soaked. I have a thing about not carrying umbrellas if I’m wearing a waterproof. The jacket should be good enough to keep me dry (or else why wear it). If I even raised my arms to take a picture (of Kilian Jornet) my mid drift was exposed and not in a cool ASOS 90s revival fashion way.

I know Berghaus make a range of kit for every outdoor activity so I don’t want to put anyone off buying Berghaus gear. (Their vapour windshirt is on my list of lusts) For a cheap-as-chips waterproof this will get you through your needs, but I do recommend you invest in a good waterproof jacket. This one looks especially lush. Like I said at the beginning, 10 years on my investment is still going strong.

I received this jacket to product test.

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