Berghaus has extended its Hydroshell waterproof jackets collection for this winter. I have been testing the Berghaus Hydroshell Tower jacket.
Made of 3L Hydroshell Elite Pro, the Tower jackets – in both men and women’s designs – are “fully featured four-season garments for extended use in a wide range of mountain activities”.
The Tower jackets feature:
- Reinforced fabric in high friction areas
- Core body venting with two-way zips
- Fixed, adjustable hood with wired peak
- Four zipped pockets (two front, one chest and one interior)
- Hook and loop cuff tab adjustment
- Dual hem adjustment with concealed cord lock.
- Hydroshell Elite Pro also features an anti-odour backer.
On test: Berghaus Tower jacket
I like that the jacket is roomy. It’s a slim styling and shaped in all the right places for women but has enough room to fit winter layers underneath. The babric also feels super robust and durable. All too often these days jackets are made to be lightweight but at the cost of durability. I like that the jacket feels heavier and more long-lasting for winter wear.
The wrist hems are wider than other women’s jackets I’ve tried although I’d like to see them wider. I tested a Bergans of Norway waterproof jacket recently and this featured perfect “wrist widths”. I like to see wider wrist hems on winter jackets because this allows for thick gloves to fit under the sleeves rather than over.
The chunky two-way zip feels high quality and has a decent waterproof fabric back to it. I like the addition of short side vent zips. I don’t really need much ventilation during winter walking so they are the right length.
There are lots of pockets although I am not sure I’d ever use the chest-high pocket. The inner zipped pocket is really useful for small valuables and the hand pockets are a good size.
I would prefer the hood to be a bit smaller. I never wear my hood over a helmet (the ample size is to make it helmet compatible). Instead, it means I have to tighten up the hood quite considerably to give a neat fit in high winds. It’s possible to do this but I’d prefer a neater hood in the first place. The hood, however, is neater than other brands so I won’t complain too much.
The DWR is very impressive. You can see from these photos taken during a walk with torrential rain. The water rolls off the jacket like it would from a duck’s back. I haven’t tested the jacket for long enough to find out how long the DWR will last but it’s good so far.
Breathability was okay although not the best I’ve ever experienced. I was working hard in very wet conditions climbing a Munro and experienced some dampness inside the jacket. I didn’t think to open the vents on that occasion and when I tested it again I found that unzipping the vents created better aid flow and less internal condensation.
However, it is difficult to balance good waterproofing with excellent breathability and I think the Berghaus 3L Hydroshell Elite Pro does a pretty good job.
The Tower jackets retail at £250. I’d say this was about the right price for such a robust winter jacket although some people might be put off because it’s not Gore-Tex.