Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Berghaus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berghaus. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Gear Review: Berghaus Full Zip Hoody

Berghaus Full Zip Hoody

After sending me a couple of Freeflow 20 Rucksacks (reviewed here) last year, Berghaus’s local agents have now sent me the Full Zip Hoody pictured above and below.

Berghaus Hoody Berghaus Hoody

It has been in use for most of the past couple of weeks, and first impressions are as follows:

Product details

‘Made of 100% brushed back cotton, this full zip hoody is the answer if you don't like the hassle of pulling a hoody over your head. This one's the ideal lightweight extra layer for any time you might want some extra warmth, either indoors or outdoors.’  So says one retailer, but this and similar products are also more readily available directly from Berghaus.

The cotton construction makes this a much heavier garment than the Polartec® 100 fleeces with which I’m familiar.  As such it is more of an indoor/outdoor top, for casual use as opposed to ‘on the hill’ use.  Having said that, it could be used for hiking on cool dry days – the sort of days when you could get away with wearing jeans.

The hoody is made to a very high standard:

  • the sewing appears faultless
  • there’s a good solid baffle behind the front zip
  • the unzipped hand warmer pockets are roomy and robust
  • the feel of the fabric is soft and velvety
  • the medium size fits my 38” chest with room to spare
  • the fleece is comfortable without being snug
  • the hood is spacious and the length is generous
  • there is no draw cord other than for the hood, but closely knit stretchy fabric is used for the cuffs and at the bottom of the garment, making it feel quite snug 
  • the hand warmer pockets are all you get by way of storage.  Many users will be quite happy with this and would find somewhere else to keep their valuables
  • this is not in all honesty a lightweight garment, despite Cotswold Outdoors description, more a garment for everyday use – along the lines of ‘cotton t-shirt in the summer, cotton hoody in the winter’

Practical Use:

  • the hoody is an excellent garment for day to day indoor and outdoor use during the cooler months of the year
  • it hasn’t been washed it yet – that won’t be necessary very often – but I guess it will take quite some time to dry when it is washed
  • if you are looking for a full zip hoody for general use, then you can’t do much better than get one like this from Berghaus

As you may gather from the pictures, my son Mike has been helping me with this review.  Here are his initial observations:

This is REALLY warm compared to my other hoodies, fit's very good but bulks out a little bit on me when zipped up. Cuffs and quality of construction seem great and looks like it will last a long time. Hood is nice and big. Personally I would have thought a darker blue colour would be better, the paler shade almost makes it look faded when it's new...however it's really not something that bothers me. It's super warm and cosy, very comfortable to wear.

Regarding pockets – it just has the hand warmers, not a disadvantage, convenient, zipped would annoy me, you'd have to be a fool to put something like a phone in them. No other pockets apart from two inside pockets on the inner side of the hand warmers, not zipped. some sort of inside pocket might be handy actually, but this is a hoody and not a full on coat I suppose...

Overall I really like it.

Berghaus Hoody

That’s it for now.  I’ll add to this review when the hoody has been used for a longer term.  I suspect that I won’t be the one who will have used it if the gentleman pictured above has his way!

Click here for Tony Bennett’s review of the same item, and here for Louise Evans’s review.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Rucksacks from Berghaus

Berghaus Freeflow 20 rucksacks

A couple of rucksacks have arrived from Berghaus.

Pictured above, they are Freeflow 20 day sacks, featuring Berghaus’s Freeflow IV backsystem, breathable shoulder straps and a front pocket that doubles as a 2 litre hydration reservoir pouch.  The swing tags also broadcast an ‘integrated raincover that is stowed away in the top lid’.  This must be a secret pocket that I can’t find, and as the rucksacks don’t have a lid as such I would recommend the use of a waterproof liner such as a 22 litre one from Bob and Rose.

These look to be excellent little day sacks, made from Ardura 420D fabric and weighing in at just under 900 grammes.  I see lots of them in use on the trails.  The size is a bit small for all the junk I tend to carry around, so I’ve found a couple of grateful recipients who will report back on their performance in due course.  Thanks Jenny and Sue.

The Freeflow 20 retails at around £55 from Berghaus, but costs rather less from numerous retailers.  The current specification is here.

The full range of Berghaus daysacks is here, and their larger packs are here, available from many sources.

Berghaus Freeflow 20 rucksacks

Sue’s Review (September 2012):

The hip (waist) belt was too high, and the fit of the shoulder straps was too tight for Sue’s broad shoulders.  The capacity was limited, so this wasn’t really for Sue, who can fit almost as many contents more comfortably into her bum bag.

Jenny’s Review (June 2012):

The shoulder straps and waist straps are substantial and provide quite a bit of support, all easily adjustable to suit.
The 'freeflow ventilation back system' (their words!) is impressive and certainly keeps the rucksack off your back.
I also liked the fact that you can fix (two) walking poles to the outside of the rucksack, I didn't end up using my poles but it was good to be able to take them with me for one or two of the walks, just in case.
However, all the 'technology' described above did seem a little over the top for such a small rucksack - you really can't fit much into it, so one wonders about the need for substantial (and a little bulky) shoulder and waist straps and the freeflow system. I also found the lack of smaller zip pockets to be a disadvantage - e.g. somewhere to zip in your camera rather than delving into the main bag. There are side pockets for water bottles, which is good, but it would have been nice to have the opportunity to zip them up or velcro them, for extra security - I wouldn't use them for anything other than bottles or tissues or the like. There is a section at the front for storage, but I found that once you had put your summer waterproofs, camera, etc into the main part of the bag, this section could hold very little.
So, overall I found the rucksack comfortable to carry, with some useful features such as the walking pole straps (or whatever you call them), but I thought the freeflow system could have been reduced a bit in order to allow a little more storage capacity/variety.

Other Reviews:

I’ve noticed another blogger’s more detailed review here
Helen’s review is