For this week’s Sneak Peak we’re going to take a look at the Light Trek Hydroshell jacket by the great British brand, Berghaus. With a name like that there are no guesses for what the jacket is designing for. The Light Trek Hydroshell is a self-proclaimed high performance lightweight waterproof, but can it live up to the name?
Berghaus have swapped their tried and tested AQ2 waterproof fabrics for a range using their new Hydroshell technology and first impressions are promising. The version used here is the high performance Hydroshell Elite which is more tailored to the needs of the hardcore enthusiast. The stats for the material are pretty impressive (Breathability 20000g/m²/24hrs & HH 15000mm in case you are interested). This puts Hydroshell Elite on a par for breathability with GORE-TEX® Paclite if not quite so when it comes to waterproof longevity.
The jacket uses a combination of a lightweight ripstop body and a slightly heavier fabric on the high wear areas. The fabrics are used in different colour tones which makes the jacket look seriously ‘mountain ready’. To say how tough the jacket looks it feels very light on and even does a ‘reverse Houdini’ trick by fitting into the tiny stuff sack provided.
Thanks to the fabric the Light Trek lives up to the ‘light’, but does it live up to the ‘trek’? In a serious walking jacket I want features like one handed adjusters, double storm flaps, and a reasonable length cut. The Berghaus designers have not disappointed. They’ve also provided great storage options with twin hand-warmer pockets and twin chest pockets. Another thing you’d expect to see on a hill walking jacket is underarm zips. Again these are present for great air flow, but are a little shorter than other models.
Fortunately, we’re back on track when it comes to the hood. The Light Trek is equipped with a three point adjustable hood with a proper wired peak. The whole feature adjusts easily, provides great coverage and doesn’t impede vision when turning your head.
Well I’m pleased to say this jacket does live up to its name. It’s got all the features you’d expect from a proper walking jacket and still manages to come in at 391g for the men’s, and 345g for the women’s. This makes the Lite Trek Hydroshell ideal for summer hill walking and trekking, as well as for a little light winter use.
Although the jacket will work just as well ‘around town’ some will find the ‘tab-down’ hood a little bulky and may prefer a ‘roll-away’ instead. Others may find the bright mountain colours a little garish for their daily commute.
At the other end of the spectrum those looking for a ‘bomb proof’ jacket for high load or high abrasion use will probably want something a little heavier. The Light Trek Hydroshell is tough for its weight but a few extra grams will buy a lot more durability.
If you’re the kind of walker who carries a light rucksack and tries to avoid long days in the rain the Light Trek Hydroshell is a great choice. It will hide in your backpack, ready at a moment’s notice to unleash full wind and rain protection should it be called upon. Simply put the Light Trek Hydroshell is a true hardcore lightweight jacket.
Have you tried this jacket? Let us know your thoughts in the commets below.