Berghaus Waterproof Jackets
Berghaus was founded in 1966 by climbers Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison in the town of Newcastle upon Tyne. Frustrated by the lack of adequate protective mountaineering clothing available at the time, Lockey and Davison set out to develop their line of rugged and reliable outdoor apparel. The name “Berghaus” comes from the German word for “mountain house”. One of Berghaus’ earliest iconic products was the Extrem jacket, introduced in the late 1960s. The Extrem became popular among climbers and mountaineers for its durable, water-resistant cotton and inner wool lining. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Berghaus continued to grow as a leading outdoor brand, pioneering the use of Gore-Tex fabric in their clothing and releasing popular jacket models like the Cornice. Berghaus is one of the leading British outdoor clothing and equipment brands that has been creating innovative and technical performance apparel for over 50 years. Berghaus is particularly renowned for its waterproof jackets and outerwear designed to protect wearers from the elements while hiking, climbing, and participating in other outdoor pursuits. Their products are sold in over 40 countries worldwide. Berghaus continues to focus on using innovative fabrics and technology to create waterproof yet breathable outerwear.
Key Technologies and Features of Berghaus Waterproof Jacket
Berghaus uses several proprietary fabrics and technologies to make their jackets waterproof, windproof, and breathable. Two of the most important are:
Gore-Tex fabric from W.L. Gore & Associates is found in many of Berghaus' waterproof jackets. This innovative material is a breathable yet waterproof membrane made from expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). The microscopic structure of Gore-Tex contains over 1.4 billion pores per square inch. These pores are smaller than a water droplet but larger than a molecule of water vapour. This construction allows perspiration vapour to pass through the Gore-Tex layer while preventing liquid water from entering from the exterior. Gore-Tex jackets provide excellent wet weather protection while regulating internal condensation build-up. Berghaus was one of the earliest adopters of Gore-Tex fabric in the early 1970s, incorporating it into outerwear designed for any outdoor pursuits. They recognised the performance benefits of Gore-Tex for keeping wearers dry without compromising breathability. Today, Berghaus utilises advanced generations of Gore-Tex, such as Gore-Tex Pro, in their high-end waterproof jackets engineered for extreme outdoor activities and environments. The collaboration between Berghaus and Gore-Tex spans over 40 years, and together they continue developing waterproof yet breathable innovations to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts.
In addition to Gore-Tex, Berghaus uses its own proprietary waterproof fabric technology called Hydroshell across many of its jacket collections. Similar to Gore-Tex, Hydroshell relies on an expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane containing billions of microscopic pores to provide reliable waterproofing and breathability. The ePTFE membrane in Hydroshell is combined with durable external face fabrics to create the 3-layer fabric. Berghaus offers different versions of Hydroshell based on the intended usage and environment. For example, Hydroshell Pro utilises higher-quality materials and is engineered to meet the demands of rugged outdoor activities like mountaineering and climbing. Meanwhile, Hydroshell Eco contains recycled fabric components and is more suited for casual everyday wear in urban settings. The range of Hydroshell fabrics provides Berghaus with their proprietary waterproof technologies to incorporate into jackets. For consumers, it gives more options when selecting a Berghaus waterproof jacket featuring the company's innovative fabrics. With rigorous lab testing and real-world trials, Berghaus ensures all their Hydroshell fabrics offer the high level of weather protection and breathable comfort outdoor enthusiasts expect from the Berghaus brand.
Fully Seam Sealed
An important protective feature found across all Berghaus waterproof jackets is the fully seam-sealed construction. Seams in clothing are inherently prone to leakage since tiny gaps exist between the stitches where water droplets can penetrate. To combat this in their waterproof jackets, Berghaus seals every seam with waterproof tape during the manufacturing process. They apply the tape on the inside of garment seams in a precise process that covers any potential gaps in the stitching. This waterproof tape acts as a barrier along the seam lines so no moisture can enter through these vulnerabilities. Fully sealing the seams transforms the Berghaus jacket into a continuous protective shell keeping the rain completely on the exterior. Without this seam sealing, the waterproof fabric itself would be rendered useless as moisture leaked through the sewing. It takes precision work and specialised machines to execute full seam sealing properly. The result is a completely water-tight jacket that stops moisture ingress for the wearer while maintaining breathability through the Gore-Tex or Hydroshell membrane. Berghaus' mastery of technical seam sealing has helped their waterproof jackets stand out from competitors and function reliably in wet conditions for over 50 years.
Storm Flaps and Water Resistant Zippers
The front zipper is an obvious potential entry point for moisture on a waterproof jacket, so Berghaus outfits their jackets with storm flaps and water-resistant zippers as added barriers. Behind the visible zipper on the front exterior, Berghaus jackets feature an additional inner flap made of waterproof fabric. This storm flap sits smoothly behind the zipper, completely covering the teeth and tape. It provides a second line of defence against wind and rain penetrating through the zipper coils. Berghaus also equips their jackets with speciality water-resistant zippers containing polymers that repel moisture along the zipper tape. These slick zippers make it harder for water to soak into the zipper teeth and inner fabric. The combined use of the rear storm flap and water-resistant zipper design ensures no moisture leaks through the front closure of the jacket. Berghaus meticulously engineered their jackets to safeguard areas like zippers that are naturally prone to water ingress. Thanks to the redundant waterproofing provided by the storm flap and zipper construction itself, wearers don't need to worry about the front zipper during rainy, blustery conditions. It's just one example of Berghaus' dedication to creating jackets with optimal weather protection.
The hood is one of the most important parts of a waterproof jacket for protecting the wearer's head and maintaining visibility in foul weather. Recognising this, Berghaus outfits many of their waterproof jackets with adjustable, helmet-compatible hoods designed for optimal coverage and movement. These hoods include cords with toggle adjusters that allow tightening and loosening the fit around the face as needed. Wearers can lock down the hood in stormy conditions to seal out driving rain and wind. The precise adjustment helps keep peripheral vision clear rather than obstructed by a loose hood. Berghaus hood designs are also engineered to be helmet-compatible for climbing, mountaineering, and other active pursuits requiring head protection. The shaping and volume of the hood allow it to fit overtop a helmet while still sealing around the face. Whether you are hiking in a downpour or climbing a rock face in brisk winds, the adjustable helmet-ready hood of a Berghaus jacket ensures you stay protected from the elements while keeping your vision and movement unimpeded. It's a critical feature Berghaus integrated to enable optimal outdoor performance in challenging weather.
Most Berghaus waterproof jackets incorporate at least two external hand pockets conveniently located along the front hips or chest. What makes these pockets special is that they are lined with soft fleece fabric to create handwarmer pockets. In cold outdoor temperatures, you can place your hands inside these pockets to benefit from the insulating and cosy fleece lining that retains body heat. The fleece provides a warm sanctuary for your hands while also wicking away moisture. Even in wet conditions, your hands stay warmer and drier thanks to the dual waterproof outer shell and fleecy interior lining of the pockets. The pockets are conveniently placed for easy access and feature zippered closures to secure small items or prevent heat loss. While the handwarmer pockets provide obvious warmth benefits, they also simply give your hands a comfortable place to rest while hiking, climbing, or engaging in other outdoor activities. Berghaus carefully engineered their jacket pockets to not only be practically located for storage but also to facilitate warmth for the wearer's hands. Having a place to warm up cold, wet hands is a small but significant feature that exemplifies Berghaus' dedication to jackets that protect against the elements while improving comfort.
For dialling in the fit and sealing out the elements, Berghaus equips their waterproof jackets with drawcord adjusters located at the hood and hem. These drawcords allow tightening or loosening of the opening around your face and the jacket bottom. They are controlled via simple cord locks that keep the tension in place. Tightening the hood drawcord closes the gap for weather protection so driving rain and wind are unable to penetrate. It also allows locking in insulation. Meanwhile, the drawcord at the waist can be cinched to prevent cold air and moisture from entering underneath the jacket. This helps keep you warmer while regulating airflow. If overheating, the hem draw cord can be relaxed as well. The ability to fine-tune the fit gives wearers adaptability based on conditions and activity. Once set, the cord locks maintain the tension so you don't have to constantly re-adjust. In changeable outdoor environments, having customisable seals against the elements provides important protection. Berghaus carefully incorporated functional drawcords and locks so wearers can master the fit for optimal warmth, coverage, and range of motion. Their design allows you to lock out the weather when battling the elements yet open up for venting when the precipitation subsides.
A hallmark of Berghaus' Paclite waterproof jackets is their packaway design that allows the entire jacket to fold up and stow away into its own pocket. This pocket doubles as a compact carry pouch when you want to pack up the jacket. Constructed out of lightweight and minimal materials, these Paclite jackets compress down surprisingly small. Once folded and put away, they are so light and portable that you hardly notice them in your backpack or luggage. However, they unfurl and can be put on quickly when the weather turns wet. The packaway capability makes Paclite jackets ideal for hiking, backpacking, travel, and other activities where minimising weight and bulk in your pack is important. They provide full rain protection without taking up much room when not being worn. Berghaus specifically engineered their Paclite jackets to offer this degree of easy portability while maintaining waterproofness and breathability. The packaway design allows you to keep a protective shell close at hand without it consuming space in your pack or travel bags. It embodies the ethos of the Paclite line to provide convenient and packable weather protection anywhere your travels take you.
Notable Berghaus Waterproof Jacket Collections
Here are some of the notable Berghaus waterproof jacket collections to consider:
Paclite → The Paclite collection features their lightweight and packable waterproof shells. As the name suggests (“pack-lite”), Paclite jackets are designed to fold up and stow away into their pocket. They are made using 2-layer Gore-Tex or Hydroshell fabric. Key examples include the Berghaus Paclite Anorak and Paclite Jacket II.
Hillwalker → The Berghaus Hillwalker range focuses on versatile waterproof jackets made for hiking and trekking. They balance lightweight protection from the elements with features like multiple pockets and adjustable hoods. Core jackets include the Berghaus Hillwalker II and Women's Hillwalker II Waterproof Jackets.
Mount Asgard → The Mount Asgard line represents Berghaus’ pinnacle of waterproof jackets for alpine, ice, and rock climbing. They incorporate the most advanced 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro or Hydroshell Pro fabrics. The Berghaus Men's Mount Asgard Hybrid Hydrodown Jacket is a popular model that combines a waterproof shell with insulation.
Ramche → Designed for winter trekking and mountaineering, the Ramche jackets integrate the waterproofing of Gore-Tex with insulated materials to retain warmth in cold conditions. Options like the Ramche Hyper Jacket have a slim fit while providing optimal freedom of movement for active use.
Fast Hike → As the name implies, Fast Hike jackets are built for fast-paced hiking and trail running. They prioritise freedom of movement and lightweight performance. The Fast Hike Hydroshell Jacket utilises Berghaus’ own waterproof yet stretchy Hydroshell Elite Pro fabric.
For over 50 years, Berghaus has been an innovative force in developing waterproof outerwear to meet the needs of mountaineers, climbers, hikers, and all outdoor enthusiasts venturing into wet environments. Their mastery over fabric technologies like Gore-Tex and Hydroshell paired with their extensive testing in real-world conditions allows Berghaus to create some of the most trusted waterproof jackets on the market. When shopping for a Berghaus waterproof jacket, carefully consider your intended activities and the specific environment you’ll be in to choose the right balance of weight, durability, breathability, and features. Models like the Paclite jacket offer packable protection for fast hiking while jackets in the Mount Asgard line provide the pinnacle of waterproofing for climbing frozen peaks. With Berghaus’ history of quality and innovation, you can be confident finding a waterproof jacket that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable exploring the great outdoors.
A waterproof jacket is an outdoor staple all year round, and it’s essential that your jacket stays effective at keeping water out. If you notice that your waterproof isn’t performing as well as it used to, it may be time to reproof, repair or replace it to keep you protected for many adventures to come.
Adventure doesn’t wait for the weather, and the rain shouldn’t stop you from getting outside to do what you love. Embracing the rain and heading out on a walk brings a number of unique joys – but the right kit is absolutely essential. Dressing for the weather and having the right things with you will make sure your walk is enjoyable and safe, too, so here’s our kit list for a rainy-day walk (a waterproof jacket goes without saying!):