MAY 2017

Berghaus Hyper 100 Jacket

 

Brands love to get heavy with hyperbole. Lightest, fastest, greenest, warmest - it's like a red rag to a bull and I go out of my way to disprove it. But this jacket not only meets its maker's claims, it exceeds them. Launched in Spring 2017, this minimalist waterproof jacket weighs just 92g in size Small. This is remarkable because it isn't a basic nylon sweat-bag: it has three-layer construction, with a membrane sandwiched between a scrim lining and an outer face. Not only is it featherweight, packs into a stuff sack the size of my palm,, and keeps me dry in the rain, it is also genuinely breathable.

I have been testing Hyper 100 since last autumn, mainly mountain biking. The biggest mission was a 10-day, 300km off-road linear route from the mountains on the French-Italian border, across the alps of Haute Provence, to the medieval citadel of Manosque. Duncan and I carried everything on our backs (in the awesome Osprey Escapist 32 rucksack). Every single gram counted, so being offered early samples of this jacket was a lifeline.

First to say: this is a men's jacket. Duncan's size Large fitted him perfectly. The Small fitted me well despite being a men's jacket because I have a small bust and the hem is at the waist, not over the hips; women with large busts won't be so lucky.

So, the detail. The design is as good as the fabric: everything has a reason. The main body is a one-piece panel so non-breathable seam taping is at an absolute minimum. The full-length front zip is small coil but I treat it gently and it's going strong. The hood is close-fitting with a stretch-bound edge. I have worn it under my cycling helmet, which works really well. The same binding is used at the hem. Cuffs are partially bound so can be pushed up the forearm for minor venting if necessary. There's even an internal pocket for small stuff.

Fabric: the three layers consist of a tough 6-denier outer face fabric, a 7-micron thick membrane and an 8-denier inner fabric. Berghaus say this is the most breathable waterproof it has made; their figures make it more breathable than any Gore-Tex. I don't have an onboard laboratory, but can tell you that after riding a mountain bike up a steep track, in light rain, and working hard, there are no noticeable sweat patches inside the jacket. and that is astonishing.

I love Hyper 100, for mountain biking, for stuffing in a pack or even a pocket 'just in case' - it's so breathable, I even use it as a windproof shell.

Turns out, I'm not the only one to rate it. Hyper 100 won Gold in the clothing section of the OutDoor Industry awareds when it was launched to the international trade in 2016. Now it's available to the rest of us: expect to see some on a hill near you.

 

Best for: expeditions, mountain biking, scrambling, anything 'fast + light'

Price: £260

Colours: Carbon

Weight:  92g Small, 106g Large

Fabric: 3L Hydroshell Elite Pro (47g/m2)

Sizes: XS-XL

 

Stockst information: www.berghaus.com

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Berghaus Extrem Hyper 100 Jacket in action on the long-distance mountain bike route L'Alpes Provence, 300km off-road from the Col de Larce on the French-Italian border, to Manosque.  

The jacket is so breathable, it can be used as a windproof in sunshine, as well as a waterproof - perfect on chilly alpine mornings