As I write this review it’s 24 degrees outside. Spring has finally pushed through in the Netherlands and today is a shorts-and-flip-flop day. In the limited space of my closet, I am making the switch from winter clothes to summer get-up. But with a number of items that switch is not that easy. One of those is the Berghaus Vapourlight Hypertherm Hoody, a mid layer jacket we received from Berghaus when we did the review of the Hyper and Hyper 100 jackets. (Check those here). We were so thoroughly impressed by those jackets and at least as much with the performance of the Hypertherm Hoody. Since riding with it for the first time in February hardly a day has gone by that I have not worn the Hypertherm Hoody, indoor and outdoors. The reason for that is that it is so versatile, light, warm and breathable at the same time, you can use it all year long.
We used the Hypertherm in varying conditions: first of all as a mid layer while mountain biking and trail running during our today trip to Kielder Forest in Northumberland. The weather was harsh, with storm Doris just past we ran and rode through strong winds, driving rain and that at temperatures of about 5 to 6 degrees Celsius.
I have worn the jacket almost every day on my daily commute to work, where I combine car and bike ride. I have worn it during hikes in the forest nearby my house, with my kids, and as a mid layer during a recent late season snowboarding trip to Stubai, Austria. Unfortunately, because it is a mid layer I don’t have too many foto’s of a number of those activities. And that is a pity because the jacket also just looks really good.
If you read more GearLimits review we always try to start with the promise of the jacket. Berghaus has made a mid layer that is best used as a light, packable and versatile mid layer. You can wear it on both sides, where one side enables great breathability, and when worn in reverse the jacket is windproof. Now, to be honest, the difference between those two sides to me, wasn’t immediately perceptible. Worn on either side I found the jacket comfortable, breathable and windproof.
The idea with which it was made is that you can always wear it, or take it along when you do high-intensity activities, such as running, biking or hiking. The great thing as well is that the jacket weighs a mere 221 grammes. So no reason to ever not take it along with you on the trail; you will always have a back-up of you need more insulation and warmth.
Berghaus’ HydroLoft™ insulation technology is what provides the excellent insulation characteristics, working its magic even when wet, and delivering it in a very comfortable style. It does that with a structure mimicking the way down creates little air pockets that trap warm air. If you want to know more about this tech be sure to visit the Berghaus site. So, light and packable, warm, comfortable, breathable and windproof. That’s a big promise.
When you first feel the jacket, you wouldn’t expect it to provide the warmth that it does. Certainly, in combination with shell jacket, you really will feel very warm and comfortable. And yet when we wore the jacket while trail running and mountain biking we never had the feeling that we were too warm. The combination with the Hyper 100 was just amazing. It is so good you just hardly notice you are wearing it. That might sound strange, but it is the proof of really great gear.
Featurewise it is not the most tricked-out jacket, obviously because tricking stuff out means adding weight. It has to side pockets on the windproof side of the jacket. The hoody fits well even though it cannot be tightened up to fit.
I could go on and on and talk about all its other characteristics, but it is simply a very subtle, modest but incredibly good piece of kit. Like I said, I wear it all the time.
There is one thing that you do have to watch though, it is not incredibly strong or tear resistant. So if you go climbing or get active in an environment where you can expect some rough handling of the jacket you will risk tearing the jacket. And that would just be an awful shame.
So in conclusion, I think this is the single best mid layer I have ever worn. It’s as simple as that.