A super-lightweight menâ€™s technical fleece jacket thatâ€™s great for summer hiking.
This is an update to the popular Berghaus Smoulder jacket, which has been around for a few years. But by using the new Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency fabric, the weight is brought down dramatically. The honeycomb structure of the material is more open than previous incarnations, making it almost transparent against the light. Itâ€™s aimed at trail runners, and active walkers who need good insulation in a lightweight garment.
â€¢ Polartec Power Dry High Efficiency fabric
â€¢ Thumb loops
â€¢ Two pockets, chest and arm
â€¢ Full front zip with chin/beard guard
â€¢ Body map zoning
On test: Berghaus Smoulder Light jacket Extrem
Iâ€™ve been using this on walks in some of the recent hot weather weâ€™ve been having in the central belt, and I have to say, it feels amazingly cool against the skin. At higher altitudes, I was glad of the long sleeves, and for extra insulation there are a couple of thumb loops if thatâ€™s your thing.
Itâ€™s quite a slim, athletic fit thanks to the zoned â€˜body mapâ€™ panels â€“ the fabric is thinner under the arms and on the sides â€“ but it still stretches with you on a climb. Itâ€™s long in the body, and thereâ€™s a great stand-up collar to keep your neck free from draughts.
Itâ€™s the chequer board construction of the fabric thatâ€™s at the heart of the garmentâ€™s success, though â€“ the piled grids on the inside help wick sweat away from the body fast, allowing it to evaporate over a large outer surface area. So although I did perspire while on my hikes, I never felt too wet, as the jacket was drying out as I walked.
The jacket scrunches down to almost nothing, and mine weighs an amazing 225g (medium). There are a couple of pockets, but the one on the sleeve is pretty small. Might take a credit card if youâ€™re lucky! Also, due to the lightweight nature of the jacket, if you put a phone in the chest pocket, it sags, and is just a nuisance.
Itâ€™s my new favourite jacket for summer, and should do the job layered up in the autumn, too.
Now on sale for Â£51 at Berghaus website.