Berghaus Velum Jacket
4th May 2012
Review UPDATE - April 24th 2013:
Berghaus Velum Jacket Review [Update – 1+ year on]
by Steve Hodges
I questioned how it might fair in terms of durability being a lighter weight fabric but it’s certainly doing fine so far.
I can confirm that the water repellency is also still going strong a year+ on with no noticeable wetting out.
I’ve now also used the jacket for several fell/mountain runs and mountaineering jaunts and been very happy with it’s performance (breathability and weight wise) and been really glad of it’s protection on some recent outings.
So, this is the new fangled fabric from Gore to compete on the breathability stakes with some of the other very good options that have come along in recent years to rock the Gore-tex boat. I was keen to try it out as I’d heard good things and my 8-odd year old Gore-tex Paclite was on it’s way out.
First impressions are of a very light jacket with a nice soft (not crinkly) feel to the fabric. Turns out it comes in under the claimed weight which makes a nice change!
I’ve now managed to use the jacket across a range of activities from skiing thru mountain biking to the nursery run. The nursery run was probably the biggest ‘does it keep a torrential downpour out test’ of the lot! And yes, it did. To be fair, most new fabrics bead up nicely allowing the rain to run off easily – how it performs in a years time is another question but the DWR has held up well for the 3 months I’ve been using it.
The helmet compatible hood proved to be a good fit and welcome relief from -25C windchill causing gales we experienced skiing in January. The collar comes up nice and high for good face protection.
Breathability does seem to be very good; mountain biking on a mild and rainy off day in Font was probably the biggest of the breathability tests and would be a challenge for any material. There were some surprisingly challenging hill climbs in Font that certainly made you sweat. Now, I always find layering for mountain biking tricky so whilst I was at times too warm I did feel that the jacket handled the sweating well and better than previous Gore-tex jackets I’ve used in similar situations in the past. At the end of the ride my shorts, socks and gloves were all soaked but my merino base layer was ‘normally damp’ as I would expect from biking with a backpack on.
The Velum has also been in my bag more than other jackets I’ve owned – basically it’s light and small so you really don’t mind popping it in ‘just in case’. It’s nice to know you have a full blown shell as a back-up. The whole jacket rolls up very neatly into the hood which keeps things tidy.
I only have one major grumble and that is the hood adjusters – both the volume adjusters and the opening drawcords come out at the same point – two toggles on either side of the front zip. Admittedly a handy location and the cords are different colours but I can never remember which is which. It’s also not that easy to see the cords when everything is done up tight. Basically, requiring visual identification when you are trying to batten down the hatches is not as good as just being able to reach to where you know you need to pull.
The price compares favourably with other similar jackets and is pleasingly less than the more heavy duty offerings, even though this jacket employs cutting edge fabric technology. This pricing is presumably on the basis that this is a simple jacket that isn’t expected to be as durable as their ‘Pro-Shell’ offerings, only time will tell.
If you are in the market for a decently light, fully waterproof jacket that is up there with the best when it comes to breathability then this is definitely worth trying for size. Others have mentioned it has a slim fit. I am pretty slim and have found it to be a great fit so they may be right! Worth trying on before buying then.
There is now also a smock version to consider which shaves a few extra grams.
Reviewed by Steve Hodges
The Men's Velum GORE-TEX® Smock is designed for mountaineers looking to travel fast and light on one day alpine ascents - this super lightweight and highly breathable jacket allows you to perform at maximum exertion.
Constructed from the latest 3 layer GORE-TEX® Active Shell which is durably waterproof, fully windproof and highly breathable providing superb comfort and protection. The jacket features a helmet compatible hood adjustable with a single hand – perfect for the most challenging, fast paced activities.
The Velum GORE-TEX® Jacket is designed for mountaineers looking to travel fast and light on one day alpine ascents - this lightweight and highly breathable jacket allows you to perform at maximum exertion.
Constructed from 3 layer GORE-TEX® Active Shell which is durably waterproof, fully windproof and highly breathable providing superb comfort and protection. The jacket features large venting pockets and a helmet compatible hood adjustable with a single hand – perfect for the most challenging, fast paced activities.
- The fixed helmet compatible hood features a single handed adjustment system that was developed with and tested by Leo Houlding during The Mount Asgard Project
- Find your perfect fit with the elasticated and adjustable drawcord with one handed closure plus bonded adjustable cuff tabs with hook and loop closure