Why We Chose the Berghaus Athunder Jacket: Stylish, protective, eco-friendly
Weight: 563g (L)
More info: berghaus.com
There’s nothing like donning your favourite hardshell when the heavens open. Having a really good waterproof jacket stashed in your pack gives you the confidence to shrug off the worst weather – making you feel utterly impervious to the elements, totally invincible in your Gore-Tex suit of armour.
Presumably, that’s what Berghaus were going for when designing the new men’s Athunder and women’s Parvati waterproof jackets (‘Parvati’, incidentally, is the name of a Hindu goddess that translates as ‘she of the mountain’). They’ve done a great job, making use of three-layer Gore-Tex fabric with a design that takes a belt and braces approach to waterproofing. There’s a full-length external storm flap for the main zip, for instance, a fully adjustable and helmet-compatible hood, a dropped rear hem and a really high funnel neck that zips up almost to the bridge of the nose, giving excellent facial protection in driving wind and rain.
“When bad weather is on the cards, I’d be glad to be armed with something as bombproof as this.”
Both jackets look the part too, with slick monochrome logos and retro colourways for nostalgic appeal. Berghaus have obviously raided their own archives for design inspiration, as these jackets hark back to the 1980s, taking visual cues from the classic and virtually bomb-proof Trango jacket, as worn back in the day by hardened mountaineers like Chris Bonington. The fabric shoulder panels in contrast colours and the long, slashed handwarmer pockets further add to their throwback appeal.
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When it comes to eco credentials, however, they’re bang up to date. Berghaus have acknowledged that product manufacturing is where outdoor brands create their biggest impacts – so in recent years they’ve invested heavily in finding greener solutions. This has resulted in some laudable commitments through the brand’s MADEKIND initiative, which includes an aim to ensure all the DWR treatments in Berghaus clothing will be PFC-free by next year. That has meant working with Gore-Tex to develop alternative fabrics and coatings in a project worth over $150 million. It’s good to see the results emerging in new lines then, as both the Athunder and Parvati jackets are free from PFCs. In addition the fabrics are Bluesign approved, ensuring that harmful substances are absent from the supply chain.