Just in for review is the new Berghaus Civetta II jacket, a fully waterproof mountain shell made using the latest Gore-Tex Pro fabric which is roughly one third more breathable than its predecessor.

Up To 28% More Breathable

It's just one of several jackets from Berghaus using the new material, which we reckon is a significant improvement on the original thanks in the main to much improved breathability - 'up to 28% ' claimed - which means you can boot it up climbs without getting as hot and bothered as before.

Also in the Berghaus range are the all-singing, all-dancing super technical new Ulvetanna Jacket and an updated version of the Kangchenjunga we reviewed earlier this year, but the attraction of the Civetta is that it's a relatively low-frills mountain shell with two pack and harness friendly chest pockets, a pair of pit-zips and a wired mountain hood.

That means it's decently light at 450g measured for our medium test jacket and also £75 and £50 cheaper than the other two jackets respectively at a SRP of £300.

Nice Detailing

Checking over the jacket, it's all nicely featured and detailed with a full YKK Vislon zip up front and  conventional water-resistant zips on the chest pockets and pit-zips. Hem and hood cords are captive items to prevent snagging and flapping and the hood has a wired and laminated peak with a decent fit.

It's designated a 'mountain hood' by Berghaus and while it's not as huge and snazzy as the vented version on the Ulvetanna, it'll still take a helmet and offer good face protection. More importantly for most walkers it fits nicely with a bare head, moves with your direction of gaze and still gives a whole bunch of lower face protection with the beard-guarded chin area capable of covering everything up to nose level.

Happy Medium

The cut is a kind of medium - not tight and not loose - and medium length. It should fit a lot of folk and also have enough room for a winter-friendly mid-layer fleece or synthetic when things get cool. Some folk will prefer a longer cut for all-round mountain use, but we reckon it's a good compromise for most users.

Initial Verdict

It's early days, but the Civetta, at first look, seems like a well-designed all-round mountain jacket with a looser cut than more technical shells and made from an excellent new fabric - if things do get too hot, you have the option of using those pit-zips for venting and the sleeves are rollable too. We like the slightly retro Bonington-esque colour choice as well.

More information at www.berghaus.com.

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