Berghaus Extrem Ramche 2.0 Jacket | Review
The latest Ramche 2.0 expedition down jacket from Berghaus is an insane mix of improbable lightness and packability with ridiculous levels of warmth.
'The new Ramche 2.0 uses top-notch materials and technology to produce a lightweight down jacket with a heavyweight insulation punch - arguably the best fast and light expedition duvet around.'
Outdoors Magic: Phenomenally warm, deceptively light and packable, non-restrictive zoned baffle design, water-resistant down insurance, great hood, did we mention light?
Outdoors Tragic: Expensive, very warm, very light fabrics.
Outdoors Grabbit? Yes if you're off somewhere properly cold and want/need the ultimate balance of warmth, weight and pack size. High-lofting down, internal reflective mesh that's good for an extra 10% warmth and cunning zoned down distribution make this ridiculously warm for a jacket that weighs less than 440g. The Nikwax water-resistant down adds reassurance against sloppy bivi admin and melting ice and while the lightweight fabrics aren't outright burly, they're tougher than they seem. Phenomenal performance that justifies the relatively steep price-tag.
Extrem Ramche 2.0 Jacket Ratings
Outright Warmth [rating score="5"]
Packability [rating score="4.5"]
Overall: [rating score="5"]
Super-lightweight zoned expedition down jacket / 850 fill power Hydrodown fill / internal reflect mesh / Super Lightweight 7D Fabric / zoned body-mapped construction / two hand-warmer pockets / two zipped internal pockets / adjustable hem and cuffs / adjustable insulated helmet-compatible hood
Full Review Below
Berghaus Extrem Ramche 2.0 Jacket - The Fill
This second version of the Ramche expedition down jacket gets seriously lofty 850 fill power goose Hydrodown for optimum warmth to weight ratio. It's treated using the latest Nikwax hydrophobic down technology, a PFC-free application that in tests resists water for up to 16 hours.
'The jacket incorporates a special reflective aluminium Reflect Mesh layer inside the down compartments that adds minimal weight, but in tests by the Berghaus Mtn.Haus team added up to 10% in additional thermal efficiency.'
The down is also 'R.D.S certified for guaranteed ethical sourcing', so you know it's produced in a humane way. The advantage of water-resistant down isn't just better loft when it does get damp, but also faster and more complete recovery afterwards without special drying techniques.
Finally, for an expedition jacket like this, which could be used repeatedly in damp bivi situations in sub-zero conditions, the treatment helps the jacket to retain its insulating effectiveness even if moisture builds up gradually inside the fill.
That's not all though. The jacket also incorporates a special reflective aluminium Reflect Mesh layer inside the down compartments that adds minimal weight, but in tests by the Berghaus Mtn.Haus team added up to 10% in additional thermal efficiency. All very space age and all very impressive.
Berghaus Extrem Ramche 2.0 Jacket - Performance
As soon as we see the Mtn.Haus tag these days, expectations rise, but even by the the elite design team's high standards, the Ramche 2.0 really is something else. It weighs, in medium, just under 440g plus an additional ten for the stuff-sac supplied.
Normally that would get you a medium weight, medium warmth and very decent down jacket - something like the 490g Rab Electron for example. The genius of the Ramche 2.0 is that it's lighter than classic stitch-through jackets like that, but also much warmer. Like properly, mad warm.
As soon as you put it on, you know it's something special. Some of that is the high quality down, some undoubtedly that 10% claimed extra warmth from the aluminium Reflect Mesh inserts, but it's also a tribute to the latest aggressive body-mapping.
Zoned To Warm
Berghaus conducted extensive research in both cold chambers and outside in extreme conditions in Greenland to work out which areas needed the most insulation and where they could use light fill without compromising performance - see the video below for more information.
The end result is a jacket that uses fat, overlapping baffles, say, on the main torso and kidneys for example, but small, stitch-through areas on the sides of the trunk where heat loss is less of an issue. From the rear, that eve-shaped area at the base of the neck, for example, is stitched-through, the rest of the back uses a warmer, overlapping construction to reduce heat loss through the seams.
Walk Like A Man
Another plus of this is that there's no huge bulk under your arms, so you don't feel you're walking about like a body-builder, which makes the whole jacket feel less bulky and restrictive despite the warmth.
The hood, complete with adjustable head-cord, takes a helmet, but is luxuriously warm without. And you could in still, cold conditions layer it over, say, a close-fitting technical soft shell as a belay jacket.
The other contributor to the spectacular lightness of it all, is the super fine 7D face fabric. Berghaus stresses that it's tougher than you might think thanks to the additional 30D rip-stop strands running through it and we've seen a jacket that Mick Fowler accidentally tangled in an abseil plate without tearing, so despite the soft feel, its not all hype.
Light But Strong
Overall, says Berghaus, that fabric is 'twice as strong' as the one used for the original Ramche jacket. And if you want more stats, it's approximately 10% warmer and has a 20% better warmth to weight ratio.
Pack size is impressive for such a warm jacket. Our estimate is around a litre or so of capacity. Not quick pack lid-pocket size, but not far off. You also get plenty of pockets, free-running YKK Vislon moulded zips and adjustability all round.
The fit is trim and efficient with a serious drop-tail and for us at least, decent crotch coverage - always nice when the temperature drops... functionally it's hard to fault.
Berghaus Extrem Ramche 2.0 Jacket - Verdict
When Berghaus launched the latest Ramche 2.0 to the media in early 2016, top climber Leo Houlding summed it up by saying ‘It doesn’t feel like a -20 to -25˚C jacket, but it is…’ And that just about nails it.
The jacket's a beguiling mix of impressively light weight, ingenious technology and deceptive levels of personal furnace insulation. It's arguably the ultimate in lightweight expedition down jackets. If it has a fault, its arguably that it's simply too warm for more general use. So far, in UK conditions, we've only scratched the surface of its performance, but it's significantly warmer than anything else we've used.
Finally, the £350 price reflects the level of development and top notch components, but if you absolutely need serious levels of warmth without the accompanying weight and bulk, it's hard to see past the Ramche 2.0.