Berghaus - New For Spring 2015
The first of our brand-specific reports from this year's OutDoor 2014 show in Germany, where the outdoor brands reveal what's new for spring 2015 focuses on Berghaus where highlights included an even lighter Hyper Smock waterproof jacket, a hooded reversible ultra-lightweight insulation top and a bit of brand amalgamation with Brasher being assimilated into the Berghaus footwear range, but not without retaining its own identity along the way.
World's Lightest Waterproof Gets Lighter And Cheaper
The Berghaus Hyper Smock was already the lightest waterproof top in the world when it launched this year - our test jacket tipped the scales at just 93g for a medium - but for next spring, it gets even lighter with the new 2.0 version claiming to be just 76g in a large size no less.
The weight saving comes mostly from new, ultra-skinny seam-sealing tape, but revised fabric - Hydroshell Hyper - has an increased level of waterproofing too with a hydrostatic head of 15000mm, which is pretty high for such a lightweight fabric - it's pretty much translucent as you can see.
Also new is a women's-specific version of the top weighing just 67g. Both versions feature a larger pocket than the previous one which is sited on the chest in the men's top and slightly lower down for strategic anatomical reasons on the women's one. Good news for those who didn't get the tiny pocket on Hyper Smock 1.0.
Finally, once it's available in early 2015, the updated version gets a price reduction to £100, down from the current £120. Last but not least, the new top won one of the coveted Gold OutDoor Industry Awards given to the best products at the show.
Hyperthem Insulation Expands
From the same VapourLight family as the Hyper Smock, the HyperTherm concept which debuted this year has developed a bit for 2015. Same concept as before - ultra-lightweight warmth with a reversible twist, wear it one way round for wind proofing and the other for better cooling and breathability, but now in two versions.
The HyperTherm Race Smock is a stripped-down, 156g pull-on design, with minimal frills, though the differential between the two sides of the garment is now more pronounced than before. It too won a show award and will sell for £130.
It's close relation is the Vapourlight, Hypertherm Hoody - above - which we reckon should be more of an all-round mountain lightweight than the pull-on. It uses the same back principles, but has an insulated hood and two hand-warmer pockets.
The weight is still just 221g with the same 40g weight Hydrdoloft Insulation as the pull-on. It also comes in a women's version again with the same features, but a claimed weight of a mere 185g. The price-tag for both is going to be £150 and we reckon it'll work brilliantly as ultra-light, packable insulation you can also wear on the move for walkers, climbers and mountain bikers.
Mount Asgard Hydroshell Jacket
New next spring and part of the Hydroshell waterproof range we reported on last month, the Asgard Hydroshell jacket uses the new own-brand Berghaus waterproof fabric in a proper lightweight mountain shell.
It has a claimed weight of just 210g complete with a fully-adjustable, helmet-compatible hood, built-in permanent Argentium anti-pong treatment, single chest pocket and adjustable hems and cuffs. It's described as a 'minimal, lightweight, emergency climbing shell'.
The idea being that you climb mostly in your soft-shell, but whip this out of your pack if the weather gets properly gnarly. It takes over from the current Mt Asgard Stretch jacket which is made from Gore-Tex Active, but weighs around twice as much.
Looks like being one of the lightest mountain shell jackets around and is going to retail for £220 early in 2015.
Brasher Is Assimilated
Also on the Berghaus stand were examples of the new Berghaus branded Fellaster, Hillmaster and SupaLite leather boots. As we reported last month, the Brasher brand is kind of no more, but it's not quite a case of 'Oh my god, they killed Brasher'.
A CSI investigation discovered that the key instep lace hooks feature a Brasher logo design while inside the tongue is a label reading 'Brasher engineered comfort technology'. To be honest, if you're a Brasher fan, all you need to know is that bar a few tweaks including a Vibram sole unit using the proven Brasher sole design and the odd improvement to leather and linings, the boots are essentially the same.
They're the same fit, made in the same factories and look pretty much identical. Nuff said.
I'm A Lumberjack...
Last but not least, there were lots of orange - and other colours - checked shirts in evidence on the stand. Turns out that they're part of the Berghaus ECO wovens programme. All the garments in the range are produced using a more eco-friendly dying process, which adds colour to the polymer melt before the extrusion process (it says here).
What you really need to know is that this uses 89% less water, 63% fewer chemicals, 62% less CO2 and 67% less Chemical Oxygen Demand. Plus the fabrics are nylon, so should be tough and long lasting and feature permanent Polygiene andti-odour treatment to, erm, discourage you from washing, or at least washing the garments, as often, saving more water and detergents.
And that orange pattern version is kind of cool...
Out In Spring 2015
All the above are due out in spring 2015 - usually about February time. You can find information on the current Berghaus range at www.berghaus.com.
Our Mid-Show Highlights
You might also be interested in our pick of the new kit from the first day and a half of the show in our Show Highlights So Far article.