Just In - Berghaus Ulvetanna Hybrid Jacket - £250 / 410g
Newly arrived is the latest creation of the crack Berghaus Mtn.Haus team, the Ulvetanna Hybrid, a super-technical insulated mountain jacket which mixes 850 fill power water-repellent Hydrodown with strategically placed panels of synthetic Hydroloft fill to create what Berghaus tags as 'the ultimate hybrid jacket'.
The idea is that by matching different materials to different areas you get an optimal combination of warmth where needed, breathability where it matters and all at the best possible weight.
- 850 fill power Hydrodown in stitch-through baffles
- Synthetic Hydroloft in strategic areas
- Pertex Microlight fabric
- Full-double-ended zip with storm flap
- Integrated hood with peak
- Twin zipped hand-warmer pockets
- Single inside zipped chest pocket
- Elasticated cuffs
- Droptail with adjustable hem
This isn't the first hybrid down and synthetic insulated jacket from the big B, but it's a more refined beats than the original Asgard Hybrid, which simply used down on the trunk and synthetic elsewhere. The Ulvetanna, by contrast has carefully zoned areas of down and synthetic fill based on extensive research carried out by the Mtn.Haus guys in the wilds of Greenland using thermal imaging cameras and temperature sensors.
The idea in really simple terms, is that the warmer down goes over parts of the body which need most protection like the kidneys and abdominal core, while hot areas - the armpits are an obvious one - get the less warm but more breathable Hydroloft to help the body lose heat when working hard.
The end result is a distinctive zoned effect front and back, so heat's kept in where needed and dumped where it's not. Check out the rear view and you'll see the hot area at the centre of the back is picked out for less warmth while the sides get down.
Even the sleeves are zoned with hot areas inside the elbows and more protection for the upper arms. It's super ingenious and very scientific and should mean you get an optimum balance of warmth and breathability.
Talking of breathability, the synthetic panels are extra breathable because rather than the Pertex Microlight uses in the down areas, which is fully down and windproof, the synthetic panels use a much more breathable fabric for better cooling and comfort. It still seems pretty much windproof, but is reckoned to shed heat faster.
What else? Well, put the zoning and science to one side, and the jacket's very slim fitting. It could be used either as an outer layer in cool conditions we reckon, or it's slim enough to sit under a technical shell jacket when things get properly cold.
The cut is best described as 'athletic' and most folk won't fit more than a micro fleece underneath. And if you're built on the heavy side, you may have trouble even doing the zip up. It is unapologetically technical, a sort of Leo Houlding-shaped jacket.
The drop tail hem is adjustable, but the fit's so close on us, we don't actually need any adjustment, meanwhile, up top, the hood - again with adjustable opening - is cut to fit over a climbing helmet, but will also sit neatly on a bare or hatted head thanks to a single cord adjuster that tightens both around the crown of the head and the front opening. Ingenious stuff.
Otherwise there are twin hand warmer pockets, with insulation correctly over the outside of the hands and a single internal zipped chest pocket.
Finally, we haven't really dwelled on it, but the combination of Berghaus's Hydrodown and the synthetic Hydroloft means that while we'd still probably opt for a fully synthetic fill in really cold and wet conditions, you have a bit of insurance against, say, wet snow melt or tent spills, plus in expedition use, it should maintain its loft longer than non-treated down.
So far, we can't say much about the warmth of the Ulvetanna Hybrid except that it feels promising given the relatively low 410g weight, but it's clearly a highly-developed and very nicely cut and made bit of kit which, if past Mtn.Haus products are anything to go by, should do the job nicely.
If the breathable synthetic panels do their job as advertised, we should be looking at a jacket that's warm enough to keep you comfortable during active use in extremely cold conditions, but capable of dumping enough heat that you stay comfortable at the same time where a down jacket would simply be way too hot and overwhelmed by you own heat output.
Add in a close, efficient technical cut and that useful helmet hood and we reckon this is another Mtn.Haus winner.
Full Berghaus range at www.berghaus.com