Hyper Smock 2.0 – Performance
Part one of the mission: is it tiny and light and really easy to carry? The answer is absolutely. Packs down to a small apple-sized bundle and you can save another 5g by either stuffing it into its own pocket or not using a stuff-sac at all. Fits great into a small bumbag for example.
Pull it on and you’ll find it cut slim, neat and’athletic’ with minimal flappage. The fabric’s light, but not ‘cheap’ in feel and yes, it’s waterproof. Like really waterproof.. It doesn’t feel like it should be, because it is so light and fine, but it does the job.
What it isn’t so great at, is being breathable when you’re working hard. The lab figure is 10,000g/m2/24hrs metro – to put that in perspective, next spring’s lightweight 3-layer Berghaus shell is around five times more breathable on paper.
In practice, it means you get hotter and sweatier than you might want to, though the main-zip gives you some cooling options at the risk of getting wetter at the same time. The hood fits neatly enough, given its lack of adjustability and hem and sleeves both worked for us as well.
Finally, it’s nice to have a pocket, though the placement, just below your rib-cage feels a little odd to begin with.
Brilliant for its defined purpose, but limited by the ruthless pursuit of minimalism. It’s not particularly tough, breathable or adjustable as a result and it’s not really an all-day option.
But for occasional use when space and weight are vital, it hits the nail on the ultra-lightweight head. Great for racing too.
For more normal use though, we’d be asking whether a more breathable windproof alternative would give adequate protection for short periods while being a lot more breathable. And for day-long wet-weather outings, we’d rather carry something heavier, but more comfortable.
If you want to have your cake and eat it however, watch out for the new Berghaus Hyper 100 jacket featured in our report from this year’s OutDoor show… It’s a sub-100g, 3-layer, minimalist shell that’s claimed to be five times more breathable than the Hyper Smock and is due out in February 2017. Unfortunately it’s also more than double the price.