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Walking Trousers

Berghaus Light Hike Hydroshell Overtrouser | Review

The Light Hike Hydroshell Overtrouser is a lightweight, packable waterproof pant made from the brand's own Hydroshell waterproof fabric.

 

Overview

The Light Hike Hydroshell Overtrouser is, as you might have guessed from the name, a lightweight, packable waterproof pant made from the brand’s own Hydroshell waterproof fabric – in this case it’s a 2.5-layer version with a smooth, grey inner surface that reminds us of the Gore-Tex Paclite fabric.

At 220g they’re not the lightest option out there, but they’re hardly a burden and pack down the size of, oh, a large potato or maybe a mango. Ideal for stuffing into a lid pocket or side stash one. They come with a matching mesh stuff-sac, which is nice, but predictably we lost ours quickly and we’d have preferred an integral stuff-pocket.

Easy Donning

There they do score is in ease of use. The pants feature 3/4-length water-resistant side-zips backed with a storm-flap, which mean it’s easy to slip the Light Hikes over boots or shoes. And because the zips are double-ended, you can use the upper section as a handy thigh vents if you do get hot and sweaty.

Obviously that’ll let water in too, but in changeable conditions it can make the difference between leaving your overtrousers on or not. A nice feature.

Once one, you’ll find a strongly elasticated waistband holds things in place, with no need for the back-up shock cord, with the only other adjustment being a cord at the cuff which you can use the cinch things up around your boots.

Nice Fit

The fit’s decent. Close enough to be neat and avoid flapping, but without, in our case, restricting movement worn over a pair of stretch soft shell trousers. We’d suggest trying before buying though, particularly if you’re contemplating using them for scrambling.

Breathability is okay, rather than outstanding, but we can live with that on the lower body and the vents give you an escape option if things get properly hot and steamy down there.

As with most lightweight kit, the downside is likely to be reduced durability compared to heavier weight kit and there’s no reinforcement of cuffs, seat or knees. We’re not saying that they’ll fall apart in weeks, but if you’re someone who tends to wear shell pants all day regularly, you might be better off with a more traditional option.

Verdict

An ideal overtrouser for stashing away in your pack pocket for emergency and occasional use, super easy to take on and off, even though the zip isn’t super smooth running, and the thigh vent feature means you can keep them on in between showers without a sauna-like steam-room experience.

Pros

Neat cut, easy to take on and off, reasonable articulation, small and light, side-zips double as thigh vents, light and small packing.

Cons

Not the toughest option, we lost the separate stuff sac, predictably.

Performance: 4.5
Reliability: 4.5
Value: 5.0

More info: www.berghaus.com.

Specification

  • Price: £90.00
  • Year: from 2015
  • Weight: 220g
  • Hydroshell Elite Paclite Shell fabric
  • 3/4-length water-resistant zips with storm-flap
  • Adjustable ankle-cuffs
  • Elasticated waist with drawcord
  • Mesh stuff-sac supplied

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