Tuesday, January 30, 2007

[Berghaus High Trail 3 Review] : finally I bought GoreTex Jacket

Price : quite expensive, but I bought it cheaper from internet
Pros : fit with my demands on high performance
Cons : quite bulky, not used to many double zips

The decision to buy Gore-Tex jacket came up when I am thinking about going to do some long trekking this April. I need technical equipment to cope with the weather and temperature which considered to be quite extreme. Oh yes I heard about how di du di du things of Gore-Tex. It’s good stuff but first I thought that was all about marketing gimmick.

I had two technical jackets so far. The first one is Regatta –bought about 3 years ago in Ireland when I climbed three mountains on easter. It was OK but it did not have capability of waterproof especially in torrential rain like in Mt Semeru Indonesia. Then I bought the North Face Hyvent Flight Series which had better hood system. Not bad when I had walking in tropical country but the heat from my body just unbearable. I went to Wales and hiked Moel Siabod in winter with it. It just fantastic! It can stand with cold wind on top of the hills while I was struggling to keep my face off. But it was nothing in such intense heat in Ujung Kulon National Park.

Before Christmas I did research for the best technical jacket with a good price. Since this year UK braced a mild winter then there were flock of outdoor products in the market. It's a good time to buy bargain ones. I need a good layering, maximum protection and also comfortable to walk with. I choose Berghaus High Trail III from www.outdooraction.co.uk for the cheapest price in town.

High Trail is four season technical jacket that fit for my needs of durability. It has three GoreTex layers : GORE-TEX® XCR® Brenva and 2 Layer GORE-TEX® XCR® Cassis which truly protect me from strong wind and cold showers. They put extra layer on the places that will facing more exposure such as shoulders and side chest.

It’s quite long to fit my body. But the drawcord works perfectly. One in the waist -make me feel I already put weight on and on the hood which give tight cover on my mouth when I was walking against the wind. You might be questioning why I need better hood system. It’s because I am wearing glasses nearly everyday (sometime I am wearing contact lens when situation ok), so yes I need an ‘umbrella’ to put the rain away from my glasses.

The best things about this jacket are plenty of pockets. It had two hand warmer (with zip) , two large pockets for map on chest which great to put some chocolate and important stuff in (keys, mobilephone, map, emergency whistle). Also it had addition zip to put extra fleece jacket when you need warmer.

At first I did not realize this function, but then I worked it out the extra zip with different direction. I was digging my fleece jackets to find the one that fit. Fortunately I found the red Sprayway fleece and everything just fine.

Ok then it's time to test the jacket. I did test High Trail on the Yorkshire Dales trekking during new year 2007. The real challenge actually on day 1 and 4. On the first day we did 13 miles walk in wet and windy weather. No problem at all. It kept me warm and I was feeling that my body temperature is breathing. I began on the spell of Gore-Tex (ughhh…I admitted it). The fourth day was 3 hours fast hiking to the Ingleborough from the Ingleton village. It was bloody windy! I even could not stand on my feet to bare with this hales. For adding my misery it was also raining and gales (ice-rain). I felt grateful for this jacket.

I would not saying that the High Trail III is the only factor here, because it’s up to your layering system. I had top thermal, thin fleece and spryway fleece to cope with cold, but the jacket works for the rain and the wind.

With the price of £139.95 + £5.00 delivery charges (retail price is £200.00), I am really pleased with it.

Picture www.openair.co.uk
and also from Picture Album : Walking 4days 62km...

Technical spesification:

- Rollaway hood with wired visor and volume adjuster
- New shorter length InterActive (IA) zip with hook and loop fastened double storm flap
- 3D Envelope Collar
- Shaped arm seams
- Internal map pocket
- Two zipped handwarmer pockets
- Two mesh internal pockets
- Retained elasticated waist and hem drawcords
- Hook and loop adjustable cuffs with gusset and rubber tabs
- Two zipped chest pockets with venting function

Weight - 800g
Fabrics Dry mesh and nylon lining

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