The women’s Berghaus Scorch Vest is made mainly from Polartec Thermal Pro material, which is fleecy and soft to the touch. This fabric claims to trap body heat using lofted (fluffed-up) fibres, and if it’s ultimate cosiness you’re after, then it certainly feels snug to wear. The great advantage of fleece gilets such as the Scorch is that they’re highly breathable, which means you can wear them as a regular mid layer as well as using them for emergency insulation.
This gilet is designed specifically for women and it is cut to fit a curvier figure. We loved the large handwarmer pockets, which are big enough to fit an OS map each and also add to the overall breathability of the gilet. The soft chinguard should protect the neck from rubbing, although on our sample, we did find that the front zip had a tendency to snag slightly on its way down.
If weight is a priority for you, the Berghaus Scorch Vest is also a bit heavier than some other models we looked at, and will take up more room in your pack. It has no wind-resistant shell, and so really comes into its own as a snug mid layer.
Size 8-18 (women’s)
Weight 315g (size 12)
Outer fabric Polartec
Water resistance none
Wind resistance low
The Berghaus Scorch Vest is best for a warm mid layer.
First published in Trail magazine September 2011