It is not often that a new design of hood appears on a jacket, but the Berghaus Raptor hood was designed to make a real difference. To make sure they got the new design right, Berghaus enlisted the help of Andy Kirkpatrick (the climber with the funniest mountaineering stories on the planet). The original idea was to create a hood that allowed more facial protection without inhibiting breathing, while being big enough to fit over a climbing helmet and adjustable enough to fit close to the head when walking without a helmet.
A tough call, perhaps?
The Raptor hood is built onto the Berghaus Temperance jacket, which I’ve been using for about a year on the Lakeland fells, and I have to say the hood is definitely up there with the best. However, as we all have slightly different shaped heads, there will no doubt be someone that it does not fit perfectly!
The jacket has seen me comfortably through the wet summer, and I’ve spent many hours in summit windbreaks tucking in to my lunch with this hood providing welcome protection. Better still, I’ve worn this jacket scrambling and the hood fits over a helmet, which is the hardest bit to get right. The key to this success is the cut of the material, coupled with the placement of the drawcords that control volume at the back and fit around the face.
So is the Raptor hood perfect? My slightly niggle is that the peak is very deep and it can sometimes flip vertically when battling into driving rain, probably because the wire stiffener does not extend far enough down the sides. However this is a relatively minor gripe, as there are so few hoods that are really good – but it does show there is space for further improvement.
The Temperance is more than just a jacket with a great hood. It’s also made of Gore-Tex Pro Shell, among the most waterproof and breathable fabrics out there. Better still, it’s the lightest Gore-Tex Pro Shell jacket made by Berghaus, with my size L tipping the scales at just 468g.
The jacket has good practical features too, with two large chest pockets that swallow maps – and these are mesh-lined to add ventilation and reduce weight. I’d prefer these pockets to be sealed, though, rather than mesh, because a jacket with such a good hood is destined for use in horrible wet weather, so why not reduce the chance of water coming in via the pockets? The Temperance is quite short, too, so not all walkers will like it; but most mountaineers will prefer the shorter design – and perhaps that is where it is best suited.
I’m not sure this is the best jacket out there for mountain walkers, but the hood makes it among the best and it definitely demands a closer look if you are in the market for a lightweight waterproof. One thing is for sure: the Raptor hood helps set this jacket apart.
Gore-Tex Pro Shell
Fabric waterproofness extremely waterproof
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s Temperance); 8-18 (women’s Gyalgen)
Weight 468g (size L)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. (0191) 516 5600; www.berghaus.com
Great hood, great weight, great fabric. But the hood peak is not perfect, and the pockets are mesh-lined so not totally waterproof. Overall, a very good jacket for the weight and as long as you are not a perfectionist it is good for climbers, mountaineers and hill-walkers.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008