A jacket that is designed to be very warm while also fending off wind and water, the Haglöfs Barrier Windstopper Hoodie has a hood and chest pockets as well as the highest TOG value of those we tested. This is clearly a jacket for the worst of winter weather when snow, wind and water are your enemies.
The insulation is Thermolite, a very compressible and warm microfibre. The chest area of this jacket uses a thicker version of Thermolite that weighs 150g/m2, while the sleeves use a lighter 100g/m2 version. This insulation is sandwiched between a polyester lining and a Gore Windstopper shell that benefits from DWR treatment. This appears to be very water-resistant. The design is extremely practical for the hill as it has two large chest pockets that can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack. Also the hood has a very good volume adjuster to allow a close fit. The cuffs are made from Polartec Powerstretch to give them a comfortable, close fit that locks out draughts.
On the hill
Compared with the other jackets on test, the Haglöfs Barrier Windstopper Hoodie is the most bulky so it takes up a little more room in a rucksack. This is a drawback if you are after a jacket that you are likely to only wear occasionally. However I did enjoy wearing this all day during the December snow in the Lakes, when standing around rather than walking uphill. A down insulated equivalent would be lighter but more expensive of course. The design is extremely practical though, as the two large chest pockets can be easily accessed while wearing a rucksack and the hood provides a good close fit yet moves with the head easily. The body felt slightly shorter than I would have liked, but I’m 6ft tall, so shorter walkers may find this acceptable. It is warm, cosy and ideal for sitting around camp. I’m just not too keen on carrying it in my rucksack due to its weight and packed size. The high price tag limits its desirability further.
In the lab
The Haglöfs Barrier Windstopper Hoodie provided 3.6 TOGs of insulation, which is the highest value in the test, meaning it is the warmest here. The insulation is protected by Windstopper fabric, so it should be able to maintain this level of insulation in the UK’s inevitably damp conditions reasonably well as the material Haglöfs use is very water-resistant. The hood and sleeves are also well-insulated.
Fabric outer: Gore Windstopper; lining: plain polyester
Insulation body: Thermolite Micro 150; sleeves and hood: Thermolite Micro 100
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 644g (size men’s L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 30
Stockist details – tel. 0845 602 7343; www.haglofs.se
The Haglöfs Barrier Windstopper Hoodie was the warmest insulated jacket on test; very water-resistant outer material; hooded; excellent pocket access. But it’s not as breathable as other jackets, so not ideal if worn under waterproofs; relatively heavy and bulky so not ideal for stashing in rucksack; high price tag. In summary, it’s very warm, which makes it ideal for colder base camping but heavy, bulky and with a high price tag.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2010