Ultralight insulation for long distance walking
I’ve praised this ultralight insulated jacket before but until this year’s TGO Challenge I’d never used it on more than an overnight trip nor in such varying weather conditions. Now that I’ve done so I’m even more impressed with it. I usually take a lightweight fleece on long distance walks but even the lightest fleece weighs the same as the Berghaus Hypertherm Hoody whilst being nowhere near as warm and much bulkier to pack.
Lightweight and warm
At 224 grams it’s hard to believe just how warm the Hypertherm Hoody is – about the same as a thick heavyweight fleece I’d say. It consists of a thin layer of Berghaus’s Hydroloft polyester insulation sandwiched between two layers of thin nylon. One side is meant to be more windproof and the other more breathable but I found there wasn’t any real difference.
The only concerns I had were that the jacket might be too warm if I needed a layer between my base layer and shell and that it might not be breathable enough when walking strenuously. I needn’t have worried, it was fine on both counts. I wore the jacket in camp every morning and every evening and often while walking, sometimes for many hours, sometimes for short periods while I warmed up. I carried an ultralight down jacket as well for sub-zero temperatures (always possible in May) but I didn’t really need this and only wore it twice when it was actually frosty.
The jacket is wind-resistant – I wouldn’t describe it as fully windproof – which I think aids the breathability. In really strong cold winds I needed my windproof jacket on top. In cold wind-driven rain I wore my waterproof on top. The jacket worked fine as a mid-layer in both cases and condensation was never a problem. I loved the hood as I could adjust my temperature quickly just by flipping it on and off. Comfort was excellent as all the fabrics are very soft.
The Hypertherm Hoody has become a favourite insulating layer and I’m still astonished at the low weight. This jacket really deserves the label ultralight.