As part of of The Great Outdoors magazine’s November 2020 review of women’s waterproof jackets, Judy Armstrong reviews the Berghaus Parvati Shell Jacket

First impression of the Berghaus Parvati Shell Jacket is of fabric stiffness, which makes it durable but also slightly noisy to wear. Lightweight 3L Gore-Tex is blocked with a heavier version on the sleeves, shoulders, hood/collar and sides (darker colour in the picture). The cut is quite straight, without much chest room; it almost verges on the shape of a men’s jacket. Length is excellent: the dropped tail covers my backside and the front descends to high thigh (hem has shockcord adjustment at hips).

The front zip is one-way, which is surprising given its length; I’d prefer a two-way, especially if wearing a harness. That zip is simple coil rather than laminated, and it’s protected with a rear stormflap and half-width front flaps that meet in the centre. If it’s not zipped to the top, the deep collar combined with stiff fabric results in the jacket edges sticking up as far as my ears, like wings. Fully zipped and with the hood up, comfort is good, with excellent peripheral vision when the large hood is pulled close. There’s only one point of adjustment – at the back – so fiddling is needed to make it watertight.

Two angled side pockets clear a rucksack hipbelt or harness; placement is just about perfect. There are no internal pockets. The Parvati ticks the box for bad-weather protection, but women with generous busts will need to look elsewhere. The price tag is attractive and the size range – 8-20 – is inclusive.

berghaus.com

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Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: pockets, length, price

Cons: one-way zip, minimal bust allowance

  • Weight: 534g (12)
  • Fabric: 3L Gore-Tex (165g/m2), 3L Gore-Tex (188g/m2)
  • Sizes: 8-20 (men XS-XXXL Athunder Jacket)
  • Performance stats: 28,000 / 15,000
  • Back length: 72cm
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