Waterproof jackets don’t need to break the bank. Gear editor Chris Townsend assess the best budget waterproofs
Not much really justifies the over-used term ‘ultralight’. This Berghaus top does. It weighs far less than almost any other clothing yet it is waterproof. The first version last year was astonishingly light. This one is even lighter. It’s made from a very thin translucent nylon and has minimal features, as you’d expect. Hood, cuffs and hem are all elasticated and there’s a long neck zip with a small zipped pocket below it. The lack of features isn’t a drawback. This smock is all about weight. It’s not designed to be worn regularly let alone for days on end but to be carried in case of need. I’ve found it quite comfortable and more breathable than expected, though it doesn’t compare with top end (and much heavier and more expensive) fabrics. The hood fits closely and so doesn’t blow off in the wind.
Although aimed at trail runners and adventure racers I think it would be a superb choice for walkers for days out in sunny weather when a waterproof probably won’t be needed and, in particular, for backpacking trips in places where rain is very unlikely but going without a waterproof would be unwise. Deserts, say, or mountain ranges like the High Sierra.