Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Berghaus Selway First Look

The nice folk from Berghaus have sent me some outdoor clothing to test in the form of the Selway jacket...and my first impressions are very good I must say.


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Since I took delivery of the parcel a fortnight ago I've barely had the top off. It's been worn down the street, to the pub, around the local trails with the dug on a daily basis (in all weathers) and all the way up and down a proper pointy hill once so far...and when I say all the way up and down I mean it. I literally put it on as we set off and I didn't take it off until back at the car and it's not often I do that!

Having (gladly) opened my eyes to the world of softshells earlier on this year I must admit I was a little wary of using one in the summer months. They seem like a winter thing to me but this one is definitely listed as a summer softshell for the "active user" and you can tell straight away when you see the fabric it's constructed of. The own brand "AF Softshell" material is light enough to not be too insulating but has a close enough weave to cut the worst from the wind. It's nice and stretchy too, coupled with Berghaus "Active Fit" meaning that its snug and non flappy but not restrictive in any way. Exactly right for real life hill use. At 455grams on our kitchen scales it's not the sort of garment I would want to carry all day in my pack but one to be worn.

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From the photo's above you'll see that the construction looks to be good quality with tidy stitching, zip garages that actually fit the zip puller and one handed draw cords that work...with one hand. The sleeves are of a sensible length and cut so that they don't pull the rest of the garment up when you reach above you when scrambling. The cuffs also stretch nicely (sorry no pic for this but trust me) so you can easily expose the good old fashioned "fore-arm radiators" to help with venting when required.

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Using the top on the hill I found my self reaching for it to ward off the breeze while tying my shoe laces in the car park. I kept it on and thought about removing it as soon as we started moving and generating heat but I found that the full length zip and ability to roll up the arms allowed me to regulate my temperature with ease on the move. I was glad of it every time I stopped to mess with the camera and while gadding about the summit yet didn't find myself reaching to pull on any extra layers. Given that I run fairly hot (read sweaty git) I can see me using this right into the colder months too. 

The DWR (Durable water repellant) finish applied to the fabric seems to be very effective, although we'll see how long this lasts before it wears off. Those droplets you see in the top pic really are from a light down pour Louise, Nellie and I got caught in down the park. Even when it inevitably does wear off, a quick treatment with some tech-wash combined with that close weave fabric should see this garment continue to shrug off most light showers before I pull the waterproof shell on over the top.

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The only faults I can find so far (and believe me I looked for 'em) are the position of those pockets and the lack of thumb-loops in the cuffs. The thumb-loops I'll forgive as that's just a personal thing that I look for in a top and this garment doesn't really need them with those nicely cut sleeves but the pockets just sit right where your rucksack straps are. It's not a deal breaker and I'll continue to use this top regularly but I'd like to see the pockets situated a little higher or even removed altogether and replaced with a napoleon style chest pocket.

I'll update this properly when it's had more time on the hills but it's the sort of of garment you want to put on and forget about and so far I feel it's done that very well.

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2 comments:

  1. Great blog post Sandy,

    The first photograph looks really good, I like the way you can see the raindrops is on the jacket. Great focus.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, it was taken using the macro setting on my point and shoot if I remember correctly...

    ReplyDelete

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