Ciarán and Clodagh review two lightweight jackets from Berghaus
We all buy our clothes with vastly different motivations. When I go to buy clothes I am really quite functional. I like to have “go-to” pieces that I can just pick up and throw on. They should look and fit great and go with almost anything without much thought. But my fellow New Products Reviewed writer, Clodagh, has a totally different approach! More on that below 🙂
One of the most-used pieces in my wardrobe is a lightweight jacket. It can work well all year round. You can layer up during the colder months, yet just throw it over a t-shirt and go for an evening walk in the summer. Clodagh would be a lot more fashion conscious so I tried to convince her to get functional for once. While I was checking out the Berghaus Seral Insulated Jacket, she tried the Katari II Waterproof Jacket. Let’s see how we got on.
Pros/Cons for both
+ Easily packable
+ Both weigh under 500g so they give superb warmth:weight ratio
+ Amazingly soft outer material on the Seral gives it a super premium feel
+ Nice colour options for the men’s jacket
+ Both have a beautiful tailored fit
– Katari II made a rubbing noise at times when walking
– Not enough colour options for women’s jacket
I will firstly look at the Seral Insulated Jacket which has a synthetic Polyball insulation. Going synthetic keeps the costs WAY down. My Rapha Explore Down Jacket is very pricey at £220/€260, but I absolutely love it. The synthetic insulation in the Berghaus means it is very affordable, whilst also giving great warmth benefits. The great thing about down is that it is super warm but packs incredibly small. You don’t get the same small pack size from the Seral, but the warmth is very similar.
Their “Pertex Quantum” fabric is so soft to touch and is the major talking point for me. I just love the feeling of it when I pick it up and it’s amazing on your skin. Even the two nicely concealed pockets are soft. It’s this material that keeps me picking up this jacket when going on a hike or any kind of walk.
This material is water repellent so it works well for small showers but I definitely wouldn’t use it in stormy weather. The Seral has some great colour schemes. It comes in the traditional navy and black. Which you would expect. It also has a blue or turquoise option that are both two-tone which gives a really nice effect. My other two jackets like this both have hoods, whereas this doesn’t, so this actually makes a nice change.
I love the fit. It’s slim cut and moves away from the kind of bulky ill-fitting hiking gear of the past. I am 181cm/6ft and 70kg and I got a size small which was a perfect fit. It has a 9.5/10 rating on their site which doesn’t surprise me.
Let’s have a look at what Clodagh thought of the Katari II Waterproof Jacket:
“If I’m completely honest, a rain jacket isn’t something I would usually invest in. I’m much more inclined to choose something fashionable that I don’t need – like another handbag to add to my collection – over something practical! Which is a little crazy, considering the average number of ‘wet days’ (days with more than 1mm of rain) in Ireland ranges from about 151 days a year along the east and southeast coasts, to about 225 days a year in parts of the west!
However, when a rain jacket combines both the fashionable and practicality aspects, then it might just catch my attention. And the Women’s Katari II Waterproof Jacket in Navy did just that!
What I like about this jacket is the fact that it is a longer length and a fitted shape, making it appear more like a stylish trench coat, instead of a regular old rain jacket. So as well as wearing the jacket with fitness leggings while out for a walk, you could easily pop it over a pair of jeans while out-and-about and it looks just as good.
It says on the Berghaus site that ‘the two-layer Hyrdoshell Elite waterproof fabric will protect you on days out on the hillside, to journeys out on the town’. I have worn the jacket a few times now while out walking over the last few weeks. And surprisingly, I haven’t got caught in a heavy rainstorm, so I can’t confirm if it does protect me from dense rainfall. But I can confirm that the fabric has protected me from unexpected drizzles. Not to mention, it kept me shielded in breezy weather, so I was very impressed in that regard.
I got the jacket in a size 8 and it’s a comfy fit. The hood and cuffs are adjustable, and I had plenty of movement in my arms. The material is also lightweight and breathable enough that you can wear while jogging without worrying that the jacket will suffocate you.
I did have one pet peeve, however. That is the sound the jacket made as I was walking. It’s such a minor (and probably random) thing, but I did notice the material kept making a loud rustling noise, as my moving arms brushed off it. But stick in a pair of headphones and it’s fine! Aside from this, I did love the jacket and as well as wearing it to town and while out walking, I can also imagine myself wearing it to sports matches when they start up again! The Women’s Katari II Waterproof Jacket is €170/£140 on berghaus.com.”
So there you have it. Two happy customers and it seems even Clodagh was converted.
Clodagh gives the Katari II Waterproof Jacket FOUR out of Five Stars
And Ciarán would give the Seral Lightweight Jacket FIVE out of Five Stars.
(Summer 2020 Currently reduced by 30% down to £80/€98. Limited to only S and XS for now.)