I’ve owned a North face 3 in 1 jacket for a number of years but I can no longer get the thing to remain waterproof (I’ve tried several types of waterproofing) and so it was recently time to buy a new one and Go Outdoors had a sale on recently so I quickly headed there (I love Go Outdoors, the naturalist in me loves searching all the outdoor gear and the kid in me loves the camping stuff), after searching through a few coats I spotted a Berghaus AQ2 green jacket for a real bargain price (I guess it was the end of the line) and so I bought it without hesitation, a few weeks and a huge amount of rain later and here is my review of the Berghaus AQ2 Waterproof Jacket.
Berghaus AQ2 Waterproof Jacket
A quick description of the jacket (I’m not sure if it is still available sorry), it is a dark green (with Lime green trim, well almost lime green), with an integrated hood two zipped outer pockets and a thin inner lining. The sleeves have a Velcro tightening method and there is a draw string at the bottom to tighten that if needed. What it isn’t is an over jacket of a three in one coat as there are no fasteners to attach an inner jacket. It is also a short jacket not a long coat. Description over and on with the review.
The jacket is incredibly light weight (I’m not sure of the exact weight sorry), it weighs next to nothing and really doesn’t slow you down (my old jacket was quite meaty in that respect). The mesh inner lining stops cold outer jacket from touching the skin so it feels warm to put on when wearing just a T-Shirt, so it makes this element an ideal jacket for spring/autumn when you may need rain protection but won’t need a thick coat.
So far (and I have worn this coat in some really heavy rain) the coat has stood up to all that could be thrown at it. well when I say stood up I mean the parts of the coat that sometimes let in wet haven’t (my shoulders remained dry etc.). In fact more than that the water literally runs off the coat, so there is no soaking in effect (this is most likely from the newness but it is nice to have).
Warmth and windproof
The jacket is really good at blocking out the wind, a good job as the UK seems to have just got really windy this week, yet I would not call it warm, in the colder months I will have to put on a warm under layer (probably a hoody) but then to me that is often a good thing, I’m a sweater! I get hot, wearing thick coats gets me really hot, so having this as a thin but water and wind proof top layer means I can control me body temperature better.
Sadly there are three downsides, two of which I should have checked before buying the third may be me, so read on. Firstly I am not enamoured with the hood of this coat, it doesn’t seem to have enough depth to me, it just covers my head, there is no extra for a peak etc, so the slightest wind and the hood stops protecting from the rain. Secondly there is no inside pocket, while this may not be an issue for some, I would prefer to keep my phone safe and dry in an inside pocket.
The third issue is that due to the nature of the cuffs water can all to easily run up the sleeves, elasticated sleeves would have prevented this, I’m sure this is me though and I should be wearing the cuffs tighter, but I’m not sure either way really, I guess I will have to experiment.
A Dry, lightweight jacket that is ideal for autumn/spring when you need to swap the type of gear you are wearing more often, the few issues can be avoided/negated if you put your mind to it, but the cost I got it at was a steal so I’m not going to complain.Combined with my Dunlop Wellington Boots I’m all set for bad weather.
UPDATE – October 2016
It has nearly been two years since this post and the jacket is still going strong. the seams are starting to leak a little but regular reproofing has kept me dry in most conditions even steady rain. Sweat build up has been more of an issue for me (I’m a hot one!) sometimes my sleeves are damp from condensation rather than rain.
One great thing is I now have a new Berghaus jacket the Torridon Reversible Jacket – which keeps me warm and is really lightweight (red the linked review).