The Berghaus name is famed for its quality and performance and so they were an obvious brand for a mid-layer group test. I know several outdoor workers who swear by Berghaus fleeces and they are all they will buy. Berghaus are never a brand to shy away from their competitors so they obligingly sent us one of their new Scorch fleeces for us to put through it’s paces. The Scorch fleece comes in half and full zip versions along with a vest for women and features Berghaus’s Polartec Thermal Pro fabric which Berghaus claim are designed for lightweight and insulation in freezing conditions.
- Very Good Warmth To Weight Ratio
- Deep Neck Zip
- Elasticated Cuffs
- Small Packing Size
Founded in 1966 by two climbers who struggled to find suitable clothing for their activities, Berghaus is now an international brand. At the more premium end of the market their products are well respected by those in the know. Berghaus were also the first company to bring us Gore Tex clothing.
Berghaus have a great reputation in the outdoor market and this fleece is no exception to that rule. From the moment you pull it on you are instantly warmed so much so that when I first tried it on in doors I had it off again within minutes as I was starting to sweat! This is what I would describe as a traditional “fluffy” fleece, you really do get that “snuggly” feeling as soon as you pick it up.
Outdoors we tried this fleece under several outer layers on many hikes at different temperatures and it is indeed warm and very comfortable. It goes great under an outer layer with no rucking or over heating thanks Berghaus’s own breathable open weave fabric. The long neck zip and elasticated cuffs are useful features which allow you to never struggle to take it on or off and also means you can easily regulate your temperature during use.
The styling of this fleece is well worth a special mention as this is something that is often lacking in outdoor clothing, this fleece looks great. It has classy detailing and looks superb in “carbon”, this meant it was often first choice regardless of the destination. I appreciate this can sound a little shallow when your talking about performance clothing but if an item of clothing doesn’t look good your less likely to wear it or even pack it. Although it may sound a little cliche this fleece doesn’t look out of place on a city break or on the trail.
There is however one compromise with this fleece which was first noticed walking up a very very windy pier to catch a ferry. The breathability that makes this top so good when using it as a mid-layer is it’s downfall when used without a shell. The wind blows straight through the fabric and where you don’t have an under layer your arms can feel positively chilly. This is easily solved by wearing a long sleeve t-shirt underneath but this does mean you have to plan your wardrobe and could mean you find yourself packing extra bottom layers unnecessarily.
The Good and the Bad of Scorch Fleece
- 3 Pockets
- Suffers in the wind
- Bulkier than some others on test
In summary this is a great looking fleece that has a quality feel to it. Berghaus definitely know their market and understand that for a garment to be truly appreciated it must be both stylish and practical.
The draw back to the scorch fleece is one made more by design than fault. The compromise between breath-ability and wind protection has for me gone a little to far towards breathable performance for my taste, the open weave design allows just that bit too much air to flow through. If your big on long sleeve t-shirts you won’t even notice but for me I always wear short sleeve. This same open weave design is what makes this item perform so well as a mid layer as the trapped air warms with your body heat and then insulates you.
In short, this fleece is designed more for the colder climate than as an independent top layer. That said it is well put together, great to look at and always seems to be picked up first.
For details of where to buy please visit Berghaus