Berghaus Paclite Jacket
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The Berghaus Paclite Jacket is ideal for the British climate being both waterproof, breathable and light. It packs down small and has a basic hood (not wired).
Official Berghaus Paclite Jacket specification from Berghaus
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Berghaus Paclite Jacket Reviews
Reviewed by Richard Slater (UK) on 2005-09-26:
General comments: A fully wired hood would have been nice, and I couldn't afford the £40 extra for the Pro version! Otherwise, performance is very impressive,
Cons: my only qualm is that I often get damp wrists and don't understand why. It's not because the water runs down the sleeve so I'm not sure of the cause.
Reviewed by Paul Affleck (UK) on 2005-09-26:
General comments: One expensive jacket - but you get what you pay for. Extremely portable, amazingly light, highly breathable, and very effective at dealing with wind and rain.
Reviewed by Joel Stockhill (UK) on 2005-09-26:
General comments: The Berghaus Paclite Jacket is the most waterproof jacket I have ever owned and its also the thinnest and lightest. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for. i wear mine all the time and its spot on and it looks good, bung a fleece underneath and i'm out in it in all weathers. A good piece of kit.
Reviewed by Mark Lee (UK) on 2005-09-26:
General comments: Far superior to the 1st generation paclite. Ideal for almost anything. Definitely the best and most versatile piece of outdoor kit I have ever bought. A must have
Reviewed by Jason Ahl (UK) on 2005-09-26:
General comments: This Jacket is ace, its just the job for those of us that run hot! breathability if second to none and fit perfect. you will never leave home without it coz it takes up no space at all. well worth every penny. Tried and tested on the Ridgeway and down the pub!
Reviewed by Ben Johnson (Ben) on 2006-01-05:
General comments: Despite a deluge of similarly specified Paclite jackets on the market it would seem as if Berghaus' close relationship with Gore has paid of with this jacket. The Berghaus Paclite has stormed ahead of the competition as the lightweight waterproof for all occasions. Believe it or not the current Paclite material was Gore's third attempt at making a highly breathable lightweight fabric. To keep the weight down this jacket has been stripped down, so you wont find any extraneous features here. No wired hood (although it is stiffened), only two hand pockets, and they're mesh lined! But think about it, when you're tiny day sack is fit to burst with Kendal mint cake the you can't put a price on a jacket that will fit in the palm of your hand. Despite being a fitted cut the Paclite does not feel restrictive when on and it extremely comfortable. Being short in the body you might want to invest in a pair of matching Paclite Pants (a clever sales strategy|!) if you're expecting to be out in extreme wet weather. Although most people will tell you XCR are the most breathable brand of Gore-Tex, it is in fact Paclite that holds this prestigious crown. However, unlike XCR, Paclite does not have the Silver/Grey scrim that is laminated to the inside and XCR garment. The upshot of this is that condensation can bead up on the shiny inside surface of a Paclite garment, hence the perceived breathabiltiy of Paclite is reduced. Hey nothing's perfect.
Pros: Stuff it in your bag; you'll never know it's there until you need it
Cons: Paclite gathers condensation easily. Short cut doesn't suit everyone.
Reviewed by Jamie Bassnett (Manchester) on 2006-01-22:
General comments: I use this Berghaus Paclite jacket as part of my layering system in which it is a vital item as my outer waterproof shell. I have found it to be 100% waterproof in all conditions including driving sleet and torrential rain. I wouldn't say it is completely breathable as I have known others to suffer, but from my own experience it has been very breathable. It packs down tiny and into the provided stuff sack. The hood is only simple but when I have required its use it has been adequate. Its so small and light that I have honestly never gone on a walk without it.
Pros: Lightweight, Very Waterproof, Simple
Cons: Zip not the best, Hood a bit too simple and Little expensive.
Reviewed by Geoff Horky (Cumbria) on 2006-02-18:
General comments: The Berghaus Paclite Jacket is a really good product to be recommended to everyone for any location.
Pros: A really great product - lightweight, waterproof, windproof. I've had mine since the product first came out and have put it through many hundeds of miles in the Cumbrian fells and Scottish mountains. It's the only product I've found that actually does what it says on the label! It even looks good! It's the BEST waterproof garment I've used. I bought mine for £160, which I thought was excessive, but you can now buy them for £99 at most outlets in Keswick. However, knowing what I now know about it's performance, I think £160 was great value for money.
Cons: There are no bad points I can think of. My jacket has become a litle crimpled around the lower sleeve/cuff area but I put this down to general wear and tear - I've used it just about every day, in the hills and around town.
Reviewed by J.T (Glasgow) on 2006-03-03:
General comments: The Berghaus Paclite is a great lightweight waterproof jacket that wil keep you dry and offer good condensation control. Cheap compared to many similar jackets out there
Pros: I needed a lightweight waterproof jacket that I could use for cycling but was not a cycle specific jacket, as I would use it for walking as well. I bought this jacket to accompany me on a cycle tour of the continent and it had to be a do it all jacket that was very lightweight. I have a more full on winter jacket for walking at home but this needed to have great moisture control and be quite roomy. The fit of the jacket is good and keeps my back dry when I cycle, I opted for this model as the hood folds away and isnít wired, and this is because I never use a hood cycling. The two chest pockets are mesh lined so they offer good ventilation options. The fabric works well and I only really go sweaty when lugging the bike up hill through the Alps during a very misty patch. The style worked well for me as I could wear it out off the bike. Berghaus isnít the most stylish and revered of makes in the outdoor worlds but this worked for me just fine
Cons: The hood may put some people off and the fabric is not hardwearing at all, greta jacket to have in your pack for hiking though.
Reviewed by Robert Walker (Thirsk) on 2006-03-13:
General comments: I have had this water proof jacket for approximately five years now and have used it in a number of differing ways in Greenland, the French Alps, Russia, Scotland and just simply around town. The water proof jacket has performed impeccably in all situations. The paclite jacket is extremely light weight and rolls up into a tiny stuff sack meaning the jacket can be crammed into the smallest of sections in your bag when not needed. This jacket can be used as part of a layering system in cold weather or on its own in warm wet weather giving a great deal of flexibility to this jacket. The water proof jacket is fully sealed and I have never had any problems with water getting through. The jacket is fully breathable ensuring that when the jacket is wet it will dry extremely quickly. The jacket is extremely comfortable despite being fitted and I have no problems wearing this casually around town. The hood is relatively basic compared to other more rigid hoods available however this is not a particular issue for my needs and Iíve always found it works perfectly well. The water proof jacket is a reasonable price for the performance you get therefore I would defiantly recommend this jacket to anyone wanting a jacket with plenty of flexibility.
Pros: Flexibility, performance
Reviewed by Martyn (Somerset) on 2006-04-26:
General comments: I bought this jacket as I was going to travel the world and so needed something small, light weight but would be good up hills and in monsoons etc. And despite the price it was amazing. Perfect for treking around New Zealand keeping you safe from wind and rain. Even took it ice climbing in the rain and was brilliant when combined with fleece etc. Now I'm back i use it all the time cycling and walking. There is a problem with condensation build up, once or twice it felt as if i shouldn't have bothered putting it on, i was just as wet. When cycling i have found that if you open the pockets it allows just enough air flow to keep you warm but with no condensation. A great jacket for travel, emergancies and for any activity you need a coat.
Pros: so small, light weight, waterproof, useable and looks great.
Cons: Sometimes condensation builds up, it can be quite noisy in that it crinkles loudly, think packet of crisps, this is quite annoying when you have the hood up. it's so thin and light weight it does feel like it could tear easily (it hasn't) but you do feel a little nervous doing anything that might damage it, because it does cost alot.
Reviewed by Carl Spiers (Devon, UK) on 2006-07-09:
General comments: This is the classic Paclite jacket, well it's perceived as the classic paclite jacket anyway (it was the original Paclite jacket, but has gone through quite a few changes over the years).
Pros: I bought this jacket after trying out alternatives from Mountain Equipment & North Face. In the end I settled with the Berghaus version. This jacket has a fairly slim cut, but not so that it restricts movement during an activity. The Paclite fabric is very light, and quite soft too. It doesn't seem to be as noisy as earlier Paclite jackets. This jacket is very thin, but so far it hasn't snagged or ripped.
The Berghaus Paclite has better styling than it's competitors, but not as many functions (waterproof zips/wired hood etc). This jacket is fairly simple and can easily be worn on the High Street or mountain biking on Dartmoor (no reflective piping for night time use though)
Cons: For me there is one big draw back to this jacket, and that's the neck/hood. While the fit of the jacket is fine for my size, the neck with the hood rolled down is fairly tight. This can give me neck ache, especially if I have another layer with a collar on underneath. The other downside is the hood itself. The hood is more like ones seen on some North Face jackets, and isn't built in to the front of the jacket. This means in strong winds it's possible for the hood to get blown back off your head. A bit disappointing really, I don't know why they couldn't use a conventional hood like they do on their other jackets.
Reviewed by Iwan Roberts (London) on 2007-01-07:
General comments: I bought the Berghaus Paclite jacket with a view to an expedition to brazil later this year, to the amazon. Having spent several days training in the winter weather of the peak district in the cold wet and windy, this jacket fared very well for me. For gore-tex paclite, it lives up to expectations, as you van fold it up into one of its pockets and it takes up almost no room in your rucksack when you're not using it. A feature I really liked that I hadnt found before was a rim to the hood, which keep rain from dripping from the hood into your collar. The jacket was very comfortable, although some people might like a longer cut, as it only goes to your waist, meaning you will have to buy waterproof trousers to protect the lower regions of your body effectively. It is quite baggy on me, but kept all the water out after tightening up the hems on the sleeves. Roomy pockets will keep all your trek goodies close to hand, altough they are a bit of a pain to get into, as the zips are covered annoyingly by a large seam overhang.
Pros: Good price for a fore-tex jacket from berghaus, I found mine for £90. Very waterproof even in the winter weather of the peak district, impressive for a lightweight waterproof.
Cons: Condensation occurs quite quickly-at first i thought it was leaking, but then realisted what was happening. Not recommended for alpine etc mountain because I'm not sure whether it would stand up to an apline storm all that well.
Reviewed by Anthony (Bristol) on 2007-02-04:
General comments: A good jacket and very light, very impressed by the Paclite Gortex, a great improvement on the traditional stuff. Lightweight but no problems with breathability, I spent a very wet week doing the West Highland Way and it served me very well. I managed to get this for under a hundred quid about a year ago up in Hathersage in the Peak District and have had no issues with it. Having said that I did have to take it back twice, firstly because a very small hole in the material and secondly because one of the bits of bungee (on the hood) came away. The jacket is good overall and packs down very small making it no trouble. It could do with being a bit longer at the back as it tends to rise up a bit. My old Gortex jacket which was a ten year old Berghaus one doesnít live up to it in performance and weighs about three times as much.
Pros: Good quality (after a few initial niggles), good and breathable and very lightweight. The stuff sack that came with mine is very small (about 15cm long).
Cons: A few quality issues but this was a year ago so I would hope berghaus will have resolved these by now. Could be slightly longer at the back, agree with some of the other comments about the hood, it could do with being stiffened.
Reviewed by Owen Edwards (Edinburgh) on 2007-10-09:
General comments: I've just got the new Berghaus Paclite Jacket (the winter 2007 one) which is apparently a different cut to the previous version.
So far I've been very happy with the jackets. It's super light, packs down great into the supplied drawstring bag and it has been very waterproof so far, and I've been out in some pretty heavy rain!
I bought the jacket in a nice undertsated black with silver logo on the arm and chest. The cut is very good with minimal extra material to flap around in the wind but enough to give you a full range of movement which is useful when scrambling or just tackling a tricky path or using walking poles.
The hood is a rollaway type which is fine for everyday use but if I was buying a serious jacket for winter walking I would want a more substantial hood. That said, it does offer good protection and visibility and because it is so lightweight putting a helmet over it works quite well with minimum discomfort.
The pocket setup is good - high enough to be above a rucsac strap and deep enough to take an OS map - finally Berghaus have managed thi simple feat!
Overall a good, lightweight jacket at home on the hill but smart enough for street use.
Good Pocket Setup
Cons: Non wired hood
Hard to find the hanging up string - it's hidden under the hood flap
Reviewed by M Lewis (UK) on 2009-04-13:
General comments: Very light and packable. Good for summer use. Would not use so much in winter as I have a North Face jacket for that
Pros: Light and packable
Cons: What do you expect for a low cast jacket.
Reviewed by The Summiteer (Edinburgh) on 2010-03-08:
General comments: I had high expectations of this jacket, coming from such a well known name. What a let down! From the first occasion I wore this in a rain shower, it leaked at the shoulders, pockets & cuffs.
I returned this to Berghaus, who said there was nothing wrong with it, but would re-proof it for me anyway. I never received the jacket back, as it was lost in the post. I eventually received a new jacket - once again this leaked, so i sold it at a third of the price it was valued at. Never, ever again!
Cons: Leaks from day one.
Reviewed by wildrover (Scotland) on 2010-07-27:
General comments: Must admit I didn't have high expectations of the Pac Lite when I got it for a trip to Peru. Glad to say it has performed extremely for that trip & general usage in the hills. It's as waterproof as any GTX jacket that I've owned & more breathable than most. It's a short fitting jacket so waterproof strides are pretty much a must in bad weather. In fact I'm considering getting the Pac Lite bottoms. The hood is particularly large - I think you could easily wear a climbing lid under it. It's a great light weight & totally weatherproof shell that weighs almost nothing & takes up hardly any room in the bergen - that does for me.
Pros: Does what it says on the tin & mine is totally weatherproof.
Cons: I wouldn't mind a bit more on the length.
Reviewed by rory whelan (bedfordshire) on 2011-03-28:
General comments: a fantastically lightwieght brilliantly waterproof jacket
Pros: light, easy fold and storage, the real meaning of waterproof