The Berghaus Hyper Jacket is a minimalist rain jacket that can be used by hikers and runners. Weighing just 3.3 ounces in a men’s XL (94 grams), it is a waterproof breathable jacket with a surprisingly good DWR coating that sheds rain well and a breathable shell fabric that visibly works.
The Hyper Jacket is very minimal with no extra features at all. There are no pockets, the hood isn’t adjustable, it doesn’t have a wire brim, there’s no headphone port, or zipper garages. It’s just a seam-taped jacket with stretch cuffs at the wrists, a stretch opening around the face, a zipper guard and a some reflective decals. That’s it.
By all appearances the Hyper Jacket looks like a wind shirt with a full zip and you can certainly use it for that. But it’s also waterproof, which is a nice added feature if you hike in wet and windy places. However, I’d caution you to wear the Hyper Jacket in warmer weather conditions because the fabric provides very little heat retention and the fit is snug enough that heat is readily transferred through the coat and out into colder air.
Rain performance is very good provided that you layer under the jacket with a fleece pullover to stay warm, particularly if you’re hiking and not running full tilt. The DWR layer also holds up quite well: I have yet to reproof the jacket and have been wearing it for several months.
Breathability is very good in dry conditions when exercising and you can see and feel dampness evaporating on the surface of the fabric in the back and under the arms. Internal condensation does form when it rains, but all waterproof breathable jackets suffer from this, although jackets with mechanical venting like pit-zips tend to hold it off a little longer.
The Berghaus VapourLight Hyper Jacket will be available in February 2016 with an MSRP of $155. Can’t wait? The BerghausVapourLight Hyper Smock, the half-zip version of this jacket, is currently available for $150.
Disclosure: Berghaus provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a Hyper Jacket for this review.
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