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Berghaus VapourLight Hyper Jacket Review

The Beghaus Hyper Jackets is a waterproof breathable shell that just weighs just 3.3 ounces
The Berghaus Hyper Jackets is a waterproof breathable shell that just weighs just 3.3 ounces

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.

Elastic cuffs at the wrist to minimize weight
Elastic cuffs at the wrist to minimize weight

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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6 comments

  1. That’s really super light. But I’m a little surprised that you like this jacket based on your disdain for waterproof breathable fabrics.

    • I developed a grudging respect for the breathability of this jacket while I was testing it, but I think I did point out its numerous limitations. I also wouldn’t recommend using this jacket in cool or colder weather, as I mentioned above, unless you beef up your mid layer.

      I’m still not completely convinced that this jacket or any of the latest minimal rain jackets is worth $150 bucks when you can buy a very lightweight silynylon raincoat which needs no DWR reproofing for one half to one third of that amount.

  2. Thanks for this review! I’ve been eyeing this for my SUL kit. I wasn’t expecting it to be super breathable nor rain/cold proof given its weight, but hoping for a compromise that might do ok in summer thunderstorms in the high sierras. So, it sound like it might fit that role.

  3. Is it windproof as well?

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