Friday, 2 December 2011

Berghaus Temperance II Pro Shell Jacket: 1st Look

Having been a Paramo enthusiast for a dozen years or so, lately I have been considering changing my backpacking clothing set-up. I’ll write about my reasons for this in another post. So, when a couple of weeks ago a chap representing Berghaus was in touch asking if I would like to test some kit for them I was interested. Another good bit of news was that I could have whatever I chose for free.

I spent a few days trawling through the Berghaus website to find something that i thought would fit the bill. I was looking for a waterproof jacket that was both tough and light enough for backpacking. Recently, there has been a huge amount of PR on the new Gore-Tex Active Shell jackets, but I was concerned about it’s robustness. You have to remember that I am used to Paramo’s legendary  toughness. Rucksack straps and hip-belts soon destroy flimsy waterproofs on a long backpacking trip and I have no wish to have a jacket fail mid-walk. I wanted a jacket with few bells & whistles, as bells & whistles add weight. When it’s sunny and warm I’ll be carrying the jacket in my pack. I was looking for a good wired hood and a couple of pockets that don’t foul the hip-belt.

That’s why I chose the Temperance II Pro Shell Jacket from the waterproof jackets section of the site.

It looks like this: You can click on each of the pictures to zoom in.

BERGHAUS TEMPERANCE II PRO SHELL JACKETGore-Tex 3 layer Pro Shell is supposed to be a hard wearing material so it should fit the bill. It is advertised as weighing 470 grams in the large size and mine came out at 469 grams. The main zip is a water-resistant design from YKK with two pulls for good venting, backed up with a decent rain gutter. The wired hood is adjustable at each side and also at the back to ensure a snug fit. There are drawstrings at each side of the bottom of the jacket to make it snug in breezy conditions.

You’ll see that it has two external chest pockets with water resistant zips that are big enough for Ordnance Survey maps.


The picture above shows that different material is used on the shoulders that’s going to take the wear from the rucksack straps.

The picture below shows the pit-zips, again with double zip pulls for ease of use. I like this a lot as in the past I have had jackets with pit-zips that were swines to open and close!


I like the cuffs: Velcro with that natty rubber stud design rather than the old hook design that used to destroy your merino baselayers:


Lastly there is also an internal chest pocket on the left hand side of the jacket:


Prior to Berghaus getting in touch I had been doing quite a bit of browsing around the internet for outdoor clothing in Pro Shell suitable for backpacking and it seems that this jacket is less expensive than other brands using Pro Shell.

So: first impressions? I was worried that going back to Gore-Tex would be a noisy experience (Paramo is very quiet) but in fact this is not so, which is good. It’s a slim fit, which I like as it means that stormy winds won’t whip it about. The fabric isn’t flimsy, which I like.

I haven’t been out in the rain yet as it arrived after I had set out for the Yorkshire Dales (that would have been an excellent test for it) but with the weather forecast looking stormy I am sure it won’t be long before it will get a decent work-out.


  1. Looks well designed. Why don't more jackets have pit zips?

    My old Berghaus Paclite Smock had the best hood of any jacket I've worn. Perhaps they could make it in the new lightweight materials with pit zips.

    Enjoy your new career as gear tester! Watch out Chris Townsend.

  2. P.S. "Temperance" and "Sloman" are not normally two words that you would associate!

  3. Will be interested to read on your reasons for switching from Paramo. Weight issue? (The jacket btw) :)

  4. I've got ME's Morpheus Pro-Shell jacket (Lynne has the womens' version) which is 3 years old now and it's as good as new (as is Lynne's) Nice slim fit, not noisy and it's been used in atrocious conditions without any issues. It doesn't have pit-zips but I always found these more trouble than they were worth so rarely used them. But that, as always, is simply individual preference.

    Like you I'm a Paramo fan and tend to use it from November-April. Increasingly though, I find myself using the Morpheus in all conditions.

    I'll be interested to hear what your findings are Alan because, sooner or later and unlike Paramo, the Pro-Shell will fail!

  5. Robin: The more I look at this jacket the more I like it. It appears to be very sturdy, you can vent it just as well or better than a Paramo Velez, has plenty of usable pockets and a hood that you can make fit very closely.
    "Temperance"... I had missed that.


  6. David: Ah - I have been writing that particular post for a while now. Be patient... still working on it.

  7. Gibson:
    The Morpheus and the Temperance II seem to be quite similar. I like pit-zips that are easy to use - I have had a jacket where it was nigh-on impossible to open or close them, so they were a waste of time, effort & weight.
    I like this hood arrangement on the Temperance has captive pulls which means that they don't fly about in the wind to whip you to death!
    I'm looking forward to giving young Tilly a good work out!

  8. Alan, if Leica ask you to long-term test anything from their binocular range and you don't happen to think it's your area of interest well...outsourcing the legwork is always an option.

  9. Byeways: I have a beautiful pair of Nikon Sportstar 10x25 5's which are some 15 years old now, but quite delightful. They are in a nice black rubbery material and are as good as new.

    Should Leica come along, I shall be suggesting a new camera...
    :-) Well, you can ask....

  10. My existing binoculars are okay; better than okay if I'm being honest.

    But I'm not being honest, I'm practicing the ancient art of self deceit. And anyway they don't owe me anything...


  11. I am also interested in why you are switching from Paramo and look forward to that post, since I am interested in trying it! It is so unlike what we have here on the other side of the puddle.

  12. Hi Philip; Nice to see you here. I have been a loyal exponent of Paramo jackets (not trousers) for many years and since May of this year I have been looking at alternatives.
    There will be a post about this in a few days time.
    So - lease come back and feel free to join in the discussion that I feel sure will ensue!

  13. Paramo not forthcoming with the freebies Alan? ;-) As someone who has only been a convert for the past 6 months, I'll be interested to read your post..

  14. Hi Paul
    My current Paramo Velez Adventure is barely three years old, so still a baby and certainly doesn't need to be replaced for wear & tear reasons - it's got years left in it yet!

    I am on my third Paramo jacket - the first two were literally falling to bits before they were replaced (zips splitting, velcro falling apart and outer shell with big holes...) by the current job!

    The Berghaus jacket's arrival was serendipitous in that it was exactly what I was looking for to try as part of a new system, as an alternative to Paramo.

  15. It is a much nicer colour than your green Paramo, but not as distinctive in the hills.
    Last year I could spot you from nearly a km. :)
    Having said that they do it in a 2 tone green.
    NOW I'VE DONE IT! :)

  16. Andy: With this new system, there is a more co-ordinated approach to my wardrobe. Being slightly less "vibrant" you & Wee Willy Wilky will just have to keep up on the Chally next year...


  17. We had our dog chipped in case he got lost! LOL

  18. Be interested in your full review Alan. I need a new jacket and I'm trying to find a combination of toughness (I occasionally climb and ski in full winter conditions as well as backpack) and light weight. Just bought the missus a Rab jacket and it's astonishingly light but I'm not sure it will taike the same battering I'd give it.

  19. Andy - you will have to wait a few months until I have had the chance to take it out somewhere really crappy carrying a backpack... Otherwise it's just guesswork.

  20. Interesting first thoughts on this. I'm also interested to find out how the new generation of Gore-tex (and other, similar) fabrics stand up to punishment and how waterproof they actually are, so look forward to future news.

    Also looking forward to your Paramo discussion (as a doubter!). ;-)

  21. Jules:
    The next post deals with the Problems I have experienced with Paramo - a lovely discuuion is already under way.

  22. Hurry up and evaluate this will you.
    After the next thread, I might need a NEW Jacket before the Challenge.
    I remember how wet I was by the time we got to Gelder Shiel on the Monday (In Paramo).

  23. How does the sizing fit you Alan? After admiring my body during the Dales weekend do you think that a large would be the most suitable for my lovely frame? Could not decide between a medium or large.......

    Berghaus wanted me to have the Attrition 1 but I have just emailed back to say rather pointless as it is no longer stocked! I have asked for a Temperance as well in large.

  24. Hi James
    I'm 6ft with a 42" chest and longish arms and the Large size from Berghaus fits perfectly.

    I was sent the Attrition 1 as well: It's no longer made and is a full-on mountaineering jacket with inner cuff closures and a face mask. It's significantly heavier than the Temperance II. It also has a snow baffle thing (technical term, that!) in the neck. There's no denying it's a thing of beauty but not really suitable for backpacking.

    My Temperance II so far is doing really well - though it hasn't been used up any hills yet but I have been out in a fierce rainstorm the other day and it was great. I take it everywhere rather hoping for a deluge.

  25. Hi, i’m want to order this jacket,but on line, so i will not have opportunity to try it, i usually wear M size, and i’m 175 cm, with 70 kg.
    does the sizing fit normal, or should i go with bigger or small number that my casual M size?
    i whant to use it in general for alpine climbing, but for skiing as well.

  26. Hi Alexander

    Welcome to my blog.

    I would have thought a medium would suit you fine - but I suppose it does depend on what you wear beneath it. If you were to wear a down jacket beneath it then I would go for a large size - but if it's just a normal three layer system then a medium should be fine.

    It's a fine jacket.

  27. tnx for your quick answer Alan, i would go for M, and perhaps Review my experience with my new jacket later here on your blog, :)

  28. Good luck with it, Alexander. I look forward to hearing from you.

  29. Thanks for your review: I bought one me too.
    Size information was especially useful :)


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