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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Berghaus Men’s Kantishna Half Zip Fleece: Review

I last bought a fleece a couple of years ago and it has done sterling service. In fact, I have worn it to death. It was a TGO special from RAB that was in a bright green/ grey combination. However, the fashionista that I am demanded a new colour-way to complement my bright blue Berghaus jacket.

As well as that, my old fleece had flattened appreciably with wear and was looking a bit of a mess. It is now consigned to painting & decorating duties only.

Happily, those nice people over at Go Outdoors came to the rescue and sent me a brand spanking new fleece to review from their very large range of fleece and midlayers. I chose a mid price Berghaus fleece from their choice of fleece jackets and they supplied it to me to test, for nothing. It actually costs £46.77 from Go Outdoors so this is a bit of a bargain, to say the least!

It looks like this:

Berghaus Kantishna HZ Fleece

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

So much better than bright green, eh? So why did I choose this particular model: a Berghaus fleece?

I shall list the reasons:

  • It’s a simple design and fairly lightweight: On the scales it comes out at 322g. (GO estimate it at 338g)
  • A vertically zipped mesh lined chest pocket, which is easier to use than a horizontal zip.
  • Half zipped models are easier to wear under a rucksack hip belt.
  • The material outer finish: Anti pilling that looks knitted. See pictures below.
  • The zips have decent pulls attached.
  • It’s an ‘Active Fit’ which suits my slender frame.
  • Fairly flat seams.
  • The colour. (I know, I know….)

Chest Pocket, showing mesh lining

This picture shows the pocket’s mesh lining and the outer surface texture, that I like a lot.

The bottom hem has a small side vent, which makes it slight easier to pull on and off but perhaps this is more of a styling thing:

Bottom Hem Detail

So, Yes. I like this a lot. It should perform as well or better than my old fleece and I will be a much tidier and better looking bunny (more co-ordinated, rather than more handsome, sadly) on the TGO Challenge this year.

24 comments:

  1. That looks rather nice. I'm in the process of washing all my fleeces in Nikwax Polar Proof. It's really good stuff. Not only does it make them water resistant but it seems to make them softer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I reckon you could open a gear shop...
      That Nikwax thing sounds like a good tip. Must try that.

      Delete
  2. Must be the season for reviewing fleeces - and Berghaus at that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't mind spending the time doing the reviews - the more reviews amongst the bloggers the easier it is for folk to make a more informed choice.

      :-)

      Delete
    2. Yes that's true and it's really quite enjoyable.

      Off-topic. Today is the deadline for submitting objections to the Sallachy Wind Farm proposal (or maybe they should have been in by yesterday?). I hope we've had a good response.

      Delete
  3. Sir,
    by any chance does this garment have a pocket for my pipe and swan vesta's?
    Regards,
    Owdbum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a sneaky feeling my sartorial standards are being questioned by the more youthful amongst the congregation. I am sure one of your policeman whistle pipes would fit effortlessly within the snug confines of the breast pocket. But, Swan Vestas though. Hmmmm. I would use safety matches. These fleeces are flammable you know!

      Delete
  4. You won't get fleeced at that price. That polar wash is good stuff ideal for washing it in too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I am confused: Is Polar Wash the same as Polar Proof? Or do I need tow porducts to wash my clothes these days... Or am I getting all 'Paramo' over this? I thought I had left that baby behind!

      Delete
  5. Paromoia again........

    I have often used polar proof on fleece.
    Also Nikwax on normal craghopper trousers.
    Makes them a bit more water resistant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I seem to recall that Lord Elpus bathed in the stuff, fully clad, too. I suppose, when you get to his age the skin starts to lose it's elastic/repellent qualities.

      But speaking of repellent qualities...
      :-)

      Delete
  6. Al.
    Yes its the same. The Nikwax Polar washy stuff/proof thingy.
    You can leave Paramo out of it, or war and peace may break out again and you can definitely leave that baby behind.

    Hope its warming up a bit down your way. Are you wearing the Paramo indoors now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alan: When you say it's the same, do you mean the same system as washing & proofing Paramo - ie two products, or the same bottle of gloop to stick in the machine that we have to steam clean first and send in the Latvians to polish before even thinking of inserting a bit of clothing?
      When I say "Latvians" here, that is in no way discriminates against Latvians. I could easily have used "Irish", "Welsh", or even "Scots"...

      Delete
  7. Yes you get the same washing in instructions as any of the Nikwax products including the "wash in Tech wash first". I never use the drawer in the washing machine to dispense detergent i just put the detergent in the drum. So i never have to clean out the machine.
    All i do is do a short wash,spin cycle to remove any soiled water left within the system. I don't use tech wash unless the jacket is really dirty.
    I found the polar proof didn't waterproof the fleece. But to be honest i didn't expect it to. What i did notice was that it dried pretty quickly when wet so obviously water is repelled somewhat.
    I did find that it made the fleece a bit softer, like Robin say.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for that Alan. I think I shall happily ignore using the products on my fleeces. I cannot stand the pain and anguish of all that nonsense just to wash a fleece, that seems nice and soft already!

    I have always found that fleece dries out incredibly quickly anyway so I don't think I need to proof it, especially with all that Nikwax palava!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't 'proof' any of my fleeces either. Life's too short!

      Lynne does wash them for me though!

      Delete
    2. The "life's too short" thing was the final straw in my love affair with Paramo. After ten years of loving the stuff (apart from the occasional drenching) I just could not be fagged with all that steam cleaning the washing machine, deep washing, then washing, then proofing rigmarole every four weeks of constant use, that you would typically get on a long walk (considering another long walk, see....)

      I wanted something simple.
      Jeez!

      Delete
  9. I wouldn't bother with anything other than the occasional wash for my fleece(s). Well, strictly speaking, Missyg wouldn't! My main fleece (a Lowe Alpine model in Polartec Windbloc) I've had for years with no problems at all - and it's been through a fair bit!

    I always prefer a full length zip for versatility, but it looks OK, especially at the price. In an effort to ignore my own advice/better judgement, as/when I replace it I'm considering (only considering, mind) a softshell to address the water resistance issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love my North Face Apex Bionic Softshell. Indeed I have a used and abused post coming out shortly. But I wouldn't take it backpacking, unless in the depths of winter.

      Delete
  10. Did Paramo fix the "contamination" in the jacket you returned to them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous
      Having given it a lot of thought, I don't believe my Paramo is contaminated, as in the Dales when others got soaked in their Paramo jackets, I remained dry.

      To me this just reinforced my conclusion that Paramo, when proofed to the nines, works, but as soon as the Nikwax starts to wear off, fails spectacularly, as observed by Martin Rye with his jacket on that particular jaunt.

      So, I shall not be sending it to Paramo as I don't believe that contamination was the problem. The problem is clearly one of having to maintain the high Nikwax content in order to retain "weatherproofness".

      It's not a problem I wish to continue with; hence my switch to a membrane system instead.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, I must've accidentally submitted my comment as "anonymous". Opps.

      I'm gutted to hear of Paramo's tendancy to fail as I recently purchased several jackets and even a set of trousers! However the other thread is long enough dealing with Paramo so I'll leave the Paramo issue alone here.

      I am interested as to how you get on with a membrane system though. I own 2 gore-tex (classic?), 2 pac-lite, 2 eVent jackets (in addition to my 3 paramo jackets) and find that I overwhelm all of the membrane jackets with sweat. A serious disadvantage of running hot!

      Ben

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    3. Hi Ben
      :-)
      I never have the luxury of running cold because of the medication I take. I don't believe I have ever been "hot & steamy" even when grunting my way up a steep hill carrying a rucksack.
      We'll just have to see how I get on with the Pro-shell Gore-Tex. I have just had enough of farting about with the after-care of Paramo.

      Delete

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