First user impressions of the radical, new for 2013, Berghaus Vapour Storm running jacket
Posted: 12 July 2012
by Nikalas Cook
At the beginning of the month Jon broke cover with the pre-production sample of the new Mtn.Haus designed, Berghaus Gore-Tex Active Shell jacket with patent-applied venting features.
For all the tech features plus more images, take a look at his Just In article. Having cast his critical eye over the jacket and taken it for a soggy stroll he then chucked it at me for a more vigorous workout.
Well, for testing a waterproof, conditions couldn’t have been more, testing. For a laminate to perform when working hard in torrential downpours and humid warm air is always going to be a big ask but the Vapour Storm makes a decent fist of it.
Having attended the Gore-Tex Active Shell launch, the claims of it being the most breathable fully waterproof laminate on the market were impressive and the test data from their walking and sweating mannequin, yep, they have such a thing, seemed conclusive.
However, the Gore-Tex boffins still admit there’s a limit to breathability and, once you start pushing beyond a certain level of exertion, you’ll get soggy from the inside. For me, with the Active Shell prototype and Haglofs Active Shell Endo jacket, this typically equated to a heart rate of 130-140 bpm in 15 C temperatures. On hilly terrain this is averaging about 10 mins/mile. Not race pace but more of an all-day trog and the sort of effort when you’d reach for a waterproof in a downpour.
The Vapour Storm performs at least as well as the Endo at this pace. The fit of the Vapour Storm isn’t as tailored as the Endo but perhaps this is intentional to allow more air movement within the jacket and bring the vents into play. You do occasionally notice an influx of cooler air but any difference in sweaty sogginess is marginal.
In warm and wet conditions, you’re going to sweat heavily regardless. What is impressive and fundamental to a waterproof is, even in horizontal rain, the vents don’t appear to let any rain in.
I guess I’m still on the fence. First impressions are that it probably does breathe slightly better than a non-vented equivalent when working hard but I really need to see how it performs in cooler wet conditions to know for sure. I’ll keep you posted.