Which is the better overall purchase, if they were the same price: The Berghaus Mera Peak or the Marmot Spire Jacket?
We're going walking in and around Fort William in early November - and so I'm looking to buy a jacket that I could wear there and as a general wintery rain wear too at home and possible whilst doing an activity. (running/cycling)
Hope you can help and love the site!
Answer: Hi there,
The name is Gear, Richard 'Jacket Dilemma' Gear and trust me, life has
few conundrums worse than choosing a waterproof jacket - my tongue's
firmly in my cheek there, just in case you were wondering. Anyway, I
wouldn't limit your choice to just those two jackets, but here are a
few observations that may help you decide.
The most obvious difference
between the two is that the Spire
uses a three layer fabric, Gore-Tex Performance Shell, whereas the Mera
Peak uses two-ply fabric. That means the Spire
is just one thickness of fabric whereas the Berghaus jacket has a
separate drop liner, which means that the Mera Peak is both slightly
heavier but also likely to be less breathable. For proper outdoor use
I'd always go for a three-ply fabric. If you're set on Berghaus, there
are plenty of effective three-ply jackets in their range, that would
make more sense than the Mera Peak, in fact the Yala Peak is pretty
much the same jacket but in three-ply Pro Shell.
I'd also give the Spire the edge on other counts. I don't really like
the Mera Peak's slightly complicated stud-fastened fold-down hood
system, and the lower hand-warmer pockets will foul a pack belt. In
contrast, the Spire's pockets are set slightly higher to clear a belt
or harness, and it has a generally simple, tough, no-nonsense feel with
a good protective hood and tough fabric.
In addition, the Spire comes with a detachable snow skirt, which would
work well if you decide to use the jacket for skiing.
I wouldn't actually use either of these jackets for running or cycling,
they're too long, too heavy, arguably not breathable enough for
high-tempo activities and have hoods that you don't really need.
Of the two jackets you mention, I'd go for the Spire, but there are
lots of other options out there and, like I said, the Yalu Peak is a
better comparision, albeit at a higher price.