We take a detailed look at the new all season lightweight fleece from the Northern Powerhaus.
The perfect lightweight fleece you can use all year round. With great moisture wicking and exceptional warmth to weight ratio it will never leave your back
It’s been a while since we last featured some Berghaus product on the CGR site, in fact it’s been so long ago that the Asgard jacket we featured isn’t on the new site at all!
That said we are very pleased to be once again featuring well made product that is fit for purpose. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Berghaus, who are a UK based company based in the NE of England, have a fantastic pedigree of innovation and still make some super clothing. The Berghaus Extrem 7000 Hoody doesn’t disappoint, it’s proved a great piece of kit which acts as a great baselayer fleece as well as a breathable outerlayer for warmer weather.
The main fabric is Polartec Power Grid, this fabric is very high wicking and is great for fast moving activities like approaches or fast and light days out where you’re not planning to stop much. When you do stop though I found the fabric dried out very quickly and I was able to put a windproof or climbing layer over top in about 5 to minutes depending upon how breezy it was.
Other, key parts of the Extrem 7000 utilise a slightly heavier weight of the Power Grid fabric, mainly the front, the sides of the waist, the shoulders and the upper back – these are the body mapped elements. Several parts are made using Polartec Power Stretch: so the top of the hood ; the forearms where the arms are most exposed and the waist which has either a waistbelt or harness on it all use Power Stretch. The beauty of using Power Stretch is that although it does a great job of wicking moisture away from the skin (Power Grid does a much better job though), the hardface finish does provide a small amount of wind resistance so on a breezy day you could easily get away with just the Extrem 7000 and a windproof vest. It is more durable in those high wear areas too.
Back to the hood, it has a nice tight fit and works well under a climbing helmet or over a peaked cap (which I often do when out hiking in breezy weather). It has an integrated Power Stretch alpine balaclava, which I have seen before in fleeces. It is easy to deploy by just pulling it over your head and popping it over your mouth. Thought has been put into the shape of balaclava as it fits neatly behind the microfleece chin guard when you zip the jacket up. The idea is a neat one and for very little weight you can give yourself a little extra protection is the weather turns gnarly on you. It also acts as a handy neckwarmer which I found very useful!
The whole jacket is treated with Polygiene, an anti-odour treatment that uses Silver Chloride. The idea behind the process is that garments treated with Polygiene need less washes and therefore that helps the environment by saving energy, water and less pollution. Sweat is actually an ordourless and sterile liquid when secreted from the body, mix it with textiles however and you have the ideal warm, damp climate for pongy bacteria! It’s becoming more popular as a treatment and all the main outdoor companies are using it.
I haven’t washed the Extrem 7000 Hoody for the three weeks I’ve been using it so far. I’ve used the top for fast moving mountain days where I have not taken it off at all, as well as climbing and for work. OK it’s not coming up as fresh as daisies but still, I’m taking it away again this week for a full week of mountain work and I haven’t washed it yet. Whether anyone will want to sit next to me at the end of the week is another story!
The fit is athletic without being overly so, do expect a neat and tidy fit with no bagginess anywhere. There are two, zipped, harness friendly pockets but no chest pocket. The pockets were reasonably OK to access with a harness on but not fully accessible. The jacket also zipped up with a YKK Vislon zipper and the zip tag was fine to use with thin gloves on. Flatlock seems and a well designed cut ensure the Extrem 7000 is comfortable to wear under a hardshell and/or climbing and hiking with a loaded pack on.
The Berghaus Extrem 7000 Hoody is finished with a few nice touches – the iconic Berghaus logo is printed with a reflective border – again no embroidery to chafe you. All the high stress areas such as pocket ends, seem ends are bar tacked giving the Extrem 7000 Hoody a premium feel to it.
So the Berghaus Extrem 7000 Hoody is a great lightweight midlayer fleece, it should give even the most gnarly climber confidence that Berghaus are still in the game as far as high performance sportswear is concerned the mixture of Polartec Power Grid, Power Stretch and the Polygiene treatment is a winner. It wicks away moisture superfast and dries out quicker than a tear in the desert. It’s suitable for all fast moving mountain sports and is versatile enough to worn next to the skin or as I did with a very thin baselayer.
The Berghaus Extrem 7000 Hoody comes in sizes XS-XL and 4 colours and a Women’s version in sizes 8-16 and 3 colours.
Dave Sarkar has tested and reviewed climbing, mountaineering and outdoor equipment for over 10 years. He works as a qualified MIA both in the UK and Internationally: working full time as a mountaineering instructor and expedition leader for his company Wild Spaces. When he isn’t working in the mountains he’s playing in the mountains and enjoys all aspects climbing and mountain sports whether bouldering at his local crag or ice climbing; as long as he’s going upwards he’s happy!