Berghaus keep quietly developing and making quality kit. The Fast Climb series continues that trend.
A Lightweight, Stretchy Softshell Designed Specifically For Protection And Comfort When Climbing.
We last reviewed the Berghaus Extrem 7000 Hoody last year and we were very impressed with how the company was developing some great Alpine and climbing clothing that was as good as anything out there. Good features and quality materials were obvious and we over that a great British brand were beginning to make a real comeback (not that they ever went away really)!
That trend continues with the Berghaus Fast Climb series, I’ve been out testing the jacket and trousers for most of the summer season and have been very impressed with both of them. The Fast Climb is part of the Extrem range (in fact it is branded Extrem Light), which has been going for some time now. It’s the top end ‘hard core’ climber and mountaineer part of the Berghaus brand and the items have always been aimed at ‘proper’ climbers. Lately they have been gathering an impressive team and the Extrem range is as good as anything out there.
The Berghaus Fast Climb jacket is a climbing specific jacket that is jammed packed with good quality features and top class Schoeller fabric as well as Kevlar reinforcements in all the key areas – that is the elbows and forearms. That’s not to say that the jacket is solely for climbing in. I’ve been using it for all my mountain activities including hiking and many of my clients have commented on how great they look. I, however, am just as interested in performance; especially on the mountain. I first came across Schoeller as a fabric when I bought a pair of Mammut Basejump pants many years ago. I found the fabric super stretchy (which was annoying when I kept getting crampon points caught up in it). It was also durable and reasonably showerproof with a good quality DWR.
Thankfully the Schoeller fabric doesn’t seem to have changed at all over the years and the fabric on the Fast Climb jacket and the Fast Climb trousers performed excellently. It was very breathable being a woven fabric but the weave was tight enough to offer some wind protection against everything but a raging gale.
The Fast Climb Jacket weighed in at 480g (450g officially) and the Fast Climb Trousers at 333g (350g officially) so definitely on the light side. I have used and tested lighter softshells but generally they aren’t as robust so I feel that the extra thickness is worth the extra weight. Schoeller is used for its outstanding freedom of movement and stretchiness not it’s super light. I’ve been testing both the jacket and the trousers throughout the summer and I have found them a little too warm on those humid days. The trousers have been excellent though as I’ve been using the light grey versions which reflect a little of the sunlight from them. In fact they would be ideal Alpine glacier trousers, nice and light and they rolled up easily enough for rock climbing.
The Berghaus Fast Climb Jacket also has Kevlar patches in the high wear areas; namely the elbows and forearms on the jacket. The Fast Climb trousers have Kevlar patches on the knees as well as crampon patches which is great for Alpine climbing. I would have liked to have had some Kevlar reinforcements on the seat of the trousers as this is a high wear area where there is a liklehood of tears forming. The Kevlar, however, is superlight and adds nothing to the weight but does add to the burly nature of the jacket and trousers.
The fit of the Fast Climb jacket is nice and generous with feeling too baggy. It will go over any midlayer you have: fleece, baselayer or even a synthetic insulated jacket. I also wore it with just a t shirt on and found it fine. There was plenty of movement and I never had any problems with it rising up through the harness. The two side pockets were harness friendly and plenty big enough for maps, guidebooks, food, phones etc. They had accessible zip pulls that were glove friendly and the wrists could be adjusted using the hook and loop tabs which had some nice Extrem decals on them. In fact one of the features of the Fast Climb jacket I really liked was the ease at which you can pull the sleeves up over the elbows for rock climbing; that’s because of the super stretchy Schoeller fabric – nice.
Finally the helmet compatible hood worked well over all the helmets I wear, which is a Grivel Salamander 2.0 or Petzl Meteor 4 for work and a Petzl Sirocco for personal. The wired peak was useful and the hood did up nice and snug leaving my head very warm indeed. The hood adjusted with the single pull at the back and further adjustments can be made with the two lower toggles. In practice I never needed to use these when wearing a helmet and only needed to adjust the hood when using it for hiking. There is also a large, reflective strip on the back of the hood with a nice Extrem logo on it for night use.
The Berghaus Fact Climb jacket is great addition to the Berghaus Extrem range. It’s obviously been designed by season climbers with only what would be needed for a hardcore climbing jacket. The combination of super stretchy Schoeller and durable Kevlar is a winner and the jacket deserves to become popular. My guiding jacket of choice!
Berghaus Fast Climb Trousers Review
A tough and stretchy summer alpine climbing pant with added Kevlar knee reinforcement for all day rock protection.
As I said earlier the Berghaus Fast Climb trousers compliment the jacket very well and makes for a nice set. I tested a size Medium and my 33-34” waist fitted perfectly. There was plenty of room and the trousers had a nice slim feel to them without feeling to cloying. There is plenty of movement with the generous gusset and articulated knees.
The fully elasticated waistband has no press stud or button fastening so is super harness friendly. It can be tightened using the lightweight drawstring. The pockets have zip closures with nice Kevlar zip garages (a neat design touch) and the reverse fly is handy for that awkward toilet stop en route (although the zip tab could be bigger). Again, there is plenty of Kevlar on the knees and crampon patches.
The bottom of the legs are fully adjustable with a gusseted, zipped opening which means that you could adjust for boots and walking in and then zip up the ankle and further adjust using the 3 press studs for cinching it tight for rock climbing – although I preferred to roll them up which was super easy to do due to the thin and flexible Kelvar.
A great trouser more than suitable for all your climbing and mountaineering activities and the perfect complement to the Berghaus Fast Climb jacket.
Jackets sizes from XS to XXL and trouser sizes from XS to XXL. Colour ranges for the jacket in Black, Blue and the trousers Black and Light grey.
SRP Jacket – £160, Trousers £140.
Available from the Berghaus website and various stockists.