A well spec’d synthetic insulated jacket that is warm, generously sized and suitable for a variety of mountain activities.
- High quality materials and construction
- Excellent ethical credentials
- Well sized for winter activities
- Stitch through baffles
- No interior security /stow pocket
Those of you who have followed my reviews and articles for the many years I have enjoyed writing them know about my preference for synthetic filled jackets. They are particularly good in damp climates such as ours here in the U.K. where we get very few cold or dry winters. I find it very funny when folk complain about their down jackets being useless in rain and snow. For serious hikers and climbers synthetic will beat down hands down. So I jumped at the chance to test out the Jack Wolfskin Bergland jacket.
German company Jack Wolfskin have been making high quality outdoor clothing and equipment for forty years. A browse through the website offers a huge range of clothing and equipment. There are 151 jackets alone so sifting through to find one that would be suitable for review on our site took some time!
The Jack Wolfskin Bergland Insulated Hoody is an ideal mid level insulation jacket that works well in non technical terrain. So, throwing it on while you stop for lunch and a hot drink on the top of Tryfan, perfect. Protecting you from spindrift avalanches in a Scottish gully, you’ll be disappointed.
The minimalist design means it’s easy to throw on when you want to explore the summit.
I have been using it for a whole variety of situations: commuting to work, local walks, to the climbing gym, bouldering and dragging as well as hiking out in the hills. It has performed well in each situation and become a go to piece of kit as the weather has become cooler and more changeable.
One of the advantages of the Primaloft black filling is that it retains its warmth and loft even when damp. The only way down can do the same (and it often can’t) is by treating the down which affects the loft. It will also dry faster and offers greater water resistance and will even maintain reasonable loft when wet. The Primaloft Black is now well established is a ‘blown ‘ synthetic polythene which offer comparable loft to down and 550 Fill Power equivalence.
The Bergland Hoody has good loft and looks well filled. As is usual though with synthetic filled jackets it is heavier (I’d say about 150g heavier than a down equivalent) and more bulky with less loft. That said I still prefer the style over down and the extra water resistance and wet warmth more than compensates for average U.K. conditions.
Style wise the Bergland Hoody is nice and minimalistic. The generous fit – I tested a size Medium – easily fitted over a soft shell jacket plus hard shell. I used it mostly for an extra layer when I stopped for rests or to take photos. The inner fabric slid over layers easily enough to get the jacket on in hurry. The lack of cuff and hood adjusters help minimise the faffing when the wind gets up. Super simple to get on and off. There are two, zipped hand warmer pockets with a micro fleece lining. These are situated quite low on the jacket so there is limited access when wearing a pack hip belt of harness.
The minimalist cut of the Bergland Hoody meant it fitted neatly with a climbing harness.
The Jack Wolfskin Bergland Hoody is well made with premium materials and construction. YKK zips throughout. The outer is made from Jack Wolfskin Texasheild which is windproof and breathable. In practice the stitch through baffling meant that the jacket isn’t 100% windproof and again, regular readers will be aware of my breathability scepticism for any outerwear. The Bergland was a sweaty as any Gore-Tex garment has been in the past – but I do run hot and tend to arriving at the base of any winter route lathered in sweat! So breathability in active situations will depend upon your own metabolism.
Do remember, however, that my testing has been using the jacket as an outer layer for cold conditions when resting or stopping out on the hill or crag. For local walks and commutes it has been fine.
Perfect for those cold bouldering days when you seem to drink more brews more than climb!
The internal seams have been sealed with piped finishing, the hood is well constructed and will fit snugly under a helmet. There is no peak so I have found a cap works well with it. Also the lack of adjusters means that it becomes a little fiddly in windy conditions but it has worked fine most of the time. The hem does have twin cord adjusters so you can fine tune the fit to suit.
Again, with the minimalist style there is no chin guard and the hand warmer pockets have been sewn to provide two internal stash pockets. Useful for keeping gloves dry (and I have found it is the perfect size to put my flask in which I like to do and then wrap the jacket around my flask so it is warm). I would have like to have seen a zipped chest pocket to keep my phone and an energy bar handy when wearing for the commute and local walks.
Finally I’d like to highlight the ethical and environmental of the Bergland jacket and Jack Wolfskin as for me these are becoming increasingly important when I’m choosing brands to buy from and use. It’s easy to forget some fantastic, understated brands when the noise on ESG is so loud, so we like to champion them when we can.
The Jack Wolfskin Bergland Hoody ticks all the boxes: the shell, lining and filling are all made using recycled materials. The jacket carries the Bluesign and Green Button (the German state environmental badge) certifications. They also adhere and are a member of the Fair Wear Foundation member. These are fast becoming standard expectations of outdoor wear customers and something I frequently look at before deciding on a purchase.
So, the Jack Wolfskin Bergland Insulated Hoody is an ideal outer layer that will work perfectly fine for all your outdoor adventures except those at the extreme end. The synthetic Polartec Black filling will keep you warm and dry enough for those colder rest breaks on mountain summits, winter bouldering and sport climbing days and commuting and local, more leisurely hikes. It is well priced considering the excellent materials and manufacturing and so is great value and the ethical credentials are easily as good as the bigger, more expensive players in what is a very crowded market.
The Jack Wolfskin Bergland Insulated Hoody can be purchased direct from Jack Wolfskin and specialist retailers. It comes in 4 colour options and sizes S – 3XL.
There is a female specific version which comes in 3 colour options and sizes XS – 2XL
SRP 140 GBP
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