A versatile, well featured insulated mid layer with good features designed by mountaineers.
- Good insulation
- Well designed
- Cut a little too technical for general wear
The Extrem range by Berghaus is back! After a fairly long absence the top of the range kit is back with a vengeance. a whole range of gear has been designed and produced to offer a full range of clothing and packs for all mountain activities. This is not the type of kit you’ll be finding on various television presenters and news reporters, this is technical kit designed by mountaineers for mountaineers. The new range doesn’t disappoint, and you should consider that Berghaus have been at the leading edge of outdoor kit design for decades, which is easy to forget in the noise of the latest brand promotions on TikTok. Berghaus was an early adopter Hydrophobic Down and hard face fleece – the Extrem 7000 Hoody was a brilliant fleece we reviewed in 2016! We also reviewed the Extrem Reversa the following year – both excellent pieces of mountain kit.
The Berghaus Extrem MTN Seeker Synthetic Hoody is part of the Extrem MTN Seeker range which is designed for mountaineering activities. The Extrem MTN Arete is skiing and the Extrem MTN Guide is technical climbing. The MTN Seeker range comprises a full range of clothing from hardshell jackets and pants to packs. The MTN Seeker Synthetic Hoody is exactly what is says it it is – a synthetic mid layer designed for cold, damp days out on the hill or colder technical days.
The despicable duo Dave and Rich enjoying a summit stop. Dave on the left staying warm in the MTN Seeker Synthetic Hoody.
The development of synthetically insulated mid layers as a replacement for a fleece has been around for quite a while now. There are benefits: no need to pack a wind layer, it’s much warmer and the hood will fit over a climbing helmet, which the MTN Seeker jacket does nicely. The cons are that it is not as breathable as a fleece so the best way I have found to use the jacket is to deploy it after the approach and before you start climbing.
The MNT Seeker is made from premium materials and cut for technical mountaineering with a close fitting waist that fits perfectly with a climbing harness or pack waist belt. I tested a size Medium – these days I consider myself at the higher range of measurement for a Medium and suit a regular fit. The MTN Seeker jacket fitted at that end. I’m a 40” chest size with a 34” waist so if you are even slightly bigger than that or you want to use it as a throw on outer layer for winter hiking than you might want to consider sizing up. That said, the cut is perfect for climbing with a narrow taper so no unsightly rucking or extra material to catch carabiners in. It also makes it easier to deploy gear as it does’t catch on the extra waist fabric – which is annoying when frantically trying to get that ice screw off your harness when you realise you haven’t placed any gear for ages!
The outer is a lightweight ripstop with a PFC free DWR with will keep off light rain and snow. It should be said that the jacket will stay warm even when damp and it does take more sustained rain or spindrift to penetrate through to a baselayer. It has a gossamer feel to it and I wouldn’t feel comfortable coming across a thrutching chimney pitch in it as I feel the fabric would tear. For most hiking and mountaineering activities such as ridge ascents where you are on the move the outer will work fine. It is breathable, as I said earlier, not as breathable as a fleece but definitely more breathable than a membraned soft-shell and as comparable as a woven soft-shell.
It was way too hot to wear on an ascent and I have had to take it off several times when I though I needed it. But regular readers will know that I run hot so you may find it perfectly fine for active wear. As I said, it works well when on route, especially on breezy ridges and summit explorations. Insulation is provided by the excellent Primaloft Gold Active+, which is proven over many years of use in various products. The newer standard utilises more recycled content with the same insulating benefits. The insulation is body mapped with 60gsm in the main body and 40gsm under the arms. Enough to maintain warmth but without feeling overly bulky, which can often be an issue with synthetic insulation.
The MTN Seeker jacket is perfect for those quick brew stops on active acsents. The black patches are bodymapped insulation with less under the arms and more in the main body.
Features wise, the MTN Seeker Hoody is nice and minimal in design, two well placed hand warmer pockets are above harness/waistbelt height so great for keeping hands warm on belays or approaches. Both pockets are plenty big enough to act as stuff sacks which keeps pack space down. They are neatly placed in line so there is no excess material at all, which is a nice touch and adds to the performance silhouette. There is also a handy internal chest pocket big enough for a phone or compass (because you shouldn’t be keeping your phone and compass in the same pocket!). I would have liked to see a mesh pocket for keeping gloves in but the jacket is designed as an active piece and not a belay jacket.
Perfectly adapted for active mountain days. Tricky descent off Swirral Edge, Helvellyn LDNP
The hood is also well designed and fitted over a climbing helmet perfectly well. There is just a rear adjuster and the tension works with an elasticated forefront with a small, wired peak to keep it in place. There is a little hood movement at the extremes when the hood is fully zipped up but it is acceptable. Finally there is a dual hem cinch, elasticated cuffs and a reflective X logo on the back as well as a Berghaus logo on the arm.
So, the Berghaus Extrem MTN Seeker Synthetic Hoody is a great insulated mid layer jacket which you will find useful for all mountain activities from hiking to mountaineering. It is lightweight, warm and is well designed. The pockets are well sited and it fits well in a climbing harness or pack waist belt. The hood fits well with a climbing helmet and the two way main zip is very useful for toilet visits or putting on a harness whilst still staying warm.
The MTN Seeker Hoody is also repairable (for free!) through the Repairhaus programme and there is more information here.
The Berghaus MTN Seeker Synthetic Hoody comes in two colour options and sizes XS to XXL.
The SRP is £200 and it is available direct from Berghaus and specialist retailers.
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