Gear Review: Berghaus Women’s Glissade Waterproof Jacket

RRP: £225 (currently on pre-Xmas offer in many retailers)
Weight: 645g (size 10)

When this jacket first arrived I felt a rush of 90’s nostalgia quickly followed by disappointment that I would be testing a relatively heavy, chunkily styled, old-school waterproof when I’d got used to the high performance of lightweight alternatives. However having worn the Glissade on numerous outings over the last few months I’ve had to humble-pie my initial prejudices and can honestly say this item has won itself a place in my winter hillwalking ensemble for a number of good reasons.

The Glissade is made from 2 layer Goretex. The waterproof and breathable membrane is attached to a robust matt-finish outer with a nylon liner (mesh on the back area) to protect the Goretex coating. The liner adds to the weight and bulky feel of the coat and puts it firmly in the cold weather waterproof category. I would prefer to have more mesh on the lining to reduce overheating and extend its use beyond the coldest months.

However on wet and cold Munro’s this has come into its own – its good sometimes to pull on an outer knowing it is properly waterproof (a full length storm flap over the zip and protected pocket zips ensure no water gets in at these points) and will provide a sturdy bulwark against the elements. Longer than most modern jackets (I’m 5’3″ (160cm) and the jacket easily covers my bum) this is useful in swirling snow and heavy rain, it is also available in an extra long length. The fit is true to size with no need to size up as you sometimes have to with more athletic, slim female fits. It is also available in up to size 20.

The longer length means that the two hand warmer pockets are fully accessible below a rucksack waistband. A map-sized breast pocket is only accessible under the poppered front stormflap and zip. The chunky front zip is designed to also take a Berghaus InterActive fleece to be zipped into it. I’m not sure the advantages of this system outweigh the added bulk and weight of the double zip. Another superfluous feature that I’d ditch is the adjustable waist drawcord as I usually carry a rucksack that cinches in the coat anyway and such drawcords tend to be be a place where the fabric can become abraided over time where a rucksack rubs against it at the back. However the outer fabric does seem robust with no signs of wear at the shoulders despite lengthy use with a rucksack – the same fabric is used throughout with no reinforced areas. The stitching and build quality appears good. There is also a drawcord at the hem (another feature I’m unlikely to use) and adjustable, part-elasticated comfortable cuffs.

Added comfort is provided with a generous soft brushed fabric backing to the collar and chin guard. The roll away hood is a good size with a volume adjuster and stiffened peak allowing reasonable movement with the head and good visibility while protecting from heavy rain and side winds.

The jacket is manufactured in Vietman. Currently available in women’s sizes 8 to 20 and two traditional colours (dark blue and green), the men’s version is the Cornice (RRP: £225) available in sizes S to XXL, in colours dark green, black and dark blue, and a long version (RRP: £250).

The price is very reasonable for a well performing Goretex jacket especially as its often on offer at well below the RRP and is in line with the reliable Munro jacket from Keela. The downside is the added weight and bulk of the two layer and liner construction but with many waterproofs costing twice this price and not offering as many features this is a great option if you don’t have the luxury of buying more than one waterproof.

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