New highly breathable ultralight jacket with an OutDoor Gold Award to its name

Every so often a product arrives for testing that is really exciting, that seems really out of the ordinary. Most recently this was the latest waterproof jacket from Berghaus, the Hyper 100  – a jacket so new it won’t be in the shops until February or March next year. This is an ultralight garment, good in itself but not the first or the lightest Berghaus has made, that would be the 79 gram Hyper Smock I reviewed a few years ago. The Hyper 100 is however the first sub 100 gram three-layer waterproof, which means it gas a membrane sandwiched between two other layers. That weight is for a Medium size. The Large I have weighs 106 grams. The three layers consist of a 6 denier face fabric that Berghaus says is remarkably tough, a 7 microns thick membrane, and an 8 denier inner fabric. Overall the fabric is said to be three times stronger and tougher than the fabric used in the Hyper Smock.
Why is the three-layer construction significant? Because it’s the most breathable. In fact Berghaus says this is the most breathable waterproof it has ever made, which means it’s more breathable than any Gore-Tex. The figures Berghaus give are an astounding 50,000 grams of water vapour transmitted per metre squared per 24 hours. That’s about twice the rate of Gore-Tex Pro and five times that of the Hydroshell Hyper fabric used in the Hyper Smock and Jacket. I’m really interested in finding out just what this means in practice.
Given the very low weight the minimalist design isn’t surprising. There’s a reversed front zip with inner flap; stretch cuffs, hood and hem; and a tiny internal zipped pocket. The cuffs are only partly elasticated so there is some airflow here and the sleeves can be pushed up if necessary. The non-adjustable hood fits snugly and shouldn’t blow back in a strong wind. I can only wear a thin hat under it though. The Large size fits comfortably over a thin fleece jacket and base layer.
An ultralight waterproof with excellent breathability and good durability sounds wonderful. I’ll be finding out just how wonderful the Hyper 100 is over the coming months. It does need to perform well as it won’t be cheap at £260.
I’m not the only one impressed with the specs of the Hyper 100 either as it won Gold in the garment category of the 2016 Outdoor Industry Awards.