This little pink coat packs a serious heavyweight punch of warmth. It’s like wrapping a duvet or sleeping bag around you. I half expected to see a tog rating when looking at the label, such is the enveloping comfort.
The past few weeks have seen a serious dumping of snow and temperatures of -8c here at GWA HQ and this jacket has more than proved its worth keeping me nice and cosy.
The shell is made from Pertex Microlight double mini ripstop – in laymans terms that is 100% nylon in a very tough but thin fabric. It is super light and squishes down to a really small size easily in your pack.
The exterior is coated in a water repellent finish, this has stood up to both snow and a fairly lengthy downpour. Also I’m pleased to say it seems to dry out pretty quickly too.
The heat is provided by 90% down and 10% feather in a 650 fill, which is certainly enough to deal with most cold days, but a little thin for true mountain top or arctic expeditions perhaps. To keep that fill in place, the Popena is stitched in little pockets like you see on a sleeping bag and Berghaus have used these sewn lines to accentuate a feminine look to good effect.
The jacket is cut a little longer particularly at the back which means you don’t get any annoying little drafts tickling your waist. Berghaus have also supplied drawcords at the waist so you can really batten down the hatches if you want to. They were quite useful when we decided to a bit of impromptu sledging last week and worked a treat.
The neck is also cut nice and high moving seamlessly into a padded hood, which has built in peak and some more of the drawstrings. When the whole thing is zipped up your really do feel as snug as the proverbial bug in a rug.
There are two external pockets which are a reasonable size for a stashing a pair of gloves & a hat, and these have a zipper closure. The cuffs are elasticated and also have an additional velcro tab to tighten things up even further if required.
The Berghaus Popena is a really well designed little jacket. And quality wise it’s great. But alas, I have one bugbear and that’s the zipper. Pretty much every jacket I’ve been sent for testing lately has a two-way zip. In this case I rarely seem to be able to do it one in one go (the zip is not faulty) and there is usually a few seconds of frustration as I’m getting ready to leave the house, I think for a jacket of this length a single zip would have been fine, although I do understand the argument for venting and access purposes.
Now the temperature is starting to warm-up around here it is getting a tad warm to wear on walks, but it still has its place at events where I know I’ll be standing still and exposed to the elements. It’s the type of jacket you put on when you get to the top of the hill to stop you cooling too fast.
Price wise its RRP is £200 which for all the spec in this jacket is about right, but quite an investment for a jacket you won’t want to wear all year round, However, I’ve noticed that its now available for £100 at Cotswold which is a positive bargain.