Testing Berghaus’ hardy waterproof Voltage GORE-TEX shell, £140, in wind and wet weather.
Product description: “Excel yourself on your favourite fast-paced trail with the super-lightweight and highly breathable Voltage GORE-TEX® Active Jacket. Cut from lightweight and highly breathable 3-Layer GORE-TEX® Active offering all-weather protection whilst keeping you cool during high aerobic, fast moving activities. The Voltage is loaded with features; a volume adjustable hood, two zipped pockets, a drop tail hem and a mesh stuff sack – there is no reason to leave this piece of kit behind.”
Out in stormy weather: Comfortable and light, you’ll barely feel the Voltage once you’ve got it on, and its GORE-TEX Active technology renders it wind and waterproof. The zip doesn’t have a storm flap and is only described as ‘weather resistant’ but it’s stood up well to squalls so far. Be careful with the pockets, though – they’re only mesh lined, so water will get through if they aren’t properly closed. I liked the roomy hood, which zips up very high to protect your face with a stiff peak to keep water out of your eyes. The jacket doesn’t provide a lot of warmth on its own but it works very well as part of a layering system – stick a soft shell and a fleece underneath and you’ll be ready for anything.
Trekking: The Voltage is great for carrying with you on longer trips, as it’s quick to scrunch it down into its own stuff bag and clip it to a rucksack. The only issue I had with it over longer trekking distances is that the back can ride up under a backpack.
Verdict: A lightweight, versatile waterproof jacket that works well if you’re into layering up for hiking, cycling and outdoor adventures. The pared-back, minimal design looks good, too. It is pretty pricy though – perhaps one to wait for in the sales.
My lovely bobble hat is from Big Balls Beanies.