This product was supplied by Berghaus. First Reviews are not “just out of the box” reviews, but are posted after I have chance to use the product several times. It is my goal to ensure that I update with a long term review of each piece of gear I purchased or have sent to me.
The Berghaus Ardenne is a new Softshell jacket for the autumn/ winter season of 2011. I have had this jacket for a month now and used it on several local walks. I carried it in my pack for my walk – Snow in the Peak District but did not require it as I was adequately warm. I have worn it pretty constantly on a daily basis as it is very comfortable.
This ws the first softshell I have used. In the past I have worn or carried a fleece and worn a Montane Litespeed Wind shirt when chilled as fleece normally is not wind – proof.
I guess this is the main reason for a soft- shell as they are meant to be warm, breathable, but also wind-proof. Some, like the Ardenne have a DWR finish as well and will shrug off lighter rain showers or drizzle.
The Ardenne has 4 way stretch material with the fleece bonded to the outer material . The jacket has a full length zip, behind this zip, material running the full length to stop draughts. There are two zipped, mesh lined pockets and two meshed lined inner pockets. The mesh lined pockets will give ventilation in warmer weather, but of cause you could not utilise the pockets unzipped without stuff falling out.
The Ardenne has a high collar, a scooped tail which protect your backside and two toggles at the hem to adjust the fitting.
The jacket sleeves are snug around the arms and I would describe the jacket as slim fitting, with movement in the jacket easy when stretching or bending down.
The jacket is comfortable and snug, with the high zipped collar, keeping me warm against the wind. Importantly I have found the jacket to be pretty wind-proof and I have felt no chill so far when using it on my bike or walking. I have not worn it in particularly cold weather to be fair, but it is certainly much better than the standard fleeces I have worn before.
The Ardenne will resist a shower better than a standard fleece and the water beads up on the DWR material, but will start to wet out during anything more than a shower I have found. It will be interesting to see how the DWR lasts, but like all garments I am sure it will need treating to maintain the DWR.
So far I have worn both a short sleeve and long sleeve base layer underneath and there is sufficient room to add my thin Columbia micro-fleece to a base layer, without it feeling uncomfortable. I am not sure I will do this when out walking as I would put my Montane wind-shirt over it to increase warmth.
Certainly the Ardenne is a comfortable stylish piece of clothing which has both a level of water and wind resistance. The jacket’s weight of 543g (19oz) in medium is no heavy than my standard fleece and wind-shirt combined. It has the advantage that I would not have to stop to put on a wind-shirt over my fleece, when the wind was getting up. Ideally I would wear the Ardenne and also carry my Montane Lite-Speed wind-shirt, giving me plenty of options, with a small but acceptable weight gain of 165g (5.8oz).
I would conclude that this set up would be most appropriate outside of winter. In winter I would use my Paramo jacket and base layer combinations – more about this soon.
Overall rating : 4.5/5
Price: RRP £80. There is an option with a hood for £9o
What I like: Style, comfort, wind resistance
What I don’t like: Nothing I can think of