Justin and Tet were our first Adventure Challenge winners. Over 3 weeks they planned to cross Costa Rica from the Pacific Coast to the Caribbean, via Cerro Chirripo, the highest peak (3819m). Here they give their thoughts on the Berghaus kit they took with them.
Men’s Attrition II Goretex Pro Shell Jacket: Goretex normally performs exceptionally poorly in the rainforest, as the dirt clogs the membrane very quickly and humidity of up to 80% tends to defeat even the best breathability within garments. However, this jacket proved exceptionally good.
I normally only wear wet proofs around camp and in the cooler evenings but the performance of the Attrition was so effective; I wore it on a number of occasions whilst walking. Light, flexible and very soft, it was truly remarkable in every way and was simply superlative in keeping my dry, without wetting out, or boiling me from the inside; the vapour transmission was probably the best I have experienced.
The minimal construction and heat sealing delivered a very robust but remarkably lightweight jacket and it was one of the most important pieces of gear I carried. From the hot, wet and humid lowland areas through to the cool cloud forest at 3,000 metres, it delivered well over any expectation I could have placed upon it. A gem and a 5 Star one at that.
Expedition 80 Rucksack: I had an old Berghaus Expedition sack in the early 1990’s and it lasted me nearly a decade before I had worn it out and so was pretty excited to try out this latest incarnation and it didn’t disappoint. Light, robust and clean lines, it performed whilst carrying very heavy loads and stuffed to the brim. Unbelievably comfortable, I have always liked fixed back systems as there is less to go wrong and this sat well.
One slight niggle was being wrongly fitted at a large at a well-known outdoor chain and this meant there was little give should I have worn any layers over and above a T-shirt and jacket. It must be the mark of its effectiveness that I have since bought the next size up (size 4) so I can use it in Costa Rica this Summer and the Himalayas next year.
Some small comments: The buckle system is a good one but it can be tricky to release the straps one handed. Also, the tapes had a tendency to slide when wet, reducing the tension in the fitting around the shoulders. Otherwise, a great expedition pack; 4 Stars.
Talus 45 Mountaineering Daysack: I chose this off the website blind and so had no preconceptions about it. In fact I had wanted the lighter Arete 45 but am very glad that model was out of stock. This remains one of the most comfortable daysacks I have ever used and has now usurped my old faithful of 4 years from another manufacturer. Even when fully loaded, I was really surprised at how well the sac moulded to my back and left me hardly noticing I was carrying it; not a comment I use lightly at all. Again, the simple and clean lines created a low silhouette and minimised snagging when pushing through the bush.
The waterproof fabric was pretty effective, although in the worst downpours there was some ingress, as I would expect. The material, as the Expedition 80, coped very well with being dragged, pulled and hauled through, and over, some pretty uninviting ground but neither were punctured or torn in any way and none of the heavy stress points show any signs of deterioration or wear. This has now become my ‘go anywhere’ sac and will also become my alpine daysack to boot.
With both the sacs, my only regret was not being able to get them in black, as vibrant red is easily seen by wildlife. This was not a problem on the transect but more sombre colours would enable me to get closer to wildlife more easily.
Find out more about the Berghaus Adventure Challenge here.
For outdoor clothing from Berghaus including men’s waterproof jackets, women’s rucksacks and more then please visit our online store.
You can find a wide range of gear for climbing, hill walking, mountain biking and other activities.