Berghaus describe the Bowscale as a 3 in 1 jacket that will prepare for you for all weather eventualities. That’s simply because it comes with a detachable fleece liner jacket that can be used as a standalone outer if it’s cold and dry. Likewise the Gore-Tex waterproof outer shell can be used on its own at any time of the year. But combined they make a versatile warm, waterproof and breathable package that will perform well as a hiking or trekking garment or just as useful in normal everyday situations.
I like the versatility of a 3 in 1 jacket, but I have to admit that when I use such a jacket that I generally tend to detach the liner jacket and either wear them as standalone garments or replace the liner with one of my choice and just employ the outer when needed.
As I mentioned above the outer is a 2 layer Gore-Tex performance shell which is waterproof and breathable. The fit is described as Active which I would tend to agree with as it is a good length and is roomy enough for layering up inside as well as not restricting movement especially in the arms. All the seams are taped to prevent any water entering. The shell is lined with a 100% polyester mesh which will wick moisture away from the body as well as keeping the outer away from your under layers. There is a really good sized hood which has good volume adjusters and a stiffened peak to help stop the rain obscuring your vision. It will easily accommodate a helmet if it was required to and it can be rolled up and stowed in the collar when it’s not needed. The pack size is good on the Bowscale and it weighs just over 620g, so it will not take up a lot of room in a rucksack.
There is a one-way water resistant zip at the front which has a good sized storm flap behind it to ensure a good waterproof seal. As well as the hood adjusters the hem also has a drawstring for a better fit and they both have easy to operate glove friendly toggles. The cuffs have large opening which will allow them to be rolled back for ventilation or they will take a glove and then there is a Velcro fastener to seal them off.
The outer has 2 hand warmer pockets which have water resistant zips, however although the jacket is reasonably long in fit the pockets are obstructed if you want to wear a pack with a waist belt. It may have been better to site them higher or have additional ones in the chest. There is a good sized zipped inside pocket which will take a folded O/S map. Unfortunately the Bowscale doesn’t have any additional vents for when the going gets warm.
Moving on to the inner jacket which is micro fleece made from 100% polyester. This is a warm and light garment which does perform well on its own. It attaches to the outer via zips at the front and snap fastener anchors on the cuffs and neck. The fleece has 2 good sized zipped side pockets which are large enough to take a map.
In conclusion the Berghaus jacket is a comfortable jacket to wear in either of its guises and its flexibility and price will ensure it is popular choice.
In a Line: A coat for all seasons.