Guide to Berghaus
Ever since their humble beginnings in 1966, Berghaus (German for ‘mountain centre’) has been at the forefront of outdoor clothing.
Berghaus was the first UK retailer to stock Scarpa walking boots and found their early success from importing the best brands from abroad before eventually producing their own range of outdoor clothing.
In 1971, Berghaus revolutionised the rucksack, distributing the load more effectively with external frames and basic single compartments. Two years later Berghaus made the world’s first rucksack with an internal frame and ever since rucksacks and backpacks have never been the same. And in true Berghaus fashion, the word rucksack takes its name from German for back (‘ruck’) and pack (‘sack’).
Then in 1976 Berghaus was the first European brand to include the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane in their products, cementing their relationship with walkers, climbers and outdoor adventurers as the outdoor brands of choice when it comes to top quality clothing and equipment.
Despite fierce competition from brands like The North Face, Berghaus remains one of the best loved outdoor clothing brands and now offer a wide range of outdoor apparel from jackets, fleeces, trousers and baselayers to boots, shoes, and of course, rucksacks.
As outdoor clothing has become synonymous with winter fashion, Berghaus apparel has become increasingly popular for everyday wear. It’s for this reason that we often compare The North Face and Berghaus at Walking.org, because they have become so similar over the years. Even their best selling waterproof jackets are alike. However, Berghaus is the brand that many outdoor enthusiasts trust while the more casual walker with fashion in mind is more likely to embrace branding of The North Face.
If there’s one thing Berghaus has over other brands, it’s the following for their fleeces. Soft, light, warm and hard wearing, a Berghaus fleece is the most common piece of apparel in the cupboard of anyone who enjoys getting outdoors. And when their fleeces are often designed to match with one of the Berghaus waterproof jackets, they become perfect for layering up your clothing when the weather turns cold, wet and windy.
Berghaus also offer a range of base layers and mid layers made from a range of materials including micro fleece fabric to keep walkers warm without the extra weight and bulk of a regular fleece.
Crossing over into winter fashion, Berghaus jackets are one of the most popular items of apparel you are likely to see on the high street.
Recently, we reviewed the best selling Berghaus RG1 waterproof jacket in our top 5 waterproof jackets, finding it to be incredibly light while being hard wearing, completely windproof, waterproof, highly breathable and smartly styled for everyday wear.
Like many of Berghaus jackets this ticks all the boxes for both casual walkers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It also packs down easily to save on space in either an office bag or rucksack while being quick to dry with rain rolling straight off as well.
It’s no wonder then that Berghaus jackets are a popular choice as mens winter coats, for everyday wear during the colder, wetter months. Of course, for extra warmth we would recommend wearing a good Berghaus fleece underneath and the same goes for many of Berghaus’ waterproof and soft shell jackets.
Focussed primarily on features, we would recommend Berghaus jackets for people who like to have plenty of pockets for all their accessories while enjoying the comfort and protection of technical fabric that not only wicks away moisture, but keeps the wind and rainwater out without any excess bulk. The zips tend to be better than other brands too, which is a definite plus.
Berghaus Walking Boots and Trail Shoes
When it comes to footwear, Berghaus boots and shoes are just as technically focussed as the wide range of Berghaus apparel. However, unlike other outdoor brands, their boots and shoes are very different.
Berghaus boots are designed to be comfortable straight from the box, offering a good, snug fit, Gore-Tex waterproofing and a hard wearing Asylum sole unit for long lasting, tenacious grip for all terrains. However, due to their price point Berghaus tends to position its walking boots in between what other outdoor brands offer.
For example, these tend to be almost as comfortable as Merrell boots and almost as technical as Salomon boots, but without quite matching what their competitors offer. But if you ever found yourself wishing that your Merrell boots were more technical, or that your Salomon boots were more comfortable, then perhaps Berghaus boots will provide the perfect compromise?
Meanwhile, Berghaus trail shoes are designed t be as comfortable, lightweight and ‘grippy’ as possible for casual outdoor walks and trail runs. The uniquely styled and colourful eye catching designs have also made them very popular as everyday footwear for a wide range of people.
The Berghaus Prognosis GTX trail shoes in particular are made from a Gore-Tex gasket mesh fabric to be as lightweight as possible while being waterproof. Meanwhile the Vibram sole is surprisingly large with chunky treads, giving them a classic trainer feel with plenty of cushioning that makes them a joy to walk or run in. Although, if we’re honest, the toe protector could come up a bit higher.
These seem to be priced and pitched perfectly compared to the other outdoor footwear available. Because while they may fit and feel like Merrell trainers, the extra heel cushioning and traditional cut of the shoe will appeal to a much wider audience. Does this make them better for walking? Well, that comes down to your personal preference.
Despite being around for over 40 years, Berghaus is a UK brand with plenty of tricks up its sleeve and still stands for technical excellence even after all this time.
There has been some deviation towards outdoor fashion as one of the biggest selling points for some of the Berghaus products, yet the quality of their apparel makes all the difference. In the clothing stakes their biggest competitor is North Face and no doubt you will be torn between these two brands when it comes to choosing your waterproof jacket. But Berghaus wins hands down on fleeces every time. While North Face may have a bigger brand awareness and fashion following, the fabric of a Berghaus fleece always seems to be just that little bit better.
So if you’re looking for some good quality walking clothing for exploring the countryside or the city, we recommend checking out both brands and see which appeals to you the most. Berghaus trail shoes are definitely worth trying on too.