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Living in rural Northumberland I need warm clothing to keep out the elements! A few months before Christmas I decided it was time I treated myself to a really good quality jacket. I do a lot of walking in all weathers and wanted a jacket that would keep me warm and dry on serious walks but would also look good when out on a day to day basis.
I knew I wanted a jacket that would enable me to use a removable fleece and so began my quest to find the perfect answer!
I tried on several makes and styles including a North Face Jacket and a Peter Storm from Millets. However the style I fell in love with was the Glissade made by Berghaus. I loved the navy colour with its violet trim and when I tried it on with a spectrum fleece zipped inside I knew this was the jacket for me! Having decided on the jacket I wanted I set about finding the best possible price. I found the jacket and fleece on promotion on the Blacks web site and paid £122 for both fleece and jacket.
What you get for your money.
Its true there are lots of much cheaper jackets available, but in this case you really do get what you pay for! The jacket is designed to allow a Berghaus fleece to be zipped inside creating a layering effect for extra warmth, hence the I.A initials standing for InterActive system, clever eh?
The outer jacket can of course be worn alone in warmer weather and the fleece zipped inside for the winter months, making this jacket a great all year round affair. The outer jacket comes in several colours including eclipse, plum and black. Each has a contrasting inner. I chose the eclipse which is basically navy with a violet contrast.
The jacket outer has two layers of Gore -Tex and a mesh lining. Gore- Tex is a waterproof and windproof fabric. All seams are sealed to ensure you stay dry. However in very wet weather water can seep into the outer pockets so ensure any papers, maps etc you don't want to get wet are kept in the inner pocket or wrapped in a plastic bag in your pocket! I found this out the hard way and a soggy map does take a while to dry out!
The jacket has a roll away stiffened peak hood. The peak helps give you added protection when it's wet and is much more comfortable that a normal hood that tends to block vision.
There is a really warm and well padded collar that helps stop rucksack straps chafing your neck. When fully zipped up the collar stops any water getting down your neck.
The jacket has an adjustable elasticated waist that pulls in with an inside toggle. I tend to wear my jacket lose as I think it looks better this way, but the choice is yours! There are elasticated cuffs to ensure the sleeves don't ride up and these also help to keep your arms dry.
Not only will this jacket keep you dry and warm but it is breathable too, meaning you won't get hot and sweaty as you walk!
The jacket has two zipped outer pockets that are lovely and deep and great to put your hands into! There is also an inner map pocket.
The jacket is machine washable using a non-biological detergent. Berghaus do not recommend you re-proof your jacket unless it is no longer waterproof. The Gore- Tex should last for many years. Berghaus say that there is a no time limit guarantee for this jacket against any manufacturing defects; this obviously doesn't include normal wear and tear.
The Glissade comes in sizes 8 to 20.
Obviously you don't have to purchase a fleece to wear with your jacket, but not to do so would rather defeat the idea of the InterActive system. There are a few fleeces that will fit inside the Glissade, just look for the I.A initials after the name, I chose the spectrum fleece. The fleece is a bit tricky to zip into the jacket but once in place it fits well. I actually decided to buy a different size fleece to my jacket as the fleece was on the small side. Before you buy I strongly advise you to try the fleece on alone to check you have the correct size.
Like the jacket, the fleece is well made and fully machine washable. It is really warm and hasn't bobbled like other, cheaper fleeces I have owned in the past.
I am really impressed with my InterActive jacket. When I first wore it I couldn't believe how warm and cosy I felt, even though there was a bitter wind blowing. I have worn the jacket on a few long hikes now and even when the heavens opened, I stayed dry. As I mentioned earlier the only problem has been that the outer pockets can let water in, but this was in a particularly horrendous weather!
I haven't needed to wash the jacket, or fleece yet so can't comment on how well they wash but I'm not expecting any problems. The navy colour doesn't show the dirt so hopefully I won't need to wash it very often!
I bought my jacket and fleece from Blacks on line and paid £122 for both. This was several months ago and the items were on promotion. However although the R.R.P of the jacket alone is £160, there are several retailers selling it for a lot less than this. Gaynor sports, for example has the jacket on offer at £119.99, so it is worth shopping around.
I can't recommend this jacket and fleece highly enough! It is well worth the high price tag in my book as you really can't put a price on comfort!