WATERPROOF WALKING GEAR | A Country Walk in Berghaus

November 10, 2018


The wonderful thing about having the countryside on your doorstep is the licence of freedom it gives you.  Whatever your reason to get outside – whether it’s to blow away the cobwebs or give you a bit of breathing space – little else measures up to the positive feels you get from going on a walk.

After a week of illness I needed to shake off the cabin fever.  I’d seen far too much of the same four walls and I was desperate for fresh air as much as the change of scenery.  So though I was tempted to hibernate in my pyjamas and self pity for yet another day, I decided to break out.  Well, I got us all out for a little family walk.

Thanks to Blacks providing me with some outdoor wear I at least felt confident braving my first day out into the great outdoors since I couldn’t remember when.  It was a fairly mild afternoon so I didn’t need to dig out the winter woolies, although there was a nip in the air, the kind that tricks you into wearing a too thick a coat and makes a sweaty joke out of you.

When Blacks asked for my thoughts on their women’s range I knew exactly what I needed.  Firstly, a jacket that would keep me relatively warm and completely dry without the bulk.  Oh, and it needed to look nice – and cover my bum.  I wasn’t asking much, was I?  So I picked out my favourite women’s Berghaus jacket and women’s Berghaus waterproof boots.

The Berghaus Stormcloud waterproof jacket looked like it ticked all the right boxes.  The only drawback was the lack of any warm lining like an inner fleece jacket, but seeing as it looked attractive and promised a high level of protection I felt it was the one.

The navy and pink colourway caught my eye as being quite a fun style.  While the dark blue outer looks classic and smart, the inner hot pink gives a vibrant pop of colour.  In a breathable matt finish, the waterproof shell fully protects against driving rain and high levels of wind, stopping the elements in their tracks while keeping you warm and dry inside.  Featuring a fixed hood, adjustable rip-tape cuffs and two zipped side pockets, the Stormcloud is a simple but well designed jacket.  I got the size 16 which is a good relaxed fit on me; plenty room in the arms and body to fit thick jumpers underneath, and nicely skimming just past my bum.

I’d also been wanting to invest in some new walking boots so was glad of the chance to upgrade my old chunky Merrells to some Berghaus boots.  The Berghaus Expeditor Trek 2.0 boots looked like the type of boot I’d long intended to get: a smart black boot with a more supportive, higher ankle cut.

The Expeditor Trek 2.0 boots are a supportive yet super comfortable pair of walking boots.  With a tough suede upper and textile mesh panels, they’re totally breathable while being fully waterproof, featuring Berghaus’s own AQ technology.  The size 6 boots have a snug fit that feels perfectly tailored to my feet.

While I’m definitely not a hardcore walker, I’m savvy enough to know layering is key.  And knowing my jacket was effectively a shell, I made sure to wear one of my thermal long sleeved tops underneath my jumper.  I was aware I wanted to stay warm but not to bake, since we were only battling autumn weather after all.

Setting off on our walk, pushing Reuben in his trike, I quickly realised my jacket was the perfect wearable style that was easily adaptable.  With a brisk wind blowing through the open landscape I was able to zip the jacket right up around my neck, while the fixed hood, perfectly adjustable thanks to clever toggles, proved a brilliant barrier against the elements.

We decided to head to our familiar haunt, a nearby abbey ruins, by which time Reuben had abandoned his trike in favour of a good run and wander.  This is quite possibly my favourite kind of activity to do with Reuben since the space for him to explore is endless.  We just need to watch out for passing cars down the country lane, so harnessing Reuben up into his reins helps to control him to some degree.  I swear taking a dog on a lead would be less exuberant.

The abbey is an amazing hidden treasure not too many people know about, so it’s never swamped with visitors.  We only met a few people on our outing, an older couple out for a ramble and our window cleaner exercising his dog.  Other than that it was us three and the birds, which was lovely.

The sun was trying to break out with slivers of light escaping through the afternoon haze, enveloping the bronzed trees with a golden glow.  But it was still too misty to brighten up and it was trying to rain.

The ground was quite wet within the abbey walls but my Expeditor boots, with their deep treaded soles, were steadfast as we explored the ruins.  The slippery grass proved a challenge for poor Reuben’s wellies, and the ruins were an obstacle course of haphazard craggy stones, but nothing was a problem for my boots.  It was just as well really, since Reuben often wanted to be picked up and carried, and had my footwear been less reliable I’d have landed on my bum with ‘babes in arms’ for sure.

The Berghaus Expeditors are a brilliant pair of walking boots.  They’re light on the foot to carry so they don’t feel weighty or cumbersome like my old boots did, and they make my feet feel well supported.  I also liked the fact I didn’t need to wear them in before wearing out, they just fit perfectly straight off the bat and my feet felt great when I came to take them off.

My Stormcloud jacket was, and is, the perfect daily choice for me.  Spending my days chasing after a toddler means I need to be able to move quick, and as such need my clothing to be as responsive as I am.  I like to combine an everyday look with functionality, whether I’m popping to the shops or enjoying a day out, and the technical benefits of the Stormcloud means I get the best performance too.

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