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Field Tested: Berghaus VapourLight Hyper Smock 2.0

At only 75 grams, the VapourLight Hyper Smock 2.0 is the undisputed king of uber-light waterproof jackets. As impressive as the low weight is, the compressed size is equally amazing and packs down to a bundle scarcely the size of a tennis ball. To achieve the low weight and waterproof/breathable performance, the Hyper Smock uses super-lightweight Hydroshell™ Hyper fabric. With a minimum of features in the name of simplicity, the Hyper Smock 2.0 includes a full coverage hood, 3/4 length zipper, and one horizontal chest pocket. Although it also includes a small stuff sack, that’s really about all you get for features, which is more than enough.

The real question lurking in the back of my mind when I slipped it on for the first time was, “Will it be waterproof, and will it breath?” With this spring being one of the wettest on record, I had plenty of opportunity to find out if this was a proper backcountry jacket or a kitschy marketing gimmick.

 

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Almost to my complete surprise, the jacket lived up to its claims and kept me bone dry and comfortable on a dozen straight days of heavy rain. Consider me impressed.

Like all things, there will be compromises made in the name of gram shaving. The fabric is anything but durable, which is not an issue for me considering what it is. Any time I put on the Hyper Smock, I make sure I’m not brushing up agains pokey vegetation or abrading it against rough rocks.

Befitting its intended usage within the performance outdoor audience, the fit of the jacket is decidedly athletic, which is to say––somewhat snug. Larger users may want to bump up to the largest sizes as the sleeves and torso are cut rather lean.

It’s an impressive leap forward in ultra-light waterproof/breathable garments, and one I’m pleased to see performing up to its lofty claims. As a backup layer that always lives in my backpack, I don’t foresee a time when an unexpected rainstorm will ever bum me out. With the VapourLight Hyper Smock 2.0, I’m ready for Nature’s worst.  $150

 

www.berghaus.com

Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.

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