Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Berghaus Akka Jacket - Part 2

Berghaus say the Akka is: Great when worn on its own or as part of your winter layering system and the temperature is hovering around freezing.

Since giving some details here the weather has mostly been very wet with occasional dry mild days so, as yet, I can't comment on the above claim*. However, there have been a few days best described as 'raw' - when the cold and damp gets into your bones even though the temperature is well above freezing. On these days, it's been lovely to slip on the Akka over a T-shirt and light fleece and immediately feel warm; I doubt I'll need to wear very much more underneath, even in lower temperatures, but I'll report on this when real winter arrives.

- looking again at the quality of construction (made in China) I have to say that the sewing is immaculate.

Inside pocket - takes small wallet, mobile 'phone (although I find the latter uncomfortable)

- The soft outer fabric is continued on the down-filled collar which I find very comfortable although, like similar jackets, there are no draw cords to enable a really snug fit around the neck; and I do wonder just how much wear and tear this outer fabric will take.

- I like the combination of velcro and elasticated cuffs which allows me put the jacket on and take it off without undoing the closure. Lazy, I know.

- the Akka is reasonably packable

It could probably be packed smaller

However, packability (and weight 645g) are really only important if you plan to use the Akka on the hills;

 - I see it primarily as a jacket for everyday use during the winter months for shopping, walking local tracks and so on;

- on that basis I can't fault it so far but, for the sake of completeness, I will also use it on the local hills and report back in due course.

Finally, just a point about the DWR coating and cleaning the garment:

- It says on the swing tickets that the DWR is durable to extensive home laundering, but personally I'd be more worried about the effect of home laundering on the down than on the DWR.

- professional cleaning by a down specialist is recommended but the label does also say that careful home laundering is possible. Take your pick but I'll stick with professional cleaning if needed.

* I have now used the jacket on a couple of low level walks in much lower temperatures than previously - around freezing - and as expected was as warm as toast.

- it's early days, but if I'd bought the Akka, I'd be happy with my purchase.

- there are other similar products on the market but since I haven't used them I obviously can't offer any opinion on their relative merits. I see this as a problem with nearly all gear reviews unless, of course, the item falls to bits, leaks etc.

- My two other down jackets are completely different so any comparisons would be meaningless.


  1. Hi Gibson,

    Apologies, I made a hash of the original comment.

    Would this jacket be one you'd need to shed when working hard on the uphill sections? I struggle with winter layering because, no matter how cold it is, I seem to get very hot on steep uphill sections and then cool very quickly at rest stops.

    My wife is completely different: she has to wrap well against the cold but then seems to run at a much more even temperature almost regardless of the terrain.

    1. Hi Dave,

      In most conditions I think it would be too warm for me on uphill sections, and I run cold. I like to walk 'just warm enough' and then put a down jacket on when I stop. Luxury.

      This afternoon I've been drooling over some very expensive down jackets in Tiso's but managed to resist. My ancient Annapurna doesn't owe me anything...

  2. We've been here before, Gibson. "It doesn't owe me anything" is a very vulnerable place to be.

  3. For around the £100 it sounds a decent buy. I like the colour btw. Is the 600 the down fill?

    1. I'd say so Alan and it's the jacket I'll automatically reach for this winter. 600 fill power. 80/20 duck down/feather mix.

  4. Gibson I have had a PHD down jacket for a few years now. Never worn when walking(too warm for me) except when it was -15C in the winter of 2010, but of course that temperature is unusual for UK. They are however great for in camp and a dry and crisp day for lunch stops. I tend to wear my Montane Flux if it is wet, it is not as warm, but as it is synthetic I don't have to worry about moisture.

    1. Hi mark

      I've used my ME Annapurna at -25C at Glenmore, an exceptionally cold period of about 5 days when people were skating across Loch Morlich. For about 25 years we spent the Christmas/New Year fortnight there with the caravan/motorcaravan. There's nothing quite like a down jacket.

      I have a Liv Down Sweater for Spring to Autumn backpacking and a Rab Neutrino (synthetic) for damp, cold days.

  5. Looks like a nice jacket Gibson. Perhaps similar to (but heavier than) my Western Mountaineering jacket, so I'm not tooo jealous!

  6. Hi Martin

    Yes it's excellent and has been perfect for the cold frosty weather of late, although as yet I haven't used it on the hill. With my knee OK now, tomorrow looks perfect for a meander in the Ochils so I'll take it with me.