Berghaus Women’s VapourLight Hyper Smock 2.0 ReviewAugust 26, 2015
- Comfortable elastic hem and cuffs
- Hood stays in place
- No full front zipper
- Clingy fabric
- Sleeves run short
When Berghaus announced it had designed a sub-three-ounce, fully waterproof jacket geared toward trail runners, testers were skeptical. It proved its worthiness as a contender, however—first nabbing a prestigious 2014/2015 ISPO Award, then winning testers over on soggy summer runs in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.
True to its claim, the Berghaus Women’s VapourLight Hyper Smock 2.0 seam-taped Hydroshell Hyper fabric is fully waterproof, effectively fending off rain and snow alike. In a complete downpour lasting multiple hours, some moisture does seep through, though not as readily as suspected. With semi-translucent fabric that resembles a colorful trash bag, it does not offer anything in the way of insulated warmth.
The biggest concern was that the Berghaus Women’s VapourLight Hyper Smock 2.0 would feel muggy on the inside. Instead, it breathes surprisingly well during high aerobic efforts. Some internal clamminess certainly developed after a while, though, and on especially cold or windy days, that eventually translated to minor chills.
This is a bare-bones, few-frills piece. Berghaus shortened the front zipper to a partial one (hence the “smock” name; it’s a pullover) to shave weight. Pulling a wet smock up and off inevitably led to some water dripping down onto dry base layers. One small zip pocket along the front stows a few essentials.
The hood is exceptionally well designed. Surprisingly, with no adjustment methods whatsoever, it stayed snug around the face, with a barely-there brim stiffener to shed rain droplets away from my eyes.
For being about as minimal as shells come, this smock is quite comfortable. The fit through the torso is spot on—neither restrictively tight, nor overly baggy. For one tester, the sleeves were short and the elasticized cuffs were loose. This caused the sleeves to ride up and leak in some rain when pumping her arms.
It’s impossible to say anything bad about what Berghaus has pulled off here in terms of lightweight packability. Packing all three ounces of the Hypersmock into its own tiny stuff sack works out to be about the size of your fist. When rain is forecasted to be light or intermittent rather than heavy and relentless, it’s the perfect gear choice for mountain ultras with mandatory gear lists.