It would be hard to find a jacket packed with more features, Berghaus describes the Changtse as a feat of engineering and I can’t disagree.
Designed as an all-purpose jacket, the articulation is so good that the shoulder shape and arms ride like a bike-specific style. It’s where you’ll often have to compromise on a multi-function jacket – the arms don’t shape in quite the right way or the sleeves will be a shade too short – but not this one.
The fabrication is a complex combination of three (yes, three) types of Gore-Tex, which makes it a science project all in itself.
The heat-generating core is made from highly breathable Gore-Tex Active Shell; the chest and arms, areas prone to more wear, feature Gore-Tex Paclite Plus for abrasion resistance and durability; finally, Gore-Tex Topo Stretch is used at the hem and around the cuffs for extra give when you need it – it also means there’s no need for additional adjustment in the form of fiddly Velcro tabs or draw cords.
In practice, it has proved to be a combination that really works. An extended autumn of very wet but very warm weather has probably tested the breathability to the limit and it has performed so well that I haven’t even bothered to open up the pit zips.
As I would expect from Gore-Tex fabrics, which are guaranteed waterproof, it has shown no signs of leaking even under the most committed downpours.
All the zips are water resistant and the full-length front zip is also two way. It’s a feature that’s intended to accommodate a climbing harness, but I like them as a quick way to vent without fully opening a jacket and then it’s a quick zip downwards to close it up before long descents.
The hood is helmet-compatible and the Berghaus mountaineering heritage is telling in the protective height of the front collar when it’s up, it’s reassuringly shielding and in the sort of proper downpours when the rain is just dumping from the heavens, it makes a real difference.
From the simplicity of the long zip pulls to the complex fabrication, every detail of this jacket has been meticulously designed, and if you’re investing in jacket to do everything it’s worth the spend.