Traditional and simple in its appearance, and designed to cope with the elements, the Cornice III is a Berghaus classic. Standout features include the rollaway hood and an internal zip that allows you to attach Berghaus midlayers. Note: this is not a jacket for fashionistas, but it will keep you warm and dry.
First and foremost, the two-layer Gore-Tex fabric ensures that the Cornice is both waterproof and breathable. It really is storm-level protection, coping comfortably with heavy rain for sustained periods.
Weighing in at 769g (men’s medium), it’s a warm jacket, too. The high collar, with its soft inner, offers welcome protection around the neck and face in inclement weather, and the jacket’s long length, ending between the mid and upper thigh, means the top part of your legs stay dry even in heavy rain. Drawcords at the base of the jacket and just above the hips allow you to tweak the shape to fit your body.
When you need extra warmth, a subtle interactive zip (a zip that allows you to attach a different garment to the inside of the jacket) means you can quickly attach one of Berghaus’s compatible midlayers. The hood, which is roomy with a large peak, can be adjusted from the back and sides, and neatly rolled away when not in use. Unlike other jackets, the rollaway hood isn’t at all fiddly, and tucks tidily inside the collar to provide further insulation around your neck. Meanwhile, a substantial double stormflap on the central zip of the jacket prevents leaks from entering in driving rain. This zip pulls up to your nose, where two flaps fold across the lower half of your face to provide further defence from the weather.
Unusually for a rain jacket, the two outer pockets sit right at the bottom of the Cornice III, beneath rather than above the rucksack hip-belt. A zip-and-storm flap combination protects the pockets, though they are quite shallow. When full, these outer pockets make the jacket feel quite bottom-heavy and a little awkward. A third concealed pocket on the chest is large enough to fit an OS Map.
The Cornice fits large, which is an advantage if you like to wear several underlayers, but you might want to consider going with the smaller option if you usually fall between sizes.
Available in black and dark blue.
Cornice III Jacket specifications
- Weight: 769g (men’s medium)
- Material: 2-Layer Gore-Tex fabric.
- Maker’s waterproof rating: 2-layer Gore-Tex.
- Breathability/vents: no vents, inner mesh on back of jacket for breathability.
- Hood: roomy with a large peak, can be adjusted from the back and sides, and neatly rolled away when not in use.
- Pockets: Two zippered pockets with storm flaps on thighs, one large, concealed pocket on the chest.
- Sustainability: PFC-free DWR
The nearest equivalent for women is the Women’s Glissade, £157.50. The women’s Glissade shares many of the same attributes as the men’s Cornice III – the roll-away hood, the interactive zip and the two-layer Gore-Tex fabric. Features that differ include the colour and cut, the pocket size and positioning, and the weight of the jacket (650g, size 12).
Berghaus Fellmaster Active GTX
A lightweight, cushioned walking shoe that quickly moulds to the feet and feels comfortable from the off. Toe and heel caps offer robust protection on rough paths and rocky terrain and the grippy Vibram sole is reassuring in wet weather. Despite these enhancements, the overall weight barely registers, which meant I still had a spring in my step after a full day’s walking. The OrthoLite inner sole offers proven, long-lasting cushioning and – combined with well-made Nubuck uppers – should last years without a serious drop in performance. The sole also claims to wick away foot moisture and thus combat unpleasant foot odours. Coupled with fully breathable uppers, this should be a particular bonus. With all the hot weather, this has been about 90% effective but I wouldn’t want to get the shoe wet inside.