Berghaus Sella II Windstopper
Original Retail:£130 / $218 USD
The Men's Sella II WINDSTOPPER® Jacket is suitable as an outer through the summer for day hiking and light and fast alpine style climbing. This windstopper offers total windproofness and maximum breathability, combining the comfort of a soft mid-layer and the water resistance of a shell.
This jacket has a myriad of technical features to ensure that comfort is premium when the going gets tough.
Its performance comes from ultra breathable Gore Windstopper fabric that's reinforced in key areas when wearing with a rucksack. Plus, being ultra durable, it's built to endure heavy day to day use.
Gore WINDSTOPPER® Active Shell.
Two zipped ventilation mesh pockets.
Dual 2-way Underarm zip ventilation system.
Zippered chest stow pocket.
Deep snug neck with concealed drawcord adjustment.
350 g (average)
I picked this up while in Europe last Spring 2012 and at the time it had just come out to replace the original Sella Windstopper Jacket which was a great jacket in itself but had many issues.
The Sella 2 Windstopper Jacket appeases the criticism that the Sella 1 got while shedding some weight, getting a nicer design and improving on breathability.
PROS: You won't know it until wearing it but this is a very light and durable jacket compared to other softshells in the same class. The fabric weave is smooth as silk on both sides and has a unique sleekness to it that softshells seem to lack these days. Berghaus also uses a DWR coating that repels dirt as good as it repels water. I got the mustard yellow color and after 8 months of wear the color has not picked up any stains or abrasions during rock climbing and backpacking.
Berghaus recommends using Nikwax or powdered detergents to wash their gear. Also NEVER use Fabric Softeners when washing or it will delete the DWR and permanently ruin your gear.
I paid under $150 (80 quid) for this on sale and was very happy considering similar jackets from Mammut, North Face, Arcteryx, Patagonia and Marmot can cost twice as much. The 1-hand adjustable neck cinch/neck gator system works well and is easy to use during cold wet weather.
There is also a women's version to the Sella which is said to improve fit but retain function for female outdoor enthusiasts. This is a good thing.
CONS: Zipper pulls. Berghaus like Montane, Mammut, Rab and other Euro-brands love long bulky zipper pulls for every zip on their jacket. I deleted all the pulls except the main pull and shed about 1/4 of the weight off the entire jacket. They are heavy, cumbersome and unless you are wearing down mittens unnecessary.
Durability Issues - I took one star off because the hem cinch came loose for no reason at all. I used a safety pin to reattach it (see pics). Not sure why that happened.
No 2-way Belay zipper so any pack hipbelt or climbing harness has to go over the entire jacket.
Sleeves are cut short for the size. Which I actually love because it makes them easy to roll up when climbing AND the sleeves are very much articulated and stretchy so it works. This maybe a CON for many folks looking for wrist coverage in cold weather or winter running.
Overall after 8 months I am very happy with this jacket. The hand pockets serve as ventilation slits and are placed ABOVE where the hipbelt or climbing harness normally go. This fixes the big gripe that may owners had with the original Sella jacket. That said this jacket is more breathable and ventilation friendly even though it lacks a 2-way belay zipper.