Berghaus Caudale Half-Zip Fleece Pullover

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Reviews

2

The Berghaus Caudale is a lightweight microfleece…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 40 pounds/60 dollars

Summary

The Berghaus Caudale is a lightweight microfleece midlayer weighing in at a reported 322g (according to Berghaus), but offering a great warmth-to-weight ratio. It features several well thought-out design features including elasticated hem and cuffs, soft chin guard, bonded pocket on arm for small essential items, deep neck zip for ventilation.

Pros

  • Lightweight but warm (322 g)
  • Chin guard
  • Deep neck zip
  • Bonded pocket on the arm
  • Good looks
  • Good construction

Cons

  • Pricey (although not exorbitant by any means)
  • Sizing a little small, going one size up is recommended
  • Stitching is adequate but could be more robust

Fit and Comfort:

I typically wear large (5'10 and 1/2", 200 lbs), but can often get away with medium with many North American brands, British sizes tend to be a lot less generous, so like with most UK brands, I had to size up for a comfortable fit. A size large fit me very well, and is adequate for comfortably layering over a baselayer/shirt.

I found the top to be very comfortable with no areas of friction, tightness or gapping. Unlike most microfleece tops, the Caudale has an elasticated hem and cuffs which help for a nice fit, particularly when layering on top. The bottom doesn't ride up, and the sleeves stay in place under a softshell or rain shell. Another nice touch is the chin guard which prevents friction from the zipper against my beard, something which can become very irritating after a long day out.

Adjustability:

There is no adjustability to speak of, but the addition of elastic hem and cuffs is a nice touch and allows for a better fit.

Breathability and Moisture:

Being a lightweight microfleece, it breathes fairly well, and does a decent enough job of wicking moisture away. The use of a deep chest zip is a good touch for ventilation and it does a good job of cooling you down should you overheat.

Warmth:

For the weight, it is quite effective at keeping you warm. It is not going to compete with heavier weight fleeces (200, 300g), but it works very well for a microfleece. Part of that is probably due to the elastic hem and cuffs and the snug but comfortable collar which help seal the warmth it.

Layering:

As a lightweight fleece top, it is ideal as a mid layer (although it is soft and comfortable enough to work as a baselayer if someone would be so inclined). Although I have mentioned them multiple times, the elastic cuffs work well for layering as they don't ride up as easily when layering over this top.

Abrasion:

Berghaus market the fabric of this material as "AT Micro - Lightweight packable micro fleece made from 100% polyester micro denier yarns, designed to offer a comfortable feel to the skin. The micro fleece has a non-pilling face to ensure its performance and looks are retained after repeated home washing." So far it has resisted pilling and looks very good. I have not used it as an outer layer, so I cannot comment on how it would resist rash from a pack, but so far, being used as a mid-layer it still looks great.

Features: 

Besides the elastic hem and cuffs, and the deep neck zip with soft chin-guard, the Caudale also features a bonded pocket on the arm, which besides giving the top a unique look, is just about perfect for an emergency credit card, or some cash, or maybe a key.

Construction and Durability:

So far this garment looks well put together and has not shown signs of wear. It is a lightweight top, and it is microfleece so I don't expect the world of it.

Conditions:

I have used this as a mid-layer hiking in Scotland and Wales. I usually wear it early in the morning on the way to the ascent, for which I put it away, then put it back on to stay warm on the descent. So far it has not disappointed.

Ultimately this is a very nice microfleece top, It has some nice touches that the average microfleece does not (elastic hem and cuff, chin guard, non-obtrusive pocket on arm), it has a nice cut and looks great, and the construction is of a good standard. Still at nearly 40 pounds or 60 dollars, it is price substantially higher than most decent (albeit less featured) microfleeces (many Craghoppers can be had for 25-30 dollars), but also less than many other brands. If it got lost or damaged, I would buy it again (but would wait for a sale).

Berghaus Caudale Half-Zip Fleece Pullover

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