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Berghaus vs The North Face: Which Should You Choose?

Berghaus vs The North Face
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Living in the UK, it pays to have a waterproof jacket. After all, it's likely you're going to rely on it for at least six months of the year.

When it comes to buying a new jacket, it's important to make the right investment and ensure you spend money on a coat that's going to stand the test of time.

Two brands famous for making sturdy jackets that can stand up to even the most adverse weather conditions are The North Face and Berghaus.

These two companies have forged serious reputations for making serious outdoor gear, but which one's going to ensure more bang for your buck?

We've put together this guide to help you make the right decision when it comes to picking out a new coat, whether it's for dog walking or fell-walking. In this instalment of Slingo’s Lifestyle blog, we compare The North Face and Berghaus to see which brand makes better-quality outdoor clothing.

To reach our conclusion, we'll compare the two brands in key categories, such as quality, price, sustainability, and more. But first, let's look at both brands' histories.

A Brief History of The North Face

The North Face was founded in 1966 in San Francisco by Douglas Tompkins and his wife Susie, who were avid outdoor enthusiasts. Originally a small skiing and backpacking company, the brand quickly expanded into manufacturing its own high-performance outdoor apparel and equipment.

Key innovations, such as the first affordable geodesic dome tent, cemented The North Face as a leader in technical outerwear. Today, it's one of the largest outdoor product companies in the world, renowned for its premium-quality jackets, footwear, bags, and accessories.

A Brief History of Berghaus

Berghaus was also founded in 1966 by climbers and mountaineers Gord Davison and Leo Halsman in Newcastle, England. Their vision was to create innovative and durable products specifically for mountaineers.

Some of Berghaus' pioneering innovations include the first fleece jacket (the Berghaus Windsmoor in 1972) and being the first brand to use Gore-Tex fabrics in the UK. Over the decades, the British company has remained focused on constant research and development to create award-winning technical outdoor clothing.

Berghaus gear has been worn on numerous Everest expeditions and major climbing pursuits around the world. It is now an iconic UK outdoor brand sold in over 40 countries.

The North Face or Berghaus: Which Should You Choose?

In this section, we put The North Face and Berghaus head-to-head across five key metrics - quality, value for money, outdoor suitability, fashion and sustainability - to see which company comes out on top.

Quality

The North Face

The North Face is an excellent option for anyone looking for a high-quality jacket, and the brand has worked tirelessly to create clothing that looks the part and serves its purpose as outdoor clothing.

Using durable, weather-resistant fabrics like Gore-Tex and premium insulation like 800-fill goose down, The North Face jackets are designed to stand the test of time and ensure your 100th wear feels as comfortable as your first.

Berghaus

Berghaus' products are very similar in quality, and its jackets have been a firm favourite amongst hikers and mountaineers for over 50 years. 

The brand has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in Newcastle. It has built its reputation on consistently making stylish jackets that encourage adventure, focusing on manufacturing lightweight, durable, and insulated pieces.

The North Face score: 9/10

Berghaus score: 8/10

Value for money

The North Face

The North Face's most budget-friendly jacket is the Resolve 2, a lightweight rain jacket costing around £100.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, the brand's most expensive outer layer is the Summit L6 Down Beadie 800 Jacket, which costs £650 and has been designed for extreme, high-altitude conditions. This jacket is loaded with technical features like a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex shell and 800-fill responsible down insulation.

Despite the differences in price between the cheapest and most expensive pieces, The North Face jackets represent good value for money when you consider their quality and all of the characteristics used to create them.

Berghaus

By comparison, Berghaus' cheapest piece is the Deluge Light Jacket, which is designed for milder weather and costs £80. Unlike The North Face's Resolve 2, the Berghaus piece does not have insulation, but it is lightweight and waterproof, making it ideal for spring and summer explorations.

The brand's most expensive piece is the MTN Guide GTX Pro Jacket costing £500 - slightly more than the equivalent North Face coat - made with a Gore-Tex Pro shell, this jacket is built to withstand the harshest weather the planet has to offer.

The North Face score: 9/10

Berghaus score: 8/10

Outdoor suitability

The North Face

The North Face was created by hiking enthusiasts, so it's safe to say that its pieces are designed and made by those in the know.

The brand's jackets are built with performance in mind and feature lightweight, breathable materials to maximise freedom of movement. 

Towards the top end of the price range, technical features include pit-zip venting, adjustable hoods and water-resistant zippers to ensure complete comfort whether you're summiting a peak or trekking through a forest.

See how two more outdoor giants got on in our Fjern vs Rab comparison guide

Berghaus

By comparison, Berghaus' collection of jackets also features something for whatever outdoor pursuit interests you. The English brand’s jackets are made with a series of premium fabrics, like Gore-Tex and include technical features that optimise comfort, including underarm zips, two-way zips, and Berghaus' own Hydroshell waterproof technology.

The North Face score: 9/10

Berghaus score: 9/10

Fashion

The North Face

The North Face offers a great range of jackets, whether you're looking for something that pops with colour or a piece that feels classy and understated. The brand's wide range of colours and fittings means there's something for every style and taste.

In recent years, The North Face has become a big name outside of its mountaineering roots. Brand collaborations with the likes of Supreme and Gucci have taken the American company to new heights. Its Purple Label range, made in partnership with Japanese brand nanamica, has also garnered a cult-like following all over the world.

Berghaus

Known for some of the most dependable jackets on the market, Berghaus seamlessly combines functionality with fashion, from durable hardshell jackets to casual, lightweight coats. You can find Berghaus jackets in a wide range of colours, and there are some great silhouettes to make you look as good in the peaks as you do in the precinct. 

With the increased popularity of rare outdoor clothing, vintage Berghaus jackets, like the Mera Peak and Extrem lines, have become some of the most sought-after outerwear available.

The North Face score: 9/10

Berghaus score: 8/10

Sustainability

The North Face

The North Face's pursuit of sustainability is plain to see when you look at its range, where many of its jackets include recycled materials. The brand's Recycled Range includes jackets made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled nylon, highlighting the brand's commitment to sustainability.

Berghaus

As fashionable and high-quality as Berghaus is, the brand also strives to make jackets that contribute to a better world. Many of the brand's products are made with recycled materials, and a respectable percentage are made with more than 50% recycled materials.

What's more, when browsing Berghaus's range, you can see the sustainability specifications for each jacket. Berghaus continues to improve its sustainability, and the brand's current transparency is a big sign of its dedication.

Need a new pair of wellies to go with your new Berghaus or North Face jacket? Check out Hunter vs Barbour Wellies: Which is Best? For advice on buying the perfect pair. 

The North Face score: 8/10

Berghaus score: 8/10

The North Face vs Berghaus: The Verdict

Now we've got to know both of these brands a little better. It's time to see which has won our comparison. So, without further ado, here are the final scores:

The North Face score: 44/50

Berghaus score: 41/50

And there we have it! The North Face has won by a fine margin. With little to separate these two iconic British companies, choosing either brand for your next outdoor adventure would be a great call.

Want to see how The North Face compares to another big British brand? Take a look at ‘Rab vs The North Face: Which Outdoor Clothing Brand is Best?’.


Step Up Your Outdoor Gear with Slingo

Whether you’re planning on scaling peaks or looking good in the precinct, buying a Berghaus piece or a jacket from The North Face can be expensive, especially if you want a top-of-the-range coat. 

Or, for more fashion advice and inspiration, head to our lifestyle blog for guides including: 


FAQs

What is Gore-Tex?

Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric used in outdoor gear like jackets, trousers, gloves, and boots. It allows sweat vapour to pass through while preventing liquid water from entering, helping you stay dry.

Both The North Face and Berghaus use Gore-Tex extensively in their top-end technical jackets, which are designed to withstand harsh conditions.

What is the difference between hardshell and softshell jackets?

Hardshell jackets use waterproof/breathable membranes like Gore-Tex to fully protect from wind and rain. Softshell jackets, meanwhile, are more stretchy, breathable, and lightweight and are designed for milder conditions.

Are outdoor jackets from The North Face and Berghaus worth the cost?

With their focus on premium materials, durable construction and advanced technologies, The North Face and Berghaus jackets are an investment. However, their performance and longevity make them worthwhile for avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The more affordable lines from each brand provide great value, too. When choosing a jacket, always consider your specific outdoor needs.


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