Expensive, yes, but this is a jacket that oozes quality while remaining highly practical, exemplifying Fjällräven’s aim to develop functional, durable and timeless outdoor gear, while acting responsibly towards nature and people.
One of the first things you notice when pulling on the Keb Eco-Shell is the softness of the inner fabric and the overall lightness of the jacket (520g). This is a real asset if you’re a hiker, biker or skier who likes to move at pace, not only because its modest weight keeps you cool – superb breathability and large ventilation zips on the sides of the jacket supplement this – and the fabric is comfortable against your skin, but also because it takes up very little room in your rucksack when not in use. If your speed is less rigorous, and you’re out in winter, you’ll need to layer-up beneath the jacket; the fit it generous, so you’ll have no trouble doing this.
The Keb Eco-Shell may not be as heavyweight as some of the other hard shells on test but don’t be fooled, this is a jacket designed for demanding adventures all year round. It’s wind- and waterproof three-layer construction is extremely protective. The 30K HH– on paper one of the most waterproof jackets on test – proved to be extremely effective out in the field in heavy rain. Additional protection comes through the protective flap on the inside of the front zipper and a substantial hood with large peak – the size of the hood, without a helmet, does mean that it doesn’t hold as tightly to your head as other jackets on review.
It’s clear from the size and positioning of the pockets that Fjällräven has designed the Keb Eco-Shell to be as practical as possible. The two chest pockets sit high on the jacket well away from the rucksack hipbelt or climbing harness. Both are large enough to fit an OS map and contain a small mesh pocket. There’s even a small hole inside the right pocket that allows you to thread headphones through to the inner jacket. There is another small pocket on the left arm, perfect for a ski pass, small device or snack, and one more meshed pocket inside the jacket for valuables.
As its name suggests, the jacket uses Eco-Shell, Fjällräven’s own PFC-free waterproof shell material made from 100% recycled polyester, which can be easily recycled at the end of its long life.
Keb Eco-Shell Jacket specifications
- Weight: 520g (men’s medium).
- Fabric: three-layer shell jacket in stretchy Eco-Shell.
- Maker’s waterproof rating: 30K HH.
- Breathability/vents: 26K g/m²/24h, side ventilation zips.
- Hood: attached hood with drawcord adjustment, helmet compatible.
- Pockets: two chest pockets, both with zipper and Inner mesh pocket, one inner zippered, mesh pocket, one small arm pocket.
- Sustainability: lightweight Eco-Shell (recycled polyester) and PFC-free DWR. All emissions during production and transport are climate compensated.
- Aftercare: wash separately on 30°C normal process, do not use fabric softener, use enzyme-free detergent, apply fluorocarbon-free impregnation after wash, close the zipper before wash, remove the leather pullers before wash. Tumble dry at low temperature.
Available in a wide variety of earthy tones for women and men.
The women’s version of the Feb Eco Shell varies only in cut, colour and weight (470g, women’s small). The rest of the jacket shares the same features at the men’s version.
Helly Hansen Vanir Icefall Down Jacket
Despite all the research into synthetic insulation, feather and down are still popular ways to insulate jackets. Down fill is extremely light for its weight, and breathable, too.
The heaviest and bulkiest jacket we tested this year – Helly Hansen’s Vanir Icefll Down Jacket – was luxuriantly warm. The down combines with panels of waterproof Primaloft Silver synthetic insulation in places likely to get soaked – including the shoulders. Velcro cuffs keep out cold air. The hood is very snug and easy to adjust. hellyhansen.com
The filling is 85% down, 15% European goose feather, responsibly sourced by Allied Feather & Down; plus patches of synthetic PrimaLoft Silver insulation. The jacket weighs 648g (men’s large)and has a hood with soft peak, two-way adjustment, water-resistant synthetic insulation. There are three pockets (two hip, one breast); too small for an OS map.