Inside the outdoor industry

FIELD TEST: Keela Talus jacket

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Seasoned outdoor enthusiasts understand a very basic principle as the colder months approach – the layering system.

Presuming that a single, bulky jacket will keep you warm is a novice mistake to make, when actually multiple, thinner layers work more efficiently at keeping air trapped, acting as an insulator.

Essentially, layering works on three principles: the base layer provides some warmth and should have wicking properties to transport sweat away from the body; the mid layer provides insulation and directs heat back to the body; and an outer layer protects from the initial effects of the cold, wind and rain.

Using this layering approach allows for the self-regulation of body heat, i.e. putting on layers when cold and removing layers if feeling warm.

Keela’s Talus technical jacket can be used as part of a mid-layer when using this system or worn as an outer layer during warmer conditions.

The jacket benefits from excellent thermal insulation thanks to a 60gsm Primaloft Gold filling, with the added advantage of being lightweight and easily compressed – creating a very warm garment without the associated bulkiness.

Stretch side panels offer excellent movement without any restriction when hiking or participating in other outdoor activities, while there is good wind and water resistant properties thanks to the 100 percent nylon ‘Flylite Ripstop’ outer fabric used in the manufacturing process.

Our sample was initially tested and worn as an outer garment on both dry and wet days. With precipitation at 80 per cent, the Flylite fabric worked brilliantly, keeping the inside dry and offering superb wicking properties by keeping moisture buildup away from the skin. Manufacturing notes explain the process behind Primaloft Gold – the microfibres form tiny pockets of air that trap the body heat along with a tight surface tension that resists moisture penetration, with the insulation drying faster than goose down. We can testify that this process works brilliantly on the Talus.

Impressive compression

As part of a mid-layer on very cold days, the compressive nature of the jacket made it a perfect  complement to an outer jacket, offering no restriction and providing excellent thermal and wicking properties, working effectively and efficiently as part of a layering system, providing a comprehensive solution to the cold weather.

Other features include an attached hood with flexible peak that can be shaped as desired, along hood volume adjuster, chest pocket, two large body pockets  and large inner pocket, articulated sleeves, adjustable cuff tabs and shock cord at hem and hood and two-way zip with an inner storm flap.

Our test sample came in a charcoal colour with striking inner blue hood and blue detailing on the zips, making it really stand out amongst the other conventional black and green technical jackets seen on hiking expeditions, bravo to the design team for being that little bit different!

The Talus is a well-designed, attractive product that more than holds its own in the super competitive mid-level technical jacket market, offering superb performance and value for money. The lightweight, breathable windproof/waterproof material will allow for long expeditions in the mountains, while its elegant looks and versatility mean it’s just as suited to the streets.

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