Gear Review: Fjällräven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket

A clean, waterproof shell made from recycled fabric for long, wet days in town and on the trail

Growing up in the PNW and now living in NYC, I’ve learned there’s no real excuse for being caught outside with dysfunctional gear. Much of what is sold as “waterproof” is anything but—the difference between 10k mm and 20k mm waterproof rating is enormous—and being mistaken about your level of protection can be annoying in the city and downright dangerous on the trail. With this in mind we were excited to test out the new Keb Eco-Shell jacket from Swedish outfitter Fjällräven this past month while roaming around a bit of South America.

Though GORE-TEX is more or less the most recognizable, and trusted, waterproof material on the market, there are a handful of contenders making equally functional and at times even better adaptable fabrics. Fjällräven may have hit the nail on the head with their three-layer Eco-Shell, made from recycled polyester with fluorocarbon-free impregnation. It’s durable, stretchy when and where needed, and is rated to 30k mm waterproof, 26k breathability—aka damn near unstoppable.

We tested the jacket in the humid jungle of Peru, rain soaked streets of Colombia, and even more recently, riding around Brooklyn in intermittent rainfall. It performed exceptionally well in all conditions—was breathable under stress and waterproof to no end.

Zipper pull tabs and an embossed leather shoulder patch are the only embellishments on the otherwise perfectly minimal jacket—all the usual pit zips and velcro cuffs come standard, of course. Even the hood is oversized to accommodate a helmet. Our only gripe is the lack of lower hand warmer pockets, though the dual zippered chest pockets with elastic mesh pockets inside held all we needed with minimal to no interference during movement.

In short, if you’re after a new shell capable of moving from the city to the campsite and even into the backcountry, give the Keb a closer look.

$299 from Fjällräven. see more of the Keb in action in our recent Rainbow Mountain and Salkantay Trail Photo Essays

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