review by Tony Lourens
A softshell jacket is one of those garments that once you have one, you simply can’t do without it. You get windbreakers, you get rain shells and then you get the softshell. The softshell sort of fits somewhere between a windbreaker and a full blown rain shell. Its purpose is to protect you against the elements, but it is more than that; it is designed with movement and comfort in mind. If you don a good softshell, it is like fitting on an Armani suit – it hugs your body and its sort of moulds to your shape . . . you just don’t want to take it off.
K-Way’s new Kili Softshell fits that description to a T. Manufactured from a robust fusion of nylon, polyester and elastane, the garment has a wonderful 4-way stretch and articulated sleeve construction, giving great freedom of movement, which works particularly well for climbing, when tucked under your harness. And unlike most other softshells, the Kili is also fully seam sealed and fitted with water repellent zips, making it totally waterproof. It sports a well-fitting, articulated and adjustable hood with visor, so when fully zipped up and cinched closed you feel sort of invincible.
The jacket has good moisture permeability and generous pit zips to keep you drier in high energy situations, and comes with Velcro cuff seals and a waist draw cord, which is adjustable from inside the pockets. Other features include two zipped waist pockets to keep your hands warm and two zipped chest pockets (one geared for earphones) to stash stuff like your phone, snack bars, route descriptions and other essentials.
Suitable as a mid-layer or outer layer, this softshell is the perfect addition to K-Way’s Expedition Series.
As I said, if you don’t have a softshell as part of your arsenal, then I suggest you go and check out the new Kili Softshell Hoody. But be warned – once you put it on, you won’t want to take it off.
• Two hand-warmer pockets
• Two chest pockets
• Water-repellent YKK zips
Fabric: 56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane
Waterproof rating: 15,000 mm
MVP (moisture-vapour permeability): 15,000 g/m2 + DWR
Weight: 730 g