The Mountain Equipment Kinesis jacket is both a midlayer and an outer layer and over the last couple of months has become my favourite piece of outdoor clothing. I’ve used it alpine climbing in the Alps last summer, winter climbing in Scotland, and on various hiking trips and trail runs, and it’s been awesome on all of these occasions. So why exactly is this my favourite jacket?
Watch the review instead of having to read it:
The Kinesis jacket packs down pretty small, into its own inner pocket. It has a loop as well so you can attach it to your harness when using it as a light belay jacket.
This jacket is incredibly light weight, Mountain Equipment say it’s 325g, and I’ve weighed it after buying it, after wearing it for a while and after washing it and size M actually comes in slightly below that.
The fit of the jacket is really nice, it gives you enough freedom to wave your arms around when climbing without the jacket coming up too far. The pockets are slightly higher so that you can still access them when you’re wearing a harness. There’s also a small pocket on the inside that fits a phone or a couple of bars. The hood is thin enough to fit under a helmet.
The insulation in the hood is pretty thin but so far it’s always kept my neck, ears and head warm enough, even in pretty bad conditions in Scottish winter. In fact, even when I got pretty soaking wet, some of the insulating capacity remained. The hood and the sleeves, so anything that’ll come in direct contact with skin, are lined with what Mountain Equipment calls a high-wicking microgrid lining. And the lining does a really good job, it’s comfortable against the skin.
I’m pretty impressed with how windproof the outer material is and at the same time how breathable it this. This is awesome because it means you don’t have to delayer and relayer all the time to regulate your temperature.
The only thing that bothers me is that there seems to be a manufacturing mistake on the seams at the end of the sleeves (see video for shots of this). Anyway, it hasn’t had any impact on the performance or comfort of the jacket, so not a big deal.
Right, so let’s summarise: the pros of this jacket are:
- it’s super low weight
- very good weight to insulation ratio
- it’s windproof
- it packs into its own pocket
- the fit of the jacket is good
and all of this makes this jacket super versatile.
Now the cons:
- there might be an issue with manufacturing quality
- it’s not cheap
And I’m saying not cheap rather than expensive because yes it’s expensive compared to midlayer alternatives such as a simple fleece jacket, but it’s so much more than that which justifies the higher price somewhat.
Buy the Mountain Equipment Kinesis Jacket here.