Fjällräven Keb Padded Jacket | Review
Fjällräven's lightweight synthetic jacket mixes down-like looks and subtle classic retro styling for versatile on and off the hill performance.
'The Keb Padded mixes understated, down-like, urban-friendly looks with impressive technical performance making it a jacket you can wear about town or on the hill with equal effectiveness'
Outdoors Magic: Surprisingly warm, light, packable, retro-styling with some neat features, at home in town as well as on the hill.
Outdoors Tragic: No hood, slightly loose cut, expensive.
Outdoors Grabbit? Fjällräven's signature retro styling makes for a jacket which is as much at home wandering around town as it is on the hill. Leather zip-pulls look cool, while G1000 trimmings add durability and aesthetic appeal. That's good, but the G-Loft fill gives decent warmth to weight ratio and the jacket packs down well to give deceptively effective packable and windproof warmth with good damp tolerance. It's undeniably expensive, particularly given that it has no hood, but as a sort of hybrid fusion of understated urban looks and genuine outdoor performance, there's not much that compares.
Keb Padded Jacket Ratings
Outright Warmth [rating score="2.5"]
Packability [rating score="3.5"]
Damp-proofing [rating score="3.5"]
Overall: [rating score="3.5"]
Lightweight synthetic-fill insulated jacket / synthetic G-Loft Supreme fill / polyester shell and liner fabrics / G-1000 reinforcements at hem, pockets and main-zip / two-way front zipper / two zipped hand-pockets / open mesh liner pockets / elasticated cuffs and adjustable hem
Full Review Below
Keb Padded Jacket - The Fill
The lightweight Keb Padded Jacket looks and feels very like a down jacket, but it's actually made from a carefully-developed, Austrian-made synthetic fill called G-Loft Supreme.
The video above explains some of the details, but it uses three different polyester fibres including 10 per-cent recycled content.
What's interesting is that those recycled fibres add stiffness and resilience to the fill and are carefully distributed evenly throughout the fill - 'every tenth fibre' says Fjällräven. The result is a fill with similar loft to middle-grade down along with the ability to regain loft quickly after being compressed plus characteristic synthetic fill's resistance to damp.
Last but not least, the fill has a nice, soft, almost down-like feel to it without the 'dense wadding' vibe that some synthetic insulation is prone to.
Fjällräven Keb Padded Jacket - Performance
You could be forgiven, at first glance, for thinking the Keb Padded is some sort of outdoor wannabe fashion jacket. Sure, it has a gentle mildly retro, urban-style vibe, a luxuriously soft feel, and you can wander through a Saturday night city centre without feeling like a refugee from Everest Base Camp, but a combination of a high performing synthetic insulation and lightweight fabrics means its also works just fine in the outdoors.
For starters, it packs down decently small, as small say, as something like the Rab Xenon X and recovers loft quickly when it is unpacked. It's effectively fully windproof and while it's very much a lightly insulated jacket, we found it was surprisingly warm.
It's also damp resistant in a synthetic fill way - it retains decent loft if it does get damp and dries quickly. The cut isn't super sleek, that's not the Fjällräven way, but not overly loose either, so there's enough room for a warm fleece underneath or some weight gain tolerance. An adjustable hem helps seal things up down below.
What is characteristically nice about the Keb Padded, are the understated styling touches. Stuff like the leather zip-pulls and fox badge and the classic G1000 waxed poly-cotton hem-cord tunnel, storm-flap backing and zip covers. Plus the down-like baffle lines mean that it looks not unlike a classic down jacket.
As ever, it's not really a great option for hard, on the move use, but it's ideal for slinging on for lunch-stops, around camp or in a bunkhouse or mountain hut.
Fjällräven Keb Padded Jacket - Verdict
An interesting mix of understated styling and decent technical capability, the Keb Padded Jacket may not be as ostentatiously performance orientated as some of the alternatives, but it still does a creditable and effective outdoors job.
Where it scores bonus points is in doubling up as a stealthily cool about town option with faintly retro styling touches and a neat down-like look and soft, comfortable feel.
There's no getting away from the £200 price-tag and it could arguably benefit from either a hood or a hooded option, but if you're looking for a lightweight, packable, decently warm jacket that you can also wear around town, it fits the bill nicely.
Thanks to the guys at Outside in Hathersage for allowing us to photograph the Keb in their iconic cafe.