Keela Talus Synthetic Insulated Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Keela Talus Synthetic Insulated Jacket | Review

A cosy jacket with an impressive fill, great features and all at a very decent price

Why We Chose It: Great value, excellent insulation, impressive hood design

Keela, in case you’re not too familiar with them, are an outdoor brand that, for the last 25 years, have been making kit to withstand harsh environments – basically the stuff they get on their doorstep on the east coast of Scotland. With this new launch from them, called the Talus, their expertise really is on show. It’s a synthetic insulated jacket designed not just with warmth but breathability in mind too. Then there’s it’s wet weather performance…

Photo: Chris Johnson

Who Is The Keela Talus For?

This is a jacket for anyone who ventures into cold and wet places. We can see it as being a great option as a standalone insulator during the warmer months, something to sling on on a windy summit or when the sun starts to set while you’re at camp. Then come winter, it’ll work excellently as part of a layering system. Scottish mountaineers should particularly like that aspect of it. 

Materials and Construction

60gsm of PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation is used right across the jacket, including in the collar and hood. It’s actually been carefully zoned as well, so the bulk of it in the torso and then there’s a slightly lighter fill in the arms so that your movement isn’t hindered at all. 

Now, the great thing about PrimaLoft Gold is that it basically brings the same kind of feel and performance as down, with an excellent warmth to weight ratio and lovely lofty feel. It even has a bit of an edge over down when it comes to wet weather use, because while standard down will flop and become useless with a bit of rain, PrimaLoft Gold will still carry on insulating, even when it’s absolutely soaked. What’s more, at least 50% of this fill is made from recycled content, more specifically, plastic bottles diverted from landfills.

Then there’s the outer shell fabric which, despite feeling very light actually has a surprising durability to it. That’s all thanks to the Cordura fibres that make up the ripstop thread within it –  a seriously impressive touch, that.

Stretchy fleece-lined panels then line the sides of the torso and under the arms to add a bit of extra comfort and to aid the overall temperature regulation as well.

Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson
Photo: Chris Johnson


Features include an external zipped pocket on the chest that’s big enough for a phone and some snacks. There’s also a zipped pocket on the inside to stow your gloves and the two handwamer pockets which are large enough to take an OS map and just about accessible when you’re wearing a climbing harness or a backpack with a hipbelt. 

The elasticated cuffs are stretchy enough to allow a pair of medium-thick gloves to slip through them. There’s adjustment on the hem in the form of a glove-friendly cinch and there’s adjustment at the hood too. Speaking of the hood, this has a malleable wired peak to keep the rain off your face and it’ll fit comfortable underneath a climbing helmet. 

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“This is exactly the kind of insulated jacket that I look for – one that’s made for the normally rather wet conditions we get in the UK. You see, on a typically wet day here, you’re going to get damp no matter how good your waterproof jacket is, normally because moisture starts to seep in around neck, and it’s this inevitability that makes me prefer synthetic insulation to down. With an insulated fill like PrimaLoft Gold, you can accept that while you’re going to get wet, at least you’re going to still be kept warm – and that’s not usually the case with down, unless it has some impressive hydrophobic treatment. 

“It has that excellent, durable outer fabric that’ll shrug off pretty much all but the roughest of rock.”

“What I also like about Primaloft is that it can take a bit of a beating and it won’t get irreversibly damaged. Again, the same can’t necessarily be said for down. OK, down might be a bit lighter and warmer but when rain is likely, I’m not really going to care about that.”

Photo: Chris Johnson

“Long story short, what I’m trying to say is that I really like PrimaLoft Gold jackets and this is a particularly good example of one. Why? Because it has that excellent, durable outer fabric that’ll shrug off pretty much all but the roughest of rock and there’s also the very impressive hood as well. I love its wire peak and the amount of fill in it makes it very cosy. 

“I like the fit as well. I’m 5 foot 10 and about 11 stone and I tested this in a medium, my usual size, and it fitted very nicely. I could fit my waterproof shell over the top comfortably and on particularly cold days I also found I could fit a couple of layers underneath it too. These aspects all make it a very handy addition to any layering systems in winter. 

“Granted, it’s not the kind of jacket I’d be relying on by itself in the middle of winter, but it’ll certainly do the job throughout summer. And that price? £140. That’s not half bad for a jacket of this quality.

OM editor Will testing the Talus during a scramble up Moel Hebog. Photo: Jordan Tiernan

Ash Routen, expedition writer and photographer

“Keela pitch their Talus Jacket as their perfect mid or outer layer. But as someone who tends to run hot, especially when active, it’s more of an outer layer for me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve given the Talus a run out on countryside walks, but my experience of Arctic travel means I have a good idea of how useful it might be when the mercury drops.

“For the damp British hills, the Talus seems tailormade.”

“The first thing I noticed is that the Talus provides a surprising amount of warmth, and the coated Flylite Ultra fabric is impressively water resistant (although you’d need a shell over the top during prolonged rain). On my testing, it survived being dragged through a thorny hedge, so the added Cordura ripstop to the fabric obviously adds an element of toughness.”

Keela Talus

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