Fjällräven Keb Jacket Review

Fjällräven’s Keb Jacket is something else altogether. It’s been my first choice as my woodland ranger jacket, partly because it kinda looks the part but also because it’s perfect for the task. But it’s a complex bit of kit and it’s given me dilemma’s when using it. I shall explain.

Looking at the basics the Keb jacket is cut from the same fabric as the Keb Trousers reviewed immediately below this post. The lighter coloured fabric is the G-1000 polycotton and the darker panels are the softshell.
The same attention to user detail and function apply here too along with a slightly fitted but not too neat cut with perfect articulation around the arms. Over a baselayer the size large (794G) is a joy to wear with a good length on the body and nicely long arms

The paneling of the fabrics is done the right way with the G-1000 where you need it’s wind resistance on the chest and it’s abrasion resistance on the shoulders, forearms and hem. The big softshell back section is positioned to keep you drier and a pack cuts out most of the wind so it works well in most situations.

There’s zipped side vents which can be zipped open from top or bottom and these are great hand warmer as well which is usefull as the chest pockets are napoleon style. These pockets are a big with stretchy softshell external bags sewn onto the G-1000 which mean you can stuff kit into them without any effect of the fit of the jacket. Both popckets have wee internal stretchy extra pockets for your phone or things of a similar size and shape to your phone, like someone else’s phone or two Nestle Animal bars perhaps.
There’s another small zipped pocket on the left upper arm and like at the zips it’s got a magic wee leather pull tag with an arctic fox on it. Love that wee touch.

The main zip is chunky and has stiff internal and external stormflaps with additional poppers top and bottom to seal you in. The lower hem is adjustable, a bungee cord with caoptured cordlocks and the cuffs have old-school self-fabric wide velcro tabs. The cuffs pull around half way up my forearm which has been fine, there’s enough venting here for me not to need them up to my elbow in the cool weather the Keb works best in.

Then there’s the hood. The hood is all G-1000 and based on a polar design which gives you a tunnel in front of your face for complete protection. The stiff peak can be folded back to give you better vision and even when folded down the hood protects with a high collar, I can get my nose in it when the jacket’s zipped right up.
There’s velcro tabbed volume adjustment and cordlocked bungees to draw it in around your head and face.
The hood is a work of art.
But, it doesn’t fit on the this jacket for me, it’s too heavy and bulky and offers more protection than the rest of the jacket, so you you’ll have to throw on another layer in bad weather and this hood will not layer under anything I have, even the biggest helmet compatible hood.

I’d keep the G-1000 up to collar height and then make a more basic hood from the softshell so it can be layered more easily. The fabrics used are very breathable and quick drying, they layer under Gore-Tex and eVent perfectly, but the hood thing had me keeping the Keb at home and taking out other kit although I knew that the rest of the jacket would work perfectly.

I love the Keb Jacket and I use it all the time around the Kilpatricks, but the hood limits it for me. It’s been incredibly frustrating as it’s a jacket that’s been built for the mountains.

8 thoughts on “Fjällräven Keb Jacket Review

  1. Hi Petesy, I’ve been considering whether or not I could live with that over-specced hood for some time and the doubt has been putting me off taking the (expensive) plunge. I think you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head there – Fjellraven have put an Arctic hood on a mid-weight trekking jacket…..weird!

  2. The hood’s a strange one, it’s great hood but it’s parked in the wrong place. And, it’s a great jacket too, I love it as much as I’m frustrated by it.
    My comments were taken by Fjallraven in the spirit they were written in, maybe if others have found the same they might make some revisions.

  3. hi, i found the hood really great, i spend about two hours a day 6 days a week trekking in a super exposed area in Ireland right throughout winter, so cross winds are a real issue, i could never get a proper hood to replace an old Patagonia one until this one came along, this area would be similar to Norway’s exposed landscape so maybe it depends on the environment, i could see how it wouldn’t be great around woodland etc another good thing is the weight which prevents overheating in a moderate climate, i like the jacket anyway !

  4. Aye, the hood works really well, in fact the whole jacket works great, I don’t think I’ve had a real issue with Fjallraven kit.
    I just felt it too heavy for the jacket, the Westwinds arctic smock I have has a very similar hood and a body that feels as beefy.
    It’s just a personal perception rather than a fault, that and not being able to get a waterproof over it when it was really battering down!

  5. HI, nice review, enjoyed it. But, I have a question I’m hoping someone here can get me straight on. Most of the reviews of Fjallraven gear that I have read, here and elsewhere, rave about the kit. Personally I really like what I see, but so far I have purchased a Greenland Jacket, and was quickly disappointed with G-1000 as a fabric. On a cold windy day last week, the wind whipped straight through it. The rain, likewise. “No problem” thought I, “I will wax it as demonstrated all over the web”. Here was the first problem, a couple of strokes with the wax over the front left side of the jacket were enough to gouge a hole straight through the fabric where the wax rubbed against the zipper of the inside pocket. I was stunned to see how easy it was to rip this allegedly robust, hand on to your kids, fabric. Second problem, waxing has only barely improved the water repellency, a bit of beading, but mostly straight through into the fabric.
    So, what am I doing wrong here? I really like this gear, it looks the part, and clearly has lots of dedicated fans, so have I just picked up a rogue Greenland (new from Tiso, Edinburgh in their xmas sale), or am I completely missing something? Thanks.

  6. I’d take it back, I’ve found the G-1000 to be really hard wearing. The kit I’ve got’s been abused regularly and it’s only showing signs of regular wear, a few scuffs and creases – a bit like denim wears.

    I find it pretty wind resistant as well but like you say not so good in the wet, I can’t be bothered with the faff of waxing though, again like you say it improves it a bit but I just work around the lack of water repellency.

    It’s a bummer it’s not working for you, it’s expensive kit.

  7. Hi Petesy and everybody. Re the Keb’s hood, my gripe with it was that I couldn’t see how any other hood, such as on a waterproof jacket, could possibly work over it . In my old stomping grounds on and around Cader Idris, strongly wind-blown precipitation (ahem) is a common occurrence and water resistant jackets just don’t cut it on their own. G1000, soft shell and Analogy garments are simply overpowered and require additional ‘support’. Kit that won’t play nice with other items is a bit of a dead end really.
    As for g1000’s durability I’ve not had any issues with wear at all on any of the Fjellraven kit I own, in fact there’s barely a mark on any of it despite practically daily use of some items for months on end. Water resistance is just that, it’s by no means waterproof nor can it be made so (except perhaps by rubber-coating it!). I’ve tried waxing it but that a messy, time -consuming faff. Various attempts with Nik-Wax products have helped to reduce ‘wetting out’ but that’s it, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference which product one uses so I just use whatever is to hand. Wind resistance is better than soft shell, almost to ‘Windstopper’ levels but with better breathability and I pretty much don’t wear regular soft shell trousers any more.

  8. Aye, what you said!

    Was talking to Fjallraven PR today to sort out some new season kit, really liking the down to earth feel of the gear.

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