It’s finally cold enough to write this blog post! (I say “finally” because I like proper seasons – none of this changeable stuff – bring on the winter!) I’ve had this jacket for ages but it’s so warm I’ve not wanted to wear it much. In the last few weeks, though, it has definitely proved its worth and I have high hopes for it as the nights really draw in. It’s become my go to, something for every day wear. And now I’ve given it a proper try I can share my thoughts.
I don’t know about you, but Keela is a new-to-me brand. On their website they say they create technical clothing for those serious about the outdoors. They’re based up in Fife (Scotland), and support Britain on Foot which is a great organisation aiming to encourage lots more of us to get active outdoors. So they say all the right things, and I have been enjoying my first introduction to them.
This is the Keela Ladies Belay Pro Jacket. It’s a sleeping-bag down style jacket filled with Primaloft Gold infill, a synthetic down material that is said to have excellent thermal properties. It is lightweight and squishes down small, but had some bulk to it once you’ve shaken it all out and put it on so you feel all cosy when wearing it.
Designed for wintry conditions, it’s perfect for snuggling into on a cold evening outside (think camping or on bonfire night), or as one of a number of layers depending on what you’re up to. Primaloft Gold is a microfibre insulation that is warm and light, dries quickly and is very compressible. The flylite ripstop fabric is wind resistant and shower proof, and should stand up to rough and ready outdoors activities without splitting while still being thin and light. I say don’t wear this out in heavy rain, mainly because it will eventually become saturated, but I have yet to be soaked through when wearing this in light to medium showers, and the technical details say that this insulation will keep you warm even if the jacket is wet.
I went for the size 14, one bigger than normal, as I wanted it to fit with ease and allow me to layer up underneath. It’s perfect for that – I can fit a warm hoodie (or some more sensible hiking layers) under it and still have plenty of room to move, which makes this absolutely brilliant for evenings outside. The fact it doesn’t have a hood goes in its favour here too – I don’t like double hoods as I find that restrictive. I imagine this will be just the ticket when it’s freezing in the mornings in a month or two and I have to scrape the car windscreen, or sit outside while Chip Bunny has a hop around, or just head to the farm shop on a Sunday afternoon for essential roast dinner accompaniments.
Apart from the warmth you get from that down style infill, and the wind resistance you get from the ripstop fabric, there are other features Keela have put into this jacket that make it great for the outdoors. Two large pockets give you room for your bits and bobs (or your hands!), and the two way zip is easy to grab with gloves on. The cuffs and hem are adjustable, there is a stormflap, the scooped back gives you something to sit down on, and the neck baffle is cosy when you do it up all the way.
This is a jacket, a coat, to snuggle in to when out and about in the cold weather. And at under £80 it also offers great value for money in comparison to other insulated jackets. I’ll definitely be making lots of use of it this winter.
Thank you to Keela for introducing themselves to me by sending me this coat to try out. Check out the Keela website for this and other products.