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KEELA Munro SDP Jacket

Out on the Cornish Coast Path on a changeable winter day the Munro proved ideal [©JG]

The Munro SDP is top of the range in KEELA’s extensive clothing catalogue and I have to say I have been hoping to get hold of one of these for a while now, writes Mike Gormley.

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I owned an early example of the Munro Jacket many years ago and it was this that really proved to me that the KEELA SDP (System Dual Protection) construction really does work. An opinion that has not changed over time.

That opinion was formed on a long and particularly miserable day on Dartmoor, when at the end of it all I was the only one in our group to be dry following a long wet day’s walking carrying our kit. My son Bruce eventually took over that jacket and used it for some years for his mountain exploits and it finally succumbed when used for work. For all the technical stuff I suggest you take check out the KEELA website; if you look, there is a lot of good info there. These is a section on the KEELA System Dual Protection, which to reiterate here would use more space than I am allowed, but its well worth a read.

On wet and windy days like this the hood on the Munro is very welcome and effective [©JG]

From my point of view it’s easy. It works! Over the years I have used SDP a lot on different garments and so know this from a lot of experience. My personal experience is backed up by the fact that the Munro is also used by some of the Mountain Rescue Groups and recently, in my neck of the woods, the Paramedics have been issued with a variant of it. A number of my walking friends are also KEELA users these days. Talking of variants, there is rather more to the KEELA brand than just KEELA. There is a significant military and emergency services side that operates under the Ilasco banner and can also be found on the website.

Note storm flaps, adjusting cords and reinforced shoulders for load carrying [©MG]

From my side of things the Munro SDP Jacket, as the name indicates, is the one to take into the hills if the weather is likely to be inclement… or just plain nasty. We can’t always choose when to go out but we can make sure we are well-equipped to stay dry and as warm as possible.

I really don’t hold with that oft quoted saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing.” There is very definitely bad weather. You just have to wear the right clothing to protect yourself.

The long arm vents are on the underside of the sleeves and allow for adjustable ventilation – the zip and Velcro storm flap seal them when not in use [©MG]

For me the Munro SDP Jacket is one of these ‘right’ clothes. Waterproof and genuinely breathable. Materials are durable but good to wear. It has the features you would expect, such as a very good fitted hood that rolls away into the collar. The jacket can be adjusted where you would expect, to allow for venting or to batten down against the elements. If you do get warm in there, there are fully proofed underarm vents -I really like these and find them really handy on those changeable days and when you are going from uphill to flat and your body temperature is forever changing. They help keep you comfortable without the faff of ‘jacket on – jacket off.’

The snow skirt can be removed if not required but is very handy in snow or wet and windy conditions [©MG]

For added protection there is also a removable ‘snow skirt’. There are pockets for maps, phone / GPS / radio, which are in the protected zone behind the outer storm flap but outside the main zip. Zipped and protected hand warmer pockets as well as chest pockets are provided. For me this has to be one of the best jackets out there if you need to stay dry, comfortable and safe anywhere that the weather is likely to turn inclement.

The standard civilian Munro SDP Jacket is available in either Red/Black or Mango/Black and a Ladies version in Red/Black is also produced. Specialist Ambulance and Police versions are also available, as are both Black and Wolf Grey tactical variants. Check this ilasco.co.uk link for sizes and variations.

[ images © Mike or Jean Gormley ]

The sleeves on the Munro are shaped to aid fit and mobility as well as being reinforced – note cuff adjusters [©MG]
On Britain’s most southerly point, The Lizard, in early February the Munro was most welcome [©JG]

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