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Keela Hydron Softshell Jacket

I have recently got back into kayaking and as autumn takes hold have found the Hydron works well for this as it allows for movement, is easy to stash away when not required, but offers good protection if needed [©JG]
The Keela Hydron Softshell is designed to offer dynamic protection when high on the hills or trekking in the countryside, writes Mike Gormley.


In the Autumn we often do not know what the weather will do next. It can range from nice to wet, or cold to warm, in a very short space of time. We need to have a jacket that will cope with all these eventualities but is light and compact enough to carry with us when not in use. However it also has to be proof enough to keep the rain and chill wind out. The Hydron Softshell from Keela is classified as water-resistant but is capable of keeping out a significant shower and it will also protect against those chill autumnal winds.

On the wild coast of the northern Shetland Isles this Hydron Softshell made a perfect travel jacket in the moderate weather [©JG]

The Hydron is a jacket model I have worn for some years, first a Blue version and more recently in Black. I have found it to be a great outer garment when travelling light but needing something that will really do the job in a sudden rainstorm or a chill wind. This softshell garment uses AirXtream Fusion three-layer fabric with a Matrix inner, which looks a bit unusual but makes sense in that it allows for air movement around the inside of the jacket. It has two-way stretch and pre-shaped arms so is great if you are moving about a lot. It also has a good helmet-compatible hood and cuff adjustment. There are chest and side hand pockets, as expected, and these have a soft feel inner lining; which is good if you have cold hands.

Out on the South West Coast Path near Lands End at the other end of the British Isles the Hydron proved ideal as the wind was chill with the risk of a shower [©JG]

There are also zipped vents on either side. These are different to the more classic ‘pit zips’ and somewhat easier to use as they do not extend into the arm. Good for a quick vent or blast of air if you get a sweat on. The AirXtream fabric is very breathable as well, which is good if you are active.

The zipped chest pockets are perfectly able to take your normal items you need to get at easily ~ not seen here, the side vent zips are in my view particularly useful for temperature regulation [©JG]

The Keela Hydron is a good and very useful easy wearing jacket. As I have been using this jacket a fair bit of late it seemed appropriate to flag it up. It’s a great general travel jacket if you are going away to a moderate climate but need to take some serious protection in case you need it. It has been in the Keela armoury for a long time, so that will tell you something.

The cuff of the Hydron Softshell has hook and loop adjustment which is perfect to keep those drips out while paddling [©MG]

Four colours and seven sizes of Hydron Softshell are produced, in both Male and Female styles.

[images © Mike or Jean Gormley]

Passing the Old Man of Hoy on the Isle of Orkney ~ the Hydron was perfect on deck to protect against the northern sea breeze [©JG]

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