The new Pinnacle Jacket from Keela is made with Aquaflex Extreme, a robust waterproof breathable material, writes our gear tester Mike Gormley.
Keela recently added the Pinnacle Jacket to its extensive range and I have been able to try it out in varying conditions this winter.
Although stated as a three-layer material (outer fabric, film coating, then a scrim for strength and stability) it does not actually feel to be so, especially if compared to say Keela’s ADS material jackets. This construction makes the Pinnacle a lighter and more packable, less bulky jacket for those days when something good is required to beat the elements but perhaps not for wear all of the time. Once you do get the Pinnacle out, it is waterproof and has fully taped seams, is breathable and is very wind-resistant. This I can fully vouch for after some very blowy and wet coastal walks recently.
The Pinnacle uses the Extreme variant of the Aquaflex material so has that added robustness and durability. It didn’t rip even when I caught it on a barbed wire fence recently! This jacket offers good layering opportunities as it provides the weather protection and water resistance we all demand when out in inclement conditions, but it can be used over a T-shirt base layer or with any warm base and mid layers you choose and need at the time, thereby offering great flexibility.
The jacket has a good specification with the required features you would expect to help you enjoy the great outdoors, or an urban environment, in any weather. Zips are all water-resistant to stop that wind-blown rain sneaking in. All are fitted with pull tags to make them easier to use with cold and/or gloved hands. The front zip can be opened from the base as well as the top. At the top it zips right up so the collar, which has a soft fabric chin guard for added comfort, forms a good level of protection at the neck.
There are two very useful chest pockets and side pockets each side. This material is just stiff enough to enable single-handed use of the zip, which is handy; of course it may not stay like this as the years of use go by. All pockets are perfectly capable of taking a folded OS map, gloves, phone and so on. There are ‘pit zips’ for underarm ventilation when the going gets warm and the arms have adjustable cuffs. There are keepers to prevent the hem adjusters flapping in the breeze and the hood pull cords are also captive. As you would expect from Keela, the hood is a good one and is helmet compatible for climbers, cyclists and so on. It has a useful peak and has plenty of adjustment so if it is really miserable, you can keep it all outside.
I got this jacket ‘hot off the press’ for wear testing and Jean wants one now; it would have been an Christmas present but the Ladies version not quite available yet. Plan B in force. Currently available in red, and in five sizes, the main launch is scheduled for the spring with three more colours and two more sizes in the pipeline.
[images Jean or Mike Gormley]