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Millet K PRO GTX Review

   

Hardshell Jackets

  • Currently 3.1/5
Overall avg rating 3.1 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: October 13, 2014
Street Price:   $499
Pros:  Bombproof Keprotec reinforcements at shoulders, huge comfortable hand pockets, two chest pockets, fast and easy main zipper, cuff openings accommodate large gloves, softshell panels add stretch in arms, large brimed hood is comfortable when worn with and
Cons:  Not as sleek looking or as comfortable as Arcteryx and Patagonia shells, second heaviest climbing shell tested, chest pockets should have zippers closeer to main zip like on Arcteryx Alpha SV and Rab Latok, top rear hood cinches can be hard to loosen with
Best Uses:  Expediton mountaineering
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Millet
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ July 18, 2013  
Overview
The Millet K Pro is a heavy-duty expedition mountaineering shell designed for extended trips in remote areas. The jacket is cut wide to accommodate layers and comes fully featured with lots of pockets and an excellent hood that seals out the elements. The K Pro differs from other expedition shells in that it has reinforced shoulders and stretch panels under the arms.

At 21.8 ounces, the K Pro is heavier than other shells that provide a similar level of durability and a better fit. We prefer the Arc'teryx Alpha SV because it's lighter, feels more comfortable, and has a near perfect arrangement of features (hood, pockets, zippers, and pull cords).

Check out our complete Hardshell Jacket Review to compare all of the models tested.

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Millet K Pro GTX is a highly durable expedition mountaineering hardshell. It's made of Gore-Tex Pro Shell with stretch panels underneath the arms (black in our test model). The jacket has two large and extremely comfortable high set hand pockets and two chest pockets that lie just in from the hand pockets. The K Pro's fit is typical of an expedition jacket: it's large, bulky and has tons of space for layering up underneath. It's the only shell we tested that has Schoeller Keprotec reinforced shoulders. This material is supremely durable and is found in on high wear areas of other expedition apparel (such as the inside boot area of the Arc'teryx Alpha SV Bib and Millet K Pro Bib). The jacket's massive hood has the stiffest brim of any shell tested. The adjustable cuffs are also gigantic and can easily fit over gloves of all types. All in all, this is a fully featured bombproof shell for extended climbing expeditions.

Dislikes
Our testers' general impression is that the K Pro is overbuilt. It adds features that may not be necessary, even for living in the Alaska wilds for a year. For example the hood works well, but does it need such a stiffly reinforced hood? Compared to other leading shells, we didn't notice that it improved our ability to see while wearing a helmet, or to shed precipitation. Similarly, the Keprotec covered shoulders will be unnecessary for anyone except big mountain guides who live with a backpack on. And, though the K Pro has stretch panels (the black areas on our test model), we found that stretch panels- though they help to make the jacket more comfortable- are less important than an ergonomic fit. The K Pro has plenty of space, but it fit is slightly less ergonomic than that of the Patagonia shells and the Arc'teryx Alpha SV, which move with you better.

The K Pro's features are generally quite good. We love the hand pockets, which are exceptionally comfortable and large. But the chest pocket zippers are placed like hand pockets- you open and close the right one with your right hand. We found that crossover chest pockets, as seen on the Arc'teryx Alpha SV and Rab Latok, are easier and faster to access. The K Pro would be significantly better with crossover pockets. And on a smaller note, the top rear hood adjustment is challenging to release with gloves on. An adjustment with more surface area, such as what's found on the Patagonia Super Pluma and Super Alpine, and Arc'teryx Alpha SV, would be easier to use.

Finally, the K Pro is the second heaviest climbing specific shell we tested. At 21.8 ounces this is a very heavy and bulky shell that burdensome when packed. Our testers universally preferred the Arc'teryx Alpha SV and Patagonia Super Alpine, both of which provide a similar level of durability while weighing less and feeling more comfortable.

Best Application and Value
The K Pro is best-suited to guides who work on big mountains or for people who live and work in remote areas with a backpack on. NOLS mountaineering instructors, for example. The shell is $100 cheaper than our top rated Arc'teryx Alpha SV, but $85 more expensive than the Rab Latok, our favorite budget expedition mountaineering shell.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 13, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 67%  (2)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Oct 13, 2014 - 02:42pm
I can just agree with Baterade.

This is without doubt the best jacket I have owned and im 41 years with ski level as guide. I live in Sweden and need protection against wind, rain, snowblizzards.Mine is now 8 years old and I have changed the front zipper to an "zlide on" (a award winning Swedish invention, just change the thing you pull with, and my zipper is as new..)
Try it on and you will see why I buy a new one when mine is worn out.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
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   Nov 17, 2012 - 05:58pm
Baterade · Climber · Boulder, CO
Once again I think the OGL reviewer is missing the point of this Millet Jacket, and although his review is generally positive he only gives 2 stars… What gives man? He claims: "the Keprotec covered shoulders will be unnecessary for anyone except big mountain guides who live with a backpack on"….

What about for people like myself who do lots of alpine winter climbing and who just want a burly-ass jacket that will last them for 10 years? We use backpacks all day as well, and as such, are OK with an extra 5oz of weight in exchange for the MOST durable Gore Pro Shell on the market.

Next, the fit. I have used the K-Pro extensively and find that it has a very ergonomic fit, enhanced even further by the stretch panels, which are very well placed: Underams/lats and elbows. I was surprised by the OGL low fit score (a 6) when it is in fact one of the only pro shells with stretch paneling, and with features that are built with climbers in mind: huge pockets for skins that are high enough to not be compromised by a harness or backpack for example.

Last, our beloved OGL reviewer claims as a con of this jacket: "Not as sleek looking" as Arc' or Patagonia's comparable pieces… I mean, is that claim anything more than one tester's opinion?

Millet makes gear that will excel for core alpinists/mountaineers/climbers. The brand is partnered with the Chamonix mountain guides, one of the oldest and most reputable guide services in the world, and these guides do an immense amount of R&D for Millet, and help to create products based on their needs. As such, Millet creates core products that excel for professionals, while giving the masses products that will take a beating for multiple years in the mountains. The K-Pro is an example of this, and at $100 less expensive than the Arc Alpha SV, you get a bombproof alpine jacket at a great price.
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Credit: Baterade


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Millet K Pro GTX
Credit: Millet
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