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Kuhl Arktik - Women's Review

A serious winter parka that's warm and durable with a unique style.
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Price:  $499 List | $499.00 at REI
Pros:  Warm, unique, 800 fill goose down, adjustable waist, durable
Cons:  Exterior pockets sit low, not waterproof, irritates chin when zipped, hood isn’t removable
Manufacturer:   Kuhl
By Liz Williamson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 12, 2018
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 18
  • Warmth - 30% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Style - 20% 7
  • Durability - 5% 8

Our Verdict

Unlike any other jacket's we test, the Kuhl Arktik Down Parka has a unique style with it's waxed outer shell and Italian faux leather suede trim. Resting just above the knee, this heavy-duty parka insulated with 800 fill goose down kept us plenty warm, even though it wasn't insulated with a huge amount of down. We had no problem taking the dog for an early morning walk or commuting to work in this jacket. This jacket is not fully waterproof but we are still impressed with how well it repels rain and snow, but it only does so for a short period of time.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $499.00 at REI$293.96 at Backcountry$299.95 at Backcountry
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$419.30 at Backcountry
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$425.00 at REI
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Pros Warm, unique, 800 fill goose down, adjustable waist, durableStylish, faux-fur ruff, adjustable waist, waterproof, windproof, breathable, insulated inner collar, six exterior pockets, rounded drop-tail hem on hood for extra coverage.Insanely warm, form-fitting, thick down, removable faux fur ruff, double sided full zipperForm-fitting, sleek waterproof and durable, three jackets, ethically sourced and cozy downInsulated with 750 fill down, stylish, simple, light
Cons Exterior pockets sit low, not waterproof, irritates chin when zipped, hood isn’t removableRuns large, hood isn’t detachable, heavy, finicky zipper, stiff collar.Heavy, somewhat bulky, limited mobility, some feather loss, not waterproofSleeves are short, uninsulated hood, tight shoulders, no two-way zipper on down jacket, pockets lack zippersHood doesn’t detach, no internal cuffs on sleeves, not waterproof
Bottom Line A serious winter parka that's warm and durable with a unique style.A classic winter parka that is warm, waterproof, windproof and breathable.Serious warmth packed into a budget friendly knee-length parka.Wet, sloppy weather doesn't stand a chance when you're wearing this highly stylish and waterproof jacket.A seriously lightweight and stylish looking parka that will keep you warm and looking good all winter long.
Rating Categories Kuhl Arktik - Women's Outer Boroughs Parka Marmot Montreaux Tres 3-in-1 Parka Arc'teryx Seyla
Warmth (30%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
9
Weather Resistance (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
7
Comfort (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Style (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Durability (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
6
Specs Kuhl Arktik -... Outer Boroughs Parka Marmot Montreaux Tres 3-in-1 Parka Arc'teryx Seyla
Insulation 800-fill goose down 550-fill down 700 fill down with Down Defender 700-fill recycled down 750-fill European grey goose down
Hood Detachable hood, with removable faux fur trim Adjustable hood w/ faux fur lining Zip-off, down-filled hood with removable faux fur ruff Removable hood Insulated hood
Length Above-the-knee Above-the-knee Knee-length Above-the-knee Above-the-knee
Pockets 1 internal, 4 external 2 high handwarmer, 2 top-entry front, 2 side-entry front, 1 internal media compatible 2 internal, 2 external 2 zippered handwarmer, 1 internal chest two zippered hand,1 internal zippered security
Weight (size small) 3 lbs 3.5 lbs 2.25 lbs 2.9 lbs 1.1 lbs
2-way zipper Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Main Fabric 62% cotton, 27% polyester, 11% nylon, waxed 49% nylon, 33% polyester, 18% cotton canvas 100% polyester with DWR treatment 100% polyester Arato 10 (100% nylon)
Unique Features Faux leather trim on pockets, wire in hood to maintain shape Water-proof shell, storm cuffs Fleece lined torso, hydophic down Zip-out two layer design DWR coated down

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


This jacket's style is different from any other parka we tested. Its exterior is coated in wax  to make it water-resistant and durable. It also gives the jacket a rustic look.
This jacket's style is different from any other parka we tested. Its exterior is coated in wax, to make it water-resistant and durable. It also gives the jacket a rustic look.

Warmth


Covering almost down to the knee and insulated with the perfect amount of 800 fill goose down, this jacket packs in a lot of warmth. It kept us impressively warm when the temperatures dropped below 30 degrees. The durable and heavy-duty outer shell helps hold heat. Made up of cotton, polyester, nylon, and coated with a wax shell, it effectively blocks cold temperatures and brutal winds.

Early mornings in Lake Tahoe were no problem when we had this jacket zipped all the way up and the hood on. The Italian faux leather trim offers a unique and nice touch.
Early mornings in Lake Tahoe were no problem when we had this jacket zipped all the way up and the hood on. The Italian faux leather trim offers a unique and nice touch.

Nylon sleeve cuffs with thumb holes work wonders on cold days, and we found them very comfortable and practical. The faux fur hood is adjustable, allowing a tighter fit to keep your body heat from blowing away in stormy weather.

This jacket is a great option for someone that lives in a cold climate but, we don't recommend it for someone living in a wet climate like the Pacific Northwest.

We loved the nylon cuffs on the Kuhl. When there are internal cuffs in the sleeves  warm air stays trapped and cold air stays out.
We loved the nylon cuffs on the Kuhl. When there are internal cuffs in the sleeves, warm air stays trapped and cold air stays out.

Weather Resistance


Water-resistant, but not waterproof, this jacket does an okay job in rain and a slightly better job in the snow. After extended exposure to wet weather, the wax exterior shell saturates.

On the other hand, the adjustable hood works wonders in windy or stormy conditions. Allowing us to tailor the fit, the hood keeps us comfortable outside when the weather turns or the temperatures drop. The nylon sleeve cuffs with thumbholes keep us cozy as well. We wish other jackets had them.

The hood is a great size with plenty of room for a beanie underneath. The faux fur ruff gives this jacket a classic winter parka look and feel. There is also metal wiring around the hood that allows you to tailor the fit. This came in handy  especially in windy and stormy weather.
The hood is a great size with plenty of room for a beanie underneath. The faux fur ruff gives this jacket a classic winter parka look and feel. There is also metal wiring around the hood that allows you to tailor the fit. This came in handy, especially in windy and stormy weather.

Comfort


The Arktik is comfortable but heavy, weighing in at 3lbs. It wasn't the heaviest parka we tested. It isn't smothered in down insulation, so it never feels cloying. There is enough room to comfortably wear a light sweater underneath the jacket. Again, the nylon cuffs are a soft and cozy addition. Despite being slightly heavy, we found this jacket comfortable to wear.

If you're interested in wearing bulkier layers underneath this jacket, considering ordering a size up.

Unfortunately, when the jacket is fully zipped up, the collar is very stiff and it can irritate your chin. It certainly irritated ours. It was distractingly noticeable, and we had to make sure the zipper wasn't fully zipped up when wearing it. Over time and use it will probably get softer, but it's something to think about.

Another issue is the jacket's exterior side pockets. They sit extremely low. Even though they are lined with soft material, the exterior heavy-duty zippers are rough. Every time we put our hands into the pockets we scrape them. It's not the best feeling

Stylish  warm and form-fitting! We loved the look of this jacket even more when we had the hood on. Perfect for cold crisp mornings in Lake Tahoe.
Stylish, warm and form-fitting! We loved the look of this jacket even more when we had the hood on. Perfect for cold crisp mornings in Lake Tahoe.

Style


The Arktik jacket has a unique style, with the appearance of a heavy-duty mountain parka. The Italian faux leather micro trim, a water-resistant waxy exterior shell, and an adjustable faux fur ruff are meant to maintain a stylish appearance in some seriously cold temperatures. Faux leather lines the main zipper's exterior and the front pockets. These touches go above and beyond to add style, but we don't find them gaudy. There is also an interior cinched waist that creates a tailored fit. We love it when companies add this feature to their jackets. It allows the user to adjust the jacket to make the fit perfect their body type or the style they are looking for.

From all sides this jacket is flattering.
This jacket was quiet comfortable and stylish from all angles  even when the hood was on.

Durability


Durable? We think so. The outer shell is made of cotton, polyester, nylon, and is coated with a water-repellent wax coating. Though there is some exterior stitching, over the months we tested this jacket, we had no issues with it snagging or coming unstitched. The zippers are heavy duty and never gave us cause to complain.

Features


This jacket is loaded with user-friendly features. There are four exterior pockets. The two on the side have heavy-duty zippers and are lined with microfleece. The two on the front have faux leather flaps and secure with buttons. These pockets are soft, but, as we stated earlier are awkwardly positioned. There is an interior media pocket with a zipper as well, which is perfect for keys or a cell phone. The exterior shell has a wax coat, which gives it a rustic look and works okay as a water repellent.

There is an interior pocket perfect for any small personal items you might need to keep safe. We appreciate when jackets offer this feature.
There is an interior pocket perfect for any small personal items you might need to keep safe. We appreciate when jackets offer this feature.

There are plenty of stylish features on this jacket as well, which we discuss in the style section. The cinched waist allows for a tailored fit, as does the adjustable faux fur hood, but it isn't removable.

Besides having lovely nylon cuffs in the sleeves  the trim of the jacket is faux suede. We loved this animal-friendly option and thought it added a nice flare to the jacket.
Besides having lovely nylon cuffs in the sleeves, the trim of the jacket is faux suede. We loved this animal-friendly option and thought it added a nice flare to the jacket.

Value


It's not the cheapest jacket we tested, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. This is a heavy-duty, warm, stylish parka that is going to last many years to come. It would be a great investment for someone looking to buy a jacket and have it last more than one year.

Conclusion


Overall, we are impressed with the Arktik Down Parka. Insulated with 800 fill goose down, water-resistant, and durable with a unique rustic parka look, this jacket will keep you protected and warm for many winters to come.


Liz Williamson