Kuhl Arktik - Women's Review
Cons: Exterior pockets sit low, not waterproof, irritates chin when zipped, hood isn’t removable
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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