Haglöfs Kabi (K2) Jacket & Aran (Valley) Jacket review


£330 (Kabi), £160 (Aran)


Two jackets that show how good women-specific clothing can be, with nice details and ‘real-life’ fit

Pros and Cons

  • Good hood adjustment (Kabi)
  • Works as an outer layer or a midlayer (Aran)
  • Women-specific fit is great (both)
  • Would have preferred full pitzips (Kabi)
  • Inners of handwarmer pockets can be confused for internal pockets (Aran)

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Clothing, Gear reviews, Midlayers, Waterproof Jackets, , ,

Amanda Travis tests two pieces from Haglöfs’ new Edurne Pasaban collection, named after the first woman to climb the world’s 8,000m peaks…

We were first introduced to Haglöfs’ Edurne Pasaban collection (new for Spring/Summer 2017) at the Outdoor show last June, and it was refreshing to see a line of clothing specifically designed for women, developed with Edurne Pasaban herself! The first woman to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks,
who better to help design garments suited to other women looking to push themselves in the mountains? Haglöfs describe the Edurne Pasaban collection as being for wearing “up a mountain, in a city, and anywhere in between. It’s protective, light, functional and perfect for high-pulse activities and sports. But it’s also eminently wearable – stylish, comfortable and refined. Clean silhouettes and a minimal design philosophy are offset by signature details and bold colours. These items perform beautifully. They let the wearer beat the elements.”

While these garments have been created for athletic women, they certainly maintain a degree of femininity, the attractive gold zipper pulls a good example. However, don’t let this fool you as the five pieces in the range are techie enough for even the toughest mountain adventures. The range consists of three jackets (a waterproof shell, a soft shell, and an insulation piece), as well as two pairs of pants (soft shell and waterproof). The colours in the range all tie together nicely. Each piece is available in black, or for those looking for a bit more colour, the waterproof Kabi (K2) Jacket and the softshell Amets (Dream) Jacket are available in a two-toned purple version with orange accents, while the Aran (Valley) Jacket is available in a colour Haglöfs call Haze – a semi-transparent outer layer that allows the orange liner to show through, creating a slightly pink appearance.

Aran Jacket
I’ve recently been trying out a couple of jackets from this range: the Women’s Aran (Valley) Jacket and the Women’s Kabi (K2) Jacket. The Women’s Aran (Valley) Jacket is a summer insulation piece that can be worn as a midlayer or outer layer. It has been lined with QuadFusion – a soft polyester, high-loft liner with a grid pattern. While being quite breathable, I found this layer to work better in cooler conditions (mountaineering in the higher mountains or on chillier days) as it does provide a fair amount of warmth. The outer is made from a 15-denier polyamide fabric and does a good job of keeping the wind off and shedding light rain.

There are two discrete side pockets which are a decent size, however the way they are sewn on the inside can make it appear as though there are two inner pockets as well (there aren’t!), so don’t make the same mistake I did of drop items through the pocket lining! The minimalistic elastic cuffs and hem help save weight (the jacket weighs 260g for a medium) and the elasticated hood frames the face nicely and allows for plenty of movement. The jacket is incredibly comfortable, having been tailored to fit women perfectly, offering a good amount of room in the chest and hips. And yes, the Aran (Valley) is flattering enough that it has been worn around town too!

Kabi Jacket
The Women’s Kabi (K2) Jacket works perfectly over the Aran (Valley). Again, it’s been tailored nicely for women. The Kabi (K2), which weighs 340g for a medium, is constructed of both Gore-Tex Paclite, and a 3-layer Gore-Tex with a Gore-Tex C-Knit backer, offering reinforcement in areas such as the shoulders, sleeves and hips. The jacket has been seam-taped and has a hydrostatic head of more than 28,000mm. Laminated water-resistant zippers also help keep water out, and there are side zips provided to help with ventilation. I was happy to see this feature, however it would have been even better
 if these extended further to allow venting at the armpits as well. This, of course, comes down to personal preference and it was still good to have some form of ventilation.

There are two side pockets on the Kabi which are located high enough to allow easy access even when wearing a harness, as well as a mesh water bottle pocket on the inside. The three-way adjustable hood fits easily over a helmet and has a laminated peak that, although not mouldable, is wired – I personally prefer this to a mouldable peak as it keeps its shape perfectly. The side hood adjustors are positioned low enough to help prevent them from hitting you in the face in windy conditions when wearing a helmet, although when not wearing a helmet and cinching the hood fairly snug, these were still long enough that they could flap around and hit you. However, I much prefer to have these on the outside as they are much easier to adjust wearing gloves than if they were sited internally.

As with many of Haglöfs’ recent jackets, the back toggle tightens a cord that runs around the hood on the outside of the jacket. I’m not sure why they’ve done this, but while some people may jump to the conclusion that it could snag, we haven’t had this problem with any of the jackets that we’ve tried that have this feature. The hood is not the only area where there’s plenty of adjustment – the hem has a toggle on either side, and the cuffs are adjusted with Velcro giving you enough room to slide over gloves when loosened off. Overall I’ve been really impressed with the look, fit and functionality of these two jackets and would recommend other active women check them out. 

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