This post may contain affiliate links.

Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket Review

Fjallraven Eco-Shell Jacket Review

The Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell is a 3-layer waterproof/breathable jacket built for backpacking and technical adventures. Made from Fjallraven’s recycled Eco-Shell fabric, the Keb Eco-Shell Jacket breathes, wicks, stretches, and completely protects against wind, snow, and rain. With a highly adjustable hood, ample chest pockets, side ventilation, and adjustable wrist cuffs, the Keb Eco-Shell checks all the boxes, performing better and better with each season of use.

Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket

Water Resistance
Breathability
Comfort & Mobility
Hood Adjustability
Weight
Durability
Packed Size

Expedition Class Jacket

Fjallraven’s Keb Eco-Shell is a 4-season hard shell jacket that checks all the boxes a hard shell should check and truly excels in changeable weather in technical backcountry situations. Made from a 3-layer recycled polyester fabric, the Eco-Shell is climate compensated, lightweight, soft to the touch, stretchy and adaptable. With a hood that adjusts to any head or helmet, side ventilation zippers, adjustable cuffs and large pockets where you need them, the Eco-Shell provides highly breathable waterproof protection from the wind, snow and the rain.

Shop Now

Specs at a Glance

  • Best Use: Trekking, Backpacking, Backcountry Skiing, Climbing
  • Material: 100% polyester/climate compensated – 3-layer Eco-Shell
  • Breathability: 26,000 g/m2/24h
  • Water Column: 30,000 mm
  • Waterproofing: PFC free DWR on outer, Aquaguard zippers, welded fabric seams
  • Pockets: 2 Napoleon chest pockets with internal cellphone security holders, 1 upper arm, 1 interior mesh
  • Hood: Fully adjustable, helmet-compatible, visor wire
  • Ventilation: Torso side zips
  • Weight: 21 oz

Jacket Cut and Fit

The Keb Eco-Shell is tough where it needs to be and supple everywhere else.  The jacket has an athletic fit that layers well.  It doesn’t feel clammy against bare skin, it doesn’t crinkle when you move, and in many respects feels more like a shirt than a jacket. Every seam in the jacket is welded or seam-taped and the back of the neck and chin areas are lined. The Keb has adjustable Velcro cuffs at the wrists so you can slide the arms up to the elbows for added ventilation, while a drawcord cord waist and drop hem lets you seal out drafts from below.

The hood is fully adjustable with a high collar for added wind protection
The hood is fully adjustable with a high collar for added wind protection

Hood and High Collar

What makes the Keb Eco-Shell truly special is its fully-featured hood. While it is helmet-compatible, it has a rear volume adjuster and neck toggles so you can fine-tune the fit even if you don’t wear one. The hood has a wire brim to keep rain, snow, and wind out of your eyes, a feature that’s rarely found on US-made hard shells and more common on European ones. The high collar provides superior wind protection when it’s not raining and allows you to let off some heat through the top of your head while keeping your collar area, chin, and your entire neck warm and protected from the elements.

Torso Zips

While the Keb has top-notch breathability and waterproof specs, it also comes with side torso zips that you can use to shed excess body heat when you’re working hard. These run from the waist all the way to the bottom of your armpits. Perspiration can quickly overwhelm the ability of any breathable jacket to vent water vapor if you’re backpacking, ice-climbing or skinning up a mountain, so having vents like these is essential for self-regulating your heat output.

The Keb’s Napoleon Chest Pockets don’t interfere with a hip belt - backpacking in Austria
The Keb’s Napoleon Chest Pockets don’t interfere with a hip belt – backpacking in Austria

Napolean Pockets

Two very large Napoleon pockets on the chest are bellowed to increase their volume so you can carry maps, food, extra gloves, hats, climbing skins, and electronics. Napoleon pockets are great because they don’t interfere with a backpack hip belt or climbing harness. Each of the pockets also has a mesh inner pocket large enough to hold a cell phone, a nice touch that doesn’t favor right-handed or left-handed people over one another.

The Keb also has a small pocket on the left upper arm big enough to fit a small knife, car keys, compass, or ski pass. A large interior mesh pocket also has headphone ports.

Zippers and Pull Tabs

The jacket comes with waterproof Aquaguard zippers and pull tabs so they can be opened and closed while wearing gloves. I appreciate this attention to detail and

The velcro wrist cuffs are wide enough so you can pull up the arms for added ventilation
The velcro wrist cuffs are wide enough so you can pull up the arms for added ventilation

Fjallraven’s Eco-Shell Fabric

Eco-Shell is a 3-layer waterproof/breathable fabric that is smooth, lightweight, soft to the touch, and very stretchy. It is coated with a PFC-free DWR that repels water, rain, or snow from the face of the fabric. All Eco-shell products are made with recycled polyester and the manufacturing and distribution process is climate compensated to offset the green gas emissions associated with its manufacture.

Performance in the Field

Since I’ve owned this jacket for over a year, I’ve been able to field test it in all four seasons, and I have found that it can effectively handle extreme swings in temperature and weather – hot to cold, cool to warm, high winds, rain, sleet, snow…

  • In the Winter, I use this jacket for all of my outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing.  Whether the temp is frigid minus 20F or 36F degrees and melting, the Eco-Shell adapts well over thicker layers.
  • During the Spring and Fall shoulder seasons when the temps fluctuate from hot to cold and back again and rain turns to snow, sleet, or just stinging wind in your face and fog, the Eco-Shell quickly adjusts to changing needs for warmth and wet protection.
  • And in the Summer, when it is warmer but heavy rains can bring a chill, the Eco-Shell breathes while keeping you dry over the thinnest of base layers.
The Keb Eco-Shell Jacket goes wherever I go.
The Keb Eco-Shell Jacket goes wherever I go.

Recommendation

Fjallraven’s Keb Eco-Shell is a 4-season hardshell jacket that checks all the boxes a hard shell should check and truly excels in changeable weather in technical backcountry situations. Made from a 3-layer recycled polyester fabric, the Eco-Shell is climate-compensated, lightweight, soft to the touch, stretchy, and adaptable. With a hood that adjusts to any head or helmet, side ventilation zippers, adjustable cuffs, and large pockets where you need them, the Eco-Shell provides highly breathable waterproof protection from the wind, snow, and the rain.

Shop at BackcountryShop at Amazon

 

Disclosure: The author owns this jacket.

SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.

3 comments

  1. Big fan of this jacket. Kept the winds at bay during sunset at West Bond and next morning’s sunrise on the windtunnel that is Guyot. The thickness, softness, and non-crinkle aspect to the Eco Shell fabric is a real stand out. It costs an arm and a two legs new, but you can also find like-new ones online at a much reduced price. A steal at $170 for me!

  2. How does this jacket compare with the Arc’teryx brand? Been debating on both but love the eco friendly brand of Fjall. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *