Lightweight, low budget and breathable, the Keela Cairn is a versatile waterproof jacket that lends itself to backpacking. Here’s the full review by Chris Townsend. 

The Keela Cairn is the second lightest jacket in our review of the best waterproof jackets for 2020 and one of the least expensive. The fabric, Keela’s own brand one, is soft, flexible and comfortable with good breathability. The low weight means it doesn’t feel as substantial as heavier garments and it probably isn’t ideal for use in a blizzard but otherwise it should cope with all conditions. The low weight makes it worth considering for backpacking.

The design is okay but not as good as some. The helmet compatible hood fits quite well and is easy to adjust. The wired peak gives good protection and the hood moves with the head. The long drawcords can lash you in the face in strong winds though as they’re situated on the sides of the hood rather than lower down the jacket as on other garments.

The handwarmer pockets are roomy but cut off by a hipbelt. The chest pocket isn’t big enough for a map. All the pockets are made from waterproof fabric so if any rain comes through the unprotected water-resistant zips it won’t get inside the garment as a whole.

The Keela Cairn is a good jacket. With better placed pockets and no face-lashing drawcords it would be an excellent one.

Overview

  • Overall: 3-5 out of 5

Pros: hood, lightweight, cost

Cons: pockets cut off by hipbelt, cuffs

  • Weight: 360g
  • Materials: Aquaflex 3-layer polyamide
  • Hood: wired peak, volume adjuster, front drawcords
  • Front closure: water-resistant zip with inner storm flap
  • Length: 71cm
  • Underarm/ side zips: No
  • Pockets: 2 handwarmer, 1 chest
  • Hem: drawcord, extended back
  • Cuffs: Velcro, elasticised
  • Sizes: men XS-XXXL, women 8-20
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