Will Renwick reviews the Keela Stretch softshell jacket and explains why he chose it as a Recommended Buy when he tested nine other options on the market


The fact that this Keela jacket has reflective piping, large vents and no hood suggests to me that this is designed for cyclists, but I think it’s still worth considering for hillwalking. Its medium-thick StretchTec fabric has good resistance to the elements and there are useful features including Velcro cuffs and extra-large handwarmer pockets that can be worn with a hipbelt thanks to the two-way zips. There are also zipped side vents that run right down each side of the body. These zips also seemed to have good sealing from the rain and the oversized storm flap underneath the main zip gives extra dependability. It’s got a somewhat short cut to it and a slim trim but there’s plenty of room for a warm jacket underneath. I’d like to see a version of this with a hood – it would make for a very versatile option for the hills.

Reviewed April 2016

Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: performance, vents and pockets, price

Cons: no hood

  • Price: £74.95
  • Weight: 500g (M)
  • Materials: StretchTec Advance
  • Hood: none
  • Fastening: one-way zip
  • Pockets: two chest/handwarmer with two-way zips
  • Cuffs: Velcro
  • Sizes: XS-XXXL
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