Running motorcycle tours all around the world in varying temperatures across the seasons means I need kit that is actually waterproof but also allows a decent amount of venting when we travel through warmer climes. Would the new Klim Kodiak stack up?
Having ridden more than 50,000 miles in my previous jacket, a Klim Badlands, I knew that when the time came for a change I would be sticking with the brand.
The American manufacturer’s new Kodiak is a more fitted and road-orientated than the Badlands. While the jacket is named after a remote Alaskan island, Klim are hoping it will be as at home on a rainy winter afternoon in Kidderminster as it is crossing Switzerland’s Klausen Pass at the height of the summer.
The Kodiak has a Gore-Tex Pro Shell outer, which is something I always look for in a jacket. Not only are Pro Shell jackets actually waterproof for hour after hour, but they don’t absorb water.
With Pro Shell, when you get in at the end of the day a quick shake is all you need and you’ll be good to go again the following morning.
A jacket with a traditional Gore-Tex drop liner is all well and good, but the outer layers absorb the water and while you stay (mostly) dry you end the day with wet kit that still needs drying. That’s not the case with Pro Shell jackets like the Kodiak.
The Kodiak doesn’t come with a thermal liner, which is something you will get with the rival Rukka jackets, so you have to rely on layering up in the colder months – but this suits me just fine.
I’m a big fan of Rukka gear, but for me Rukka jackets are a little too hot when the sun really starts beating down.
This new Klim has the combination of proper waterproofing and venting I was looking for and, having just returned from a 5000-mile trip around Spain and Morocco, I honestly can’t fault it.
The jacket is cut to a more Euro style than the Badlands, which fits a little square, but it offers everything else you would expect.
For me, the main appeal is that it has great venting all round (perfect in temperatures over 35°C) with easy to access zippers for adjusting on the fly.
There are also loads of pockets, a waist belt, armour in all the usual places as well as chest inserts (a nice touch) and multiple options to adjust the fit around the waist, arms and neck.
It performed admirably in the Moroccan desert heat with the main zip opened and the venting blasting air (albeit warm!) all around my arms and torso.
Once back in Northern Spain and then over the last few weeks in the UK it has been subjected to the usual hours of torrential downpour and shows no sign of letting any water in.
I expected this from Klim as none of my previous jackets from them have ever leaked, but it’s nice to know they haven’t lost their touch!
Whereas my previous Badlands was designed for off-roading and dual sport adventure riding the Kodiak has obviously been geared more toward road riding.
It has reinforced leather sections on the shoulders and elbows in case of a slide, which for me is the perfect compromise (it looks pretty sharp in all black too!).
My only criticisms are that it is a heavy piece of gear and the neck is a little low, letting in quite a bit of wind on cooler days.
All the Klim gear is heavy though and it’s something I’ve got used to, as far as the low neck is concerned I just pop on a necktube if it’s chilly and I’m good to go.
If you’re looking for an all-round jacket to take you from snow to sand and back again in comfort then you really don’t need to look much further than the Kodiak.
Fit & Comfort
It fits differently to the previous Badlands jacket and offers a more tailored fit. I still wear a medium in both, but if you’re snug in a Badlands you may want to go up a size. The only downside comfort-wise is the weight – the waist belt eases this and I don’t notice the weight now until someone else picks the jacket up!
I can’t imagine a more robust feeling bit of gear and the armour at the elbows, shoulders, chest and back make it a winner.
No hint of a leak and temperature regulation is second to none.
You would struggle to find a jacket that’s been put together better. My last two Klim jackets have never had so much as a zip go wrong and this one shows no indication of being any different.
It has all the features I need but it has to lose a few marks for the lack of storm collar and thermal lining. While both are easily overcome they would have been nice additions.