New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kjus Coat Indecision-

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm a skier of many decades whose skis have kept up with the times, but clothing options have not. My tried and true approach : patagonia shell and multiple layers, which inevitably leaves me too cold or too hot, often in the same run. Browsing modern jacket options, I discovered the world of Kjus. I'm sold.  Now just need to pull the trigger on either the Formula (thinsulate) and Deviation (down / primaloft). Any feedback on either of these coats? Or maybe a third option? I realize I can't go wrong, but I'd love first hand testimonials and recommendations. Thanks!

post #2 of 16

I've been wearing a Kjus thinsulate jacket for about 8 years now.  Best jacket I have ever had.  Fits great, is warm and has lots of great features.  Only problem has been that the velcro on the cuffs has worn out.

 

One caveat: Kjus is sometimes thrown in with Bogner and other brands as "gaper wear" and may get you some disrespect from the hardcore crowd.

post #3 of 16
Buy it if you likeitanditfits. Knus charges a lot for their stuff. A lot of the critics don't like their stuff because the materials and the numbers don't really add up. Yes they are style driven compared to Arc and Pat.

It's just a jacket.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input!  Yes, I was humored by the lengthy and rather contentious thread regarding the pros and cons of the brand itself and took to heart some of the critics comments. I'm at that stage of life where I don't care about people who question my equipment choices. For this thread I was hoping to hear from those who like and wear the brand, as to which model and how its stood up through the conditions.

 

We are in a cold snap here in Colorado at the moment so the toasty warm, down filled Deviation is a tempting option.  Really curious to hear any feedback, as its apparently new to the lineup this year. But I"m thinking the Formula is the coat for me, as it would likely cover a broader range of conditions. Seems a solid choice as I've been asking many people in the last couple days and have yet to hear a negative word.  

 

I totally agree its just a coat, but given the price point its not a decision I take lightly. I've had a good look at other ski jackets like Descente, Killy, Obermeyer, etc, but feel the price differential of the Kjus is in many ways justified.  If Patagonia put its mind toward making an insulated ski jacket that would fit me, it would be my first choice. Just feel the insulated powder bowl doesn't measure up, and is poor fitting. 

post #5 of 16
I finally decided on purchasing a Kjus jacket and pants on my last ski trip. Whilst in Whistler over Xmas I tried on a few Kjus options and at the last minute decided to try some other options after someone handed me a discount coupon for another store. Ended up buying a Descente jacket and pants for just over half the price. The fit is as good and all the features are there.

Kjus stuff look great but I am happy to have saved the loot. What impressed me most about the Descente kit was temperature regulation. I reckon the temp varied between 0 centigrade and minus 15 depending on time of day and elevation and I never felt cold or too hot.

If the Kjus kit looked twice as good I would have forked out for sure but I couldn't see the justification. Just my 2c.
post #6 of 16
I picked up the Kjus Formula jacket last Spring on STP and with all of the discounts the price was not hat bad. It's a great resort jacket. The Dermizax EV is not Goretex, but still pretty good and in an insulated jacket as compared to a shell I think either works fine. I've only skied in it in the 20s, but it's been plenty warm. For sub zero weather just add a down vest and you'll be fine if you like to ski in that weather. The quality of the fit and construction is outstanding it has a lot of well designed pockets. If you ski in the trees a lot you might want something tougher but for on Piste skiing its a great jacket.
post #7 of 16

Christmas brought me a Deviation in gun-metall. It looks, feels and wears great. Compared to the Formula it uses the new Dermizax NV with a breathability comparable to GTX. To be honest I didn't use it for skiing as I'm waiting for the pants suitable. But I don't think that it's too warm (I like warm jackets), as the dawns protect only your back. All over the insulation might be higher (Dawn + Primaloft + Thinsulate) than the one of the Formula (Thinsulate only). The only thing scaring me is the washing procedure for dawns described on the web-side.

 

My wife owns a classic Kjus jacket since 8 or 9 years and is still happy with it. In addition she owns a 2 year old Mountain Force jacket, which is also on a high level range. When it gets cold she still prefers the Kjus.
 

post #8 of 16

My input on this is here.
 

post #9 of 16
Love just about all my kjus gear. Like yourself, I grew tired of doing the multiple layer thing even with the higher end Arc or Pat stuff and still was cold most of the time. Switched to one jacket, kjus and problem solved! I now look at people who do the layered thing and crack up a bit watching them pull off a bunch of layers when we head in for lunch. Reminds me of one of those Russian dolls.

I can ski through just about any weather a VT winter can throw at me with just one or two light base layers under my jacket. I will never wear anything else. And stylish might I add! Anyone who compares Kjus to Bogner has never tried kjus. Two VERY different products.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

First of all, thanks everyone for all your input. It definitely helped to work through the pros and cons. Once you get that far into the buying process, its all but inevitable that you'll buy it.  Funny but you don't find the right jacket, sometimes it just lands in your lap. And so it was with my new Kjus Hawk. Since it was top of the line, I had previously ruled it out. But while calling a shop in Utah, they presented last year's version, which resided in the half off rack. Three days later it was in my hands.

 

Opening the box, you could immediately sense the great attention to detail. Stylish yet understated, and timeless, in a light grey with tennis ball green pocket trim / race stripes.  But the true test came on the slopes the following two days. In that time, Colorado experienced a dramatic shift in the weather, testing both extremes.  The first day was extremely mild, sunny and low thirties. I wore very little underneath ( capilene tee and standard-weight merino), and was loving it. Finally I was free from all those silly layers and flappy old parka. With enhanced mobility and aerodynamics, I felt it nearly improved my form. Perhaps its the clothing equivalent of a (very expensive) placebo. But the bottom line: I was highly comfortable, having fun, and not sweating the least after skiing hard, top to bottom. 

 

Day two, temperatures plummeted toward 0F (-17C), with a brutal wind blowing. To test the jacket I kept my layering to a minimum, with two thin merino layers. Remarkably I was warm. I deployed the built in balaclava. Though thin, it certainly saved me from frostbite.  Stupidly I had left the hood at home, as I'm sure it would have helped. Though I certainly wasn't warm, I was impressed with the insulation of this jacket.  All that would ever be needed would be a mid layer such as the Patagonia Nano, or the Kjus Fuel, and you'd be laughing to at least -30F.

 

 

Needless to say I'm thrilled with my purchase. The Kjus Hawk coat, with its immaculate styling, multi-density layering, and highly breathable and waterproof exterior, is capable of spanning a remarkable range of conditions. Goodbye to all the silly layers. My clothing system has been modernized. All the better that I scored a half price deal. Now maybe I can afford to buy some new pants.

 

Along the way I did discover a couple tempting options. Most notably, the French company Eider makes some gorgeous coats, like the Furano, which also employs four way stretch. And the Descente Team coats are quite nice, if you can see your way past the bling. And they're not that much cheaper than the Kjus. I'm sure Arcteryx makes some great coats, but to me they seemed only like an improved version of some of Patagonia shells I'd become so familiar with, not the gear revolution I was hoping to incite. 

 

If I hadn't found the deal on the Hawk, I was resolved to purchase the Formula, though the Deviation is also an amazing jacket. I just didn't think it would be quite as versatile for springtime, or for the Pacific Northwest.  

 

Good luck to anyone else considering the purchase of a Kjus coat. Be confident you'll have no regrets. 

post #11 of 16

My wife and I both purchased Kjus jackets from STP.   A little history, we both are avid Arc'teryx fans and have seen many Kjus jackets on the slopes as well as checked them out at the local shops.     So when the discounts were to be had on STP, we moved quickly to order his and hers Kjus jackets.    I'm also a big fan of geartrade and I found an Arc'teryx Volta jacket there for my daughter for a great discount.    So in this household we have some very nice outwear.  A side by side comparisons of the jackets and I am not convinced that Kjus makes a better product. 

 

A couple things to point out.

- Kjus buttons are 100% plastic - Arc'teryx snaps are metal.    First day out and a snap broke on the snow skirt. 

- Kjus zippers are unreliable and are prone to bottom splitting.   I understand part of that is user error, but a good zipper should not allow this easily.   On my wife's jacket the zipper splits more often than she would like which is why she has returned hers to STP as defective. 

- Kjus hoods are not helmet compatible.  

- Kjus draw cords and cord stops are not the best quality. Cord ends are capped with press on plastic caps versus on Arc'teryx the ends are either secured or have better quality caps. 

- Fabrics - I am a fan of Gore-Tex and Dermizax feels less durable.    The men's Supersonic is not wind proof and on very blustery days, I feel as if I would prefer my Alpha SV shell with a nano puff layer versus the Kjus. 

- Kjus is manufactured in Vietnam and the Arc'teryx high end jackets are made in Canada (still).   There is a noticeable quality difference between the jackets we have, even though the retail prices are similar. 

 

If I had paid full retail price for these Kjus jackets I would be very disappointed.  Purchasing them from STP at a steeply discounted price, I don't feel so bad and I will use mine around the resort.   Anything that involves super cold (negative) days or wind, I'll be layering up with my Arc'teryx shell. 

 

I would make this anology of the two product lines, Kjus is to Land Rover as Arc'teryx is to Toyota Land Cruisers.   You pay a hell of allot of money for both, but the Land Rover spends allot more time in the shop being repaired.....


Edited by Doug Reid - 2/5/13 at 12:46pm
post #12 of 16

What's STP?

post #13 of 16

Sierra Trading Post

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiertodd View Post


 The first day was extremely mild, sunny and low thirties. I wore very little underneath ( capilene tee and standard-weight merino), and was loving it. Finally I was free from all those silly layers and flappy old parka.

 

Day two, temperatures plummeted toward 0F (-17C), with a brutal wind blowing. To test the jacket I kept my layering to a minimum, with two thin merino layers.

 

 Goodbye to all the silly layers.


Good luck to anyone else considering the purchase of a Kjus coat. Be confident you'll have no regrets. 

 

So exactly how many layers constitutes silly? th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

I haven't worn my Arc Fission (insulated) in a couple of years, but instead layer, for a grand total of , ummm, errr, ahhh, three - just like you had.

post #15 of 16
That's the thing for me...when I started wearing kjus I started shedding layers. They should make that part of their marketing.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Reid View Post

- Kjus zippers are unreliable and are prone to bottom splitting.   I understand part of that is user error, but a good zipper should not allow this easily.   On my wife's jacket the zipper splits more often than she would like which is why she has returned hers to STP as defective. 

- Kjus draw cords and cord stops are not the best quality. Cord ends are capped with press on plastic caps versus on Arc'teryx the ends are either secured or have better quality caps. 

- Kjus is manufactured in Vietnam 

 

If I had paid full retail price for these Kjus jackets I would be very disappointed. 

 

I edited your post a lot just above. Hope that I didn't misrepresent. Don't know if you read my review, linked to a few posts above, but I called out at least two of these exact issues (plus a bunch more). My gripe on the cord stops - specifically with regard to keeping the hood on my helmet - is that they just didn't hold. The fact that we arrived at the same criticisms independently suggests that the problems are really there and are not just flukes with a given jacket instance or a given model. Too bad, because I like the look and the feel. Mine is still quite new. It will be interesting to see how the durability piece shakes out.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion