The Keb Eco-Shell jacket is designed for technical hiking in demanding environments where you can expect changeable weather conditions.
The Keb's waterproofing and breathability specs are great on paper, with ratings of 30,000mm and 26,000 g/m2/24h respectively, which puts it right at the top end of technical hiking gear.
Far from being stiff and rustly the Keb is soft and pliant. The jacket feels more like an extension of your body than many others we've tested, which can often feel overly obtrusive.
Fit and cut are both excellent, baggy enough for cold weather layering but with plenty of articulation in all the right places. The hood offers superb protection in sustained downpours and fully moves with your head once you've correctly cinched up the adjusters. The chin area is contoured and therefore unobtrusive and comfortable with the zip done right up. The Keb has a fairly long hem length so offers excellent protection when on the move, and the jacket rarely rides up enough to expose the area above the waistline even when wearing a pack.
We've used the Keb Eco-Shell during demanding hikes on warm but very wet days - these are perhaps the trickiest of conditions for a hardshell waterproof jacket as you have to keep the jacket on when on the move which can quickly lead to getting a soaking from the inside out. We were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the experience was though thanks to the Keb Eco-Shell's excellent breathability. If you start to overheat the two underarm vents are massive and have 2-way zips so you can tweak them to perfection. Opening them up allows you to dump vast amounts of heat quickly, saving you from the annoying task of having to remove the jacket to stash it in your pack.
There are no lower front hand pockets on the Keb, instead Fjallraven have opted for two cavernous chest pockets that are well laid out. These have mesh inserts for smaller items, so you can spread things out to avoid potentially embarrassing chest bulges. There's a further mesh internal pocket and an arm pocket, all-in-all there's plenty of pocket space for a day's hiking. The lack of hand pockets can be bothersome when you're not wearing a pack, but this jacket was built for serious hiking duties where you're likely to be wearing a decent hiking pack with a hipbelt which would otherwise get in the way of access to the hand pockets.
The black jacket on test is pleasingly inconspicuous in the countryside, the green tones available would be even more so. The jacket's inconspicuous looks also work well for casual wear, but this would be an awful waste of such an accomplished hiking jacket.
The only criticism we have of the Keb Eco-Shell is that the soft face fabric dries noticeably slower than something like a Gore-Tex material. Also the price is right up there, but the build quality, attention to detail and out-and-out performance just about warrants it.
Overall, an accomplished hiking jacket that lends itself fantastically well to day-to-day outdoors life and tough hikes in the rain.