Fjallraven Keb Eco Shell Review

Fjallraven was a relatively unknown name in North America until a couple years ago. Now I see their backpacks walking around every day. Despite being new in North America, they’ve had years to perfect their products in Europe. They are among the most durable, comfortable and sustainable products in the world. 

The outdoor industry is quickly moving towards extremely sustainable practices but technical gear remains a difficult to make high performance but sustainable at the same time. Or that’s what everyone says. Fjallraven seem to be able to do it just fine. 

The Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket

The Keb Eco-Shell is an amazing balance of performance and sustainability. With 30,000mm waterproofing and 26,000 g/m2/24h breathability, it ranks among the highest you can get for performance. At the same time the Keb is 100% polyester which is easy to recycle and part of that polyester is recycled going into the jacket. On top of that the water-beading coating (DWR) is fluorocarbon-free, meaning it’s doesn’t have any nasty chemicals that put holes in our ozone.

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Specs

So what’s this jacket look like on the spec sheet?

  • Stretchy Eco-Shell fabric

  • Fluorocarbon-free DWR application

  • made from new and recycled polyester

  • 520 grams (18.3 oz)

  • 30000 mm waterproofing

  • 26,000 g/m2/24h breathability

  • Emissions during production and transport are climate compensated

  • Adjustable wire in the brim?

  • Fleece on collar by your face

  • Ski lift pass pocket on arm

  • Big chest pockets big enough for maps or ski skins

  • Side zips instead of pit zips to reach mid layer pockets

So you get a jacket that looks killer, feels good, is super waterproof and very sustainable? Yup.

Pros

As you can tell this jacket ticks off a lot of boxes. It feels good and works well. 

The polyester face is soft and quiet to wear. You won’t sound like tinfoil walking around in the woods. Breathability is similar to high-end Gore-Tex. It’s easy to stay comfortable even when it’s raining sideways. The outer fabric is thick enough that I don’t worry about scraping it on rocks or trees. It’s not paper thin.

I like the big pockets to carry all the things. The pockets are set up a bit higher so they don’t interfere with backpack hip belts. The chest pockets are big enough for ski skins or maps. The Keb doesn’t have pit zips but it does have side zips which open just the same. This let’s you get into your mid layer pockets without unzipping everything. When you’re playing musical jackets and can’t remember what pocket all the things are in, this is a nice convenience. 

Summary:

  • burly fabric

  • environmental fabric, DWR coating and manufacturing process

  • stretchy fabric

  • high waterproofing and breathability

  • entirely polyester which is easier to recycle

  • long and covers a lot

Cons

This jacket is one of the best but it’s not going to be everything to everyone. I’m 1.7m tall (5’7”) with a 101cm (40”) chest and found the medium on the large side. When it’s colder and I have a mid layer underneath it fit well but on warmer days with just a base layer underneath there was a good amount of extra jacket. The length is nice when it’s raining heavily but for my height, I’d like it a touch shorter.

The thicker, more durable fabric on the outside comes at the cost of being a bit heavier. This is the case with every jacket out there, not just this Fjallraven. 

Summary:

  • a bit heavy

  • long for short people

Conclusion

The Fjallraven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket is one of the best you can get. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for high performance or sustainable, you get both with the Keb. Ultralight nerds may need to look elsewhere but for everyone else the Keb will keep you dry and comfortable for a long time.

Verdict: Highly recommended