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KLIM Stow Away Jacket

January 01, 2013

Perfect Cover

Colors: Black, grey
Size: XS-3X
MSRP: $199.99
www.klimusa.com

By James Holter

What’s worse than getting caught 40 miles into a 100-mile enduro in a sudden downpour on a 52-degree day? Sweating your butt off in a full-on riding jacket for those entire 100 miles when a rainy weather forecast proves wrong.
That’s why you need the Klim Stow Away Jacket.

This little gem packs into its own integrated pouch and is complete with handy straps that securely attach it to just about anything—a backpack, handlebars, hydration pack, riding belt, etc. It weighs effectively nothing, and you’ll probably forget you even have it along—until it starts to rain, that is.

Then, you just detach it, unzip the pouch, turn it right side out and slip it on. A thin hood that you can wear under a helmet unzips from the collar.

Klim isn’t the first gear company to come out with a jacket that has its own self-storing pouch. But where the Stow Away distinguishes itself is in the construction and fit of the jacket itself.

The Stow Away has a Gore-Tex waterproof shell and a moisture-wicking polyester liner. In typical KLIM fashion, the jacket is well constructed. It’s tough. As long as it’s not abused, the Stow Away will last several seasons without a whimper. This is, of course, not an armored jacket. It’s designed to be svelte, not sturdy, and stop rain, not rocks.

The design is typical for KLIM, understated and business like. If flashy graphics are your thing, this probably isn’t your jacket. If you’re more concerned with function than something that will be out of style six months from now, it probably is. It does have a small amount of flash, if you can call it that: The sleeve logos are reflective for some extra safety when a transfer section takes you out on the open road.

Fit is excellent. In my experience, KLIM gear runs a little big, but the Stow Away fits as advertised. The sleeves, though, are generously long, which is just how you want them. Unless you can buckle your boots without bending over, you shouldn’t have a problem with the adjustable cuffs easily covering your wrists.

The jacket’s lining is comfortable, with a soft micro-fleece inner collar. Comfort is also enhanced by armpit vents that can be opened on those hot or humid rainy days.

Like most KLIM stuff, the Stow Away isn’t going to lead the market on pricing. Its $199.99 retail price is definitely on the high end for a non-armored jacket. That said, also like most KLIM stuff, it doesn’t compromise. It fits great, does exactly what it advertises and will last for years.

Want to be an AMA tester? Email submissions@ama-cycle.org for an application.

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