Klim Kodiak Jacket Review – Overpriced Or High Quality?

The Klim Kodiak is an expensive, technical 3-layer Gore-Tex riding suit designed for year-round use. With a jacket costing around circa $1500, this jacket is certainly an investment.

However, initial research indicated that Kodiak utilizes high-end materials and construction methods to justify the cost.

By riding with the Kodiak across four seasons and assessing all these factors, I aimed to provide motorcyclists with a detailed and honest review.

But, the main question I will answer in this review will be: Is this the best waterproof motorcycle jacket for you? Let’s find out!

Klim Kodiak Jacket

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Key Takeaways

  • Loaded with safety features
  • Extremely waterproof and windproof
  • Very breathable and well-ventilated

An Overview of the Klim Kodiak Suit

The Klim Kodiak utilizes a 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro shell fabric, which is rugged yet highly breathable. It’s combined with protective SuperFabric panels on the shoulders, elbows, and knees for added abrasion resistance.

For visibility, 3M Scotchlite reflective panels are strategically placed. The jacket has removable CE Level 2 armor, while the trousers include knee, hip, and coccyx protectors. Ten air vents and a mesh inner leg provide ventilation.

The suit is loaded with nine storage pockets and uses durable YKK zippers. Klim offers a 5-year guarantee to replace the suit free of charge if damaged in a crash.

Testing Across Diverse Conditions

Over 12 months, I tested the Klim Kodiak in every imaginable condition:

  • Winter rides down to -5°C with only a base layer underneath
  • Spring showers and downpours on the motorway
  • Summer tours up to 25°C in direct sunlight
  • Autumn commutes at dawn in 9°C temperatures

This allowed me to fully assess the suit’s all-weather performance and comfort in both wet and dry extremes. I rode with it extensively on motorways, country roads, and urban areas.

My Key Findings After Rigorous Testing

Based on my extensive first-hand testing, here are the key strengths and weaknesses I found with the Klim Kodiak suit:

Pros

  • Superb waterproofing: Not a single instance of water ingress, even in torrential rain.
  • Windproof and well-insulated: Maintained warmth even down to -5°C.
  • Highly breathable: Meshes and vents prevented overheating up to 25°C.
  • Excellent abrasion resistance: Durable materials provide extreme protection.
  • Lots of storage: Nine spacious, well-placed pockets.
  • Great safety features: Ample reflectivity and armor.
  • 5-year damage guarantee: Unrivaled peace of mind.

Cons

  • Expensive: Around $1500 for a jacket.
  • Heavyweight: Abundant armor adds bulk and weight.
  • Snug fit: Not ideal for larger riders.
  • Stiff when new: Requires break-in period.

While certainly an investment, the Klim Kodiak proved its worth across every riding scenario I encountered. Let’s examine the key features and performance metrics in more detail.

Unsurpassed All-Weather Protection

The Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer shell offered complete waterproofing without compromising breathability. I rode for hours in relentless rain, yet the suit remained bone dry. There was no permeation of moisture through the outer layer.

Similarly, the windproofing abilities are exceptional. The suit blocks even the strongest winds, maintaining warmth in freezing winter temperatures.

The water-resistant YKK zippers, cinch system on the collar, and zip garage over the vents prevent rain ingress. Overall, the Klim Kodiak sets the benchmark for all-weather motorcycle protection.

Ventilation and Breathability

With 10 vents across the jacket and mesh inner leggings, the Kodiak provides superb airflow to prevent overheating in summer. The vents can be opened and closed while riding to regulate temperature.

I wore it comfortably on 25°C days with just a base layer underneath. Gore-Tex breathability and strategic vent placement make this suit a true 4-season option.

Extreme Abrasion and Impact Resistance

The thick Gore-Tex exterior and SuperFabric panels on the shoulders, elbows, and knees offer exceptional abrasion resistance in a slide. Leather reinforcements provide additional protection.

The CE Level 2 armor in the jacket and protectors in the trousers absorb impact force effectively. The coccyx protector enhances protection for the tailbone when seated. Overall, the Kodiak provides unmatched levels of safety.

Abundant Storage With Nine Handy Pockets

A major plus is the abundance of intelligently placed pockets on the jacket. You get two outer hand pockets, two chest pockets, a Napoleon pocket, and a velcro-sealed interior pouch. The two thigh pockets on the trousers are also handy.

The pockets provide easy access to valuables while riding. Keys and cards can be quickly retrieved, and mobile phones can be stored securely. For touring and commuting, the ample storage capacity is invaluable.

Striking Reflectivity for Low Light Visibility

Strategically placed 3M Scotchlite panels ensure you remain conspicuous after dark. Reflective strips on the chest, back, arms, and legs shine brightly when illuminated by headlights.

This boosts the visibility and safety of the rider tremendously. The reflective elements give added peace of mind when riding at night or in low-light conditions.

Guaranteed Protection for 5 Years

Unlike most brands, Klim offers an impressive 5-year guarantee on the Kodiak suit. If it gets damaged in a motorcycle accident within the first 5 years, Klim will replace it free of charge.

This underlines the suit’s durability and highlights the brand’s faith in its quality and construction. The guarantee provides exceptional value and insurance for your investment.

How Does the Klim Kodiak Compare to Competitors?

The Klim Kodiak goes toe-to-toe with premium motorcycle suits from established players like Rukka, Stadler, and Alpinestars in terms of performance and materials.

However, it’s competitively priced and offers unique advantages like the 5-year guarantee and coccyx protector.

For 4-season protection, the combination of total weatherproofing, 5-star safety features, and excellent ventilation makes the Kodiak a top choice.

Areas for Improvement

While clearly a premium product, I did identify some downsides during testing that could be improved:

  • The weight and bulkiness could be reduced by thinning the Gore-Tex shell and decreasing the armor slightly. This would enhance comfort, particularly in warmer weather.
  • A more relaxed fit would suit larger riders better. An adjustable waist and more generous cut could accommodate more body types.
  • The stiff feel when new takes time to soften up. Pre-wearing the suit before the sale would reduce the break-in period required.

These relatively minor tweaks would make the Kodiak more accessible and comfortable for a wider range of riders.

Final Verdict After Long-Term Testing

The Klim Kodiak impressed me tremendously over 12 months and thousands of miles with its unmatched all-weather protection, safety features, storage capacity, and ventilation.

The suit proved comfortable in conditions ranging from freezing winter rides to hot summer tours, thanks to the breathable and weatherproof materials. The abrasion resistance and armor provide assurance if the worst should happen.

While the price is certainly steep, it is justified by the Kodiak’s sheer engineering quality and 5-year guarantee.

For riders looking for a luxurious, high-performance 4-season suit, the Klim Kodiak is an excellent investment that will last for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Klim Kodiak suit require special care or cleaning?

The Gore-Tex shell should be washed according to the care instructions using a specialist cleaner. Avoid over-washing, and clean only when necessary. Use a spray-on waterproofing treatment every few months to maintain the DWR coating.

How long is the break-in period?

I found the suit required around 2-3 long rides to soften up and mold to my body shape. After this initial break-in, the comfort and flexibility improved markedly.

Is the sizing accurate?

Yes, using the Klim size guide and fit finder provided extremely accurate sizing recommendations. Order your usual size based on the chest and waist measurements. The tailored cut provides a snug fit.

Are the waterproof pockets 100% watertight?

The exterior Napoleon pocket and interior