Klim Stow Away Jacket Review: How Does It Handle Heavy Downpours?

The Clime Stowaway jacket is a versatile rain jacket for motorcyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.

As a long-time motorcyclist and outdoor adventurer myself, I was eager to test out this jacket and provide an in-depth review.

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

Klim Stow Away Jacket Review

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Key Takeaways

A Lightweight and Packable Design

The Stowaway jacket is crafted from a 2-layer Gore-Tex performance shell fabric, making it 100% waterproof while remaining breathable. The material features a ripstop weave for added durability against tears or abrasions.

Despite the rugged construction, the Stowaway jacket packs down surprisingly small. When not used, the jacket folds into its pocket, reducing to a compact rectangular pouch. This “stowaway” feature makes the jacket ideal for storing inside a saddlebag or backpack until needed.

When taking the jacket out of the pouch, it’s quick and easy to shake out the folds and slip it on. The full-length YKK zipper glides smoothly up the front, secured by a snap at the collar.

Slim Fit Won’t Interfere with Riding Gear

The Stowaway has a relatively slim cut designed to layer cleanly over motorcycle jackets and riding gear. For reference, I typically take a men’s large-size jacket. The Stowaway size large fits me well over a leather motorcycle jacket.

The sleeves are long enough to reach my wrists when holding motorcycle handlebars. However, the slim sleeves won’t fit over bulky motocross jerseys.

The Stowaway jacket is available in sizes ranging from small up to 3XL to accommodate various body shapes. For taller riders, the size large provides a good balance of fit in the shoulders while maintaining sufficient length.

Ventilation Options for Comfort

Riding in the rain inevitably means dealing with humidity inside motorcycle jackets and pants. The Stowaway helps alleviate “sauna syndrome” with its large underarm zip vents. These pit zips allow significant airflow directly through the jacket.

I found these vents made a noticeable difference in damp conditions where condensation can build up inside riding gear. After stopping to unzip the vents, I felt much cooler during rides in the rain.

The jacket also features a lightweight mesh lining that helps wick moisture away from the skin. While not completely waterproof, the mesh adds breathability and a layer of comfort when worn.

Put to the Test in Heavy Rainfall

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we see more than our fair share of rainy rides. I was able to test the Stowaway jacket in wet conditions ranging from light drizzles to heavy downpours.

The 2-layer Gore-Tex fabric lived up to its waterproof reputation, keeping my core and arms completely dry in heavy rain at highway speeds. Water beads up and rolls off the surface of the jacket with ease.

The Stowaway’s zippers and seams provided better protection against leaks and seepage than my older rain jacket. No water penetrated the front closure or cuffs, even when riding for extended periods in heavy rainfall.

One key advantage I noticed is how the jacket cuts the cold wind when riding in wet conditions. The snug cuffs and adjustable waist prevented icy drafts from creeping in.

Lack of Hood Limits Versatility

While I found the Stowaway jacket excelled as a lightweight riding rain jacket, I was disappointed in the attached hood design.

The hood is fixed in place and cannot be removed or stowed away. When riding a motorcycle, the bulky hood flaps loudly in the wind and impedes head movement. Trying to wear a helmet with the hood attached simply doesn’t work.

For use as a versatile multi-purpose rain jacket, I would have preferred an adjustable hood that could be detached. The fixed hood limits the Stowaway’s potential as an all-around jacket for motorcyclists.

Other Riding Rain Jacket Options

Frogg Toggs Pro Action

The Frogg Toggs Pro Action rain jacket is a popular choice for riders looking for basic waterproof protection on a budget. It provides good water resistance at around $30. However, the loose fit doesn’t layer well over motorcycle gear.

Firstgear Torrent

Upgrading to the Firstgear Torrent offers a motorcycle-specific design with a tailored fit. The Torrent is also fully waterproof and breathable but runs over $150. The price nets you reinforced abrasion points and excellent quality.

Klim Artemis

At the premium level, the Klim Artemis jacket delivers hardcore, waterproof, and breathable performance. With fully taped seams and Gore-Tex Pro construction, it matches the Stowaway for wet weather protection at around $400.

The Verdict: A Solid Mid-Range Pick for Riders

The Clime Stowaway hits a nice sweet spot between budget minimalism and premium technical jackets. It provides ample waterproofing for heavy rains but drops the unnecessary features to keep the price down around $230.

The Stowaway’s impressive packability makes it easy to stash in luggage for riders seeking a compact emergency rain jacket. The streamlined fit layers well over motorcycle jackets without restricting movement.

While I’m disappointed in the fixed hood reducing versatility, the Stowaway’s well-rounded performance otherwise makes it an ideal choice for motorcyclists needing reliable wet weather protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of fabric is the Stowaway made from?

The Stowaway uses a 2-layer Gore-Tex performance shell fabric for guaranteed waterproof and breathable performance. The face of the fabric has a ripstop weave for added durability.

Does it keep you dry in heavy rain?

Yes, the Stowaway jacket is 100% waterproof and kept me completely dry riding for hours in heavy Pacific Northwest downpours. The seams and zippers are well-sealed to prevent leaks.

Is it comfortable to wear?

The jacket is relatively comfortable with its mesh liner layer. The slim fit can restrict motion when worn over bulky layers, though. Pit zips help provide good venting to reduce dampness inside.

Can you ride a motorcycle with the hood on?

Unfortunately, the fixed hood design makes it difficult to wear a motorcycle helmet, so I don’t recommend riding with the hood in place. It flaps around and limits head movement.

Does it run true to size?

The jacket fits fairly trim but true to size. I wear a men’s large jacket, and the size large Stowaway fits well over my riding gear. Taller riders may want to size up for a longer cut.

Is it easy to pack down?

Yes, the jacket folds up surprisingly small into the integrated storage pouch. Just shake it out and it’s ready to wear again in seconds. The packability makes it perfect for stashing in a saddlebag.

Conclusion

For motorcyclists seeking reliable wet weather protection, the Clime Stowaway jacket is an excellent mid-range choice. It provides waterproof and breathable performance for rain riding while packing down for lightweight storage.

While not as versatile as some all-season jackets, the Stowaway exceeds expectations for its intended role as a compact emergency rain jacket.

For bike-bound adventures where storms can sneak up at any moment, it’s a sound investment in keeping you dry.

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