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ProView – BlackYak Kuri Jacket

It’s been a long time since I’ve worn any piece of mountaineering gear that I consider to be fashionable. BlackYak is a high-end mountaineering outfitter that is just entering the scene in the USA with their top of the line clothing. Wearing BlackYak’s new Kuri Jacket, you can stand out in a crowd (and look good doing it) without sacrificing any of the features you need in a technical hardshell. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but you know what they say… buy nice or buy twice!

BlackYak Juri Jacket

Product Description: The weatherproof BlackYak Kuri Jacket is the ideal alpine partner when you're headed out for some ski touring, mountaineering, or expeditions in the backcountry. Its Gore-Tex Pro construction provides highest-quality water and windproof protection while still offering incredible breathability to keep you dry and comfortable even when you're pushing yourself. Gore-Tex Pro stretch panels at the back of the shoulders keep you mobile as you climb and underarm vents unzip to quickly dump excess heat on burly ascents. Finally, an adjustable drop hood can easily be pulled on when the weather starts to pick up without you having to unzip the jacket.

Offer price: $325.00 MSRP

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Performance
    (5)
  • Fit
    (4)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

I love that this jacket is unique. I know I won’t show up to the crag wearing the same thing as everyone else. It’s not the lightest or the most packable, but at the end of the day I can guarantee you’ll be dry. It was amazing watching the water bead off of my jacket as I was climbing up a (somewhat) frozen waterfall and being completely dry when I got to the top. Now I just need to get myself some BlackYak waterproof pants!

Overall
4.8

Pros

  • Stretches when you move
  • Fashionable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Short arms and torso
  • Small zipper pull
  • Bulky zipper in front vs sleek zipper on the pockets

As ice climbing season is wrapping up and spring mountaineering season is on its way, the frozen waterfalls I’ve been hacking my way up all winter are starting to melt out and feel like I’m scraping my way up thin ice underneath a cold shower. So that’s exactly what I did. I went to one of my favorite local Colorado ice climbs and did what could very well be the last ascent of the season with how melted and wet it was. After taking my “frozen shower” and deciding that the jacket is, in fact, 100% waterproof, I made my way up to 12,000 feet elevation to test it’s wind-blocking capabilities and breathability.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Fit/Comfort

Waterproof shells usually feel stiff and crinkly, but thanks to the durable fabric and GORE-TEX® stretch panel in the back, the jacket moved well with me when I was climbing and hiking and didn’t feel stiff at all. The arms and torso were a bit short, but I am also pretty tall for my size. I really like that the jacket doesn’t have the typical “women’s fit” with a slim waist. The straighter, looser cut allowed me to layer up underneath the hardshell without feeling like my movement was restricted.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Look/Style

BlackYak as a whole can be described as sleek and trendy and the Kuri jacket is no exception. In contrast to the muted color palette we usually see in women’s outdoor gear, BlackYak offers some really unique and bright colors. I love that the brand is relatively new to the United States so I feel like a trendsetter when I wear and share photos in this jacket.

Features

The helmet-compatible hood has adjustable cords on either side in the front and two adjustable cords in the back of the hood to get the perfect fit when you really need to keep wind and water out. The hood also features a stiffened brim that did a great job of keeping water out of my face without obstructing my view when I was climbing up a waterfall. I really like that the inner collar is not attached to the hood. It allowed me to keep my neck warm and dry without necessarily having to put my hood on. As if the GORE-TEX® fabric wasn’t breathable enough, the Kuri jacket also features pit vents with two-way zippers for maximum adjustability.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com
blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Weight/Packability

Weighing in at just under a pound, this is not a jacket that packs down miraculously small when compressed. What you see is what you get, but the durability and ruggedness of the fabric more than make up for the extra couple of ounces.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Function/Performance

As you can expect with GORE-TEX® fabric, the jacket kept me completely dry during my climb and blocked from the wind on my hike.  I did find that the zipper pull is really small which made it hard to grab and hold onto when I had gloves on.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The pit vents and two hand pockets have sleek, waterproof zippers that slide well, but the main zipper down the front of the jacket has the traditional bulkier zipper which has the potential to allow air and water through it and tends to get caught more frequently. I haven’t had had the zipper snag or get stuck, but I would have liked to see the newer waterproof zipper style used throughout the jacket.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Durability/Construction

The Kuri jacket is a high-quality piece of gear. It doesn’t show any signs of wear after several months of shoving it in the bottom of my pack and wearing it in the most extreme and rugged conditions, and I don’t expect it to anytime soon. It’s just as waterproof as the day I got it without additional treatments. I will say that the yellow jacket does show dirt, but it washes off super easily due to the waterproof nature of the coat.

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The Final Word

I love that this jacket is unique. I know I won’t show up to the crag wearing the same thing as everyone else. It’s not the lightest or the most packable, but at the end of the day I can guarantee you’ll be dry. It was amazing watching the water bead off of my jacket as I was climbing up a (somewhat) frozen waterfall and being completely dry when I got to the top. Now I just need to get myself some BlackYak waterproof pants!

blackyak-kuri-jacket-review-dirtbagdreams.com

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Lindsay Hastings

Lindsay Hastings has worked as a hydrologic technician for the United States Geological Survey for five years. As a field scientist, she has logged countless hours working in a wide range of conditions from sub-zero temperatures in the high-altitude regions of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, to record-breaking heat in the deserts of New Mexico. When she's not working in the field, you can find her chasing her next thrill through ice climbing, rock climbing, mountaineering, camping, trail running, or practicing photography in the mountains. Lindsay is a member of the USA Ice Climbing Team and competed in the World Cup tour both nationally and internationally this winter. Connect with her on instagram @wanderlinds_

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