Will AppleyardDiver, mountaineer, climber and paraglider pilot, Will communicates his passion for adventure through his photography and writing and is the author of several books.
Keela’s Reclaim Ronas smock is a jacket to keep you comfy in mild to damp conditions. Light enough for biking, hiking and running, and small enough to be packed down and stored if space is at a premium.
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Made in Scotland from reclaimed rip-stop nylon fabric, integrated stuff sack, windproof, breathable, lightweight
Extremely lightweight and packable
High chin guard
Made sustainably in the UK
Elasticated wrists feel slightly reminiscent of a child’s jacket!
Keela’s tech specs don’t mention that it is waterproof
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR
When it comes to lightweight rain and windproof outer garments, I’m looking for something packable and an item that I can slip on over a couple of layers. I usually prefer a hood to keep wind and rain away, and for climbing and mountain days, the material has to be durable against the rock. When on the bike in cooler temps, windproofing is a must and it should at least be able to keep out some of the rain and mud, should conditions go that way.
It is very light indeed at just 114g. The material feels thin, but at the same time durable. I love the smock design and the chin guard sits at the perfect height around the neck, feeling snug when zipped up all the way. I was impressed by Keela’s cut when testing their outer hard shell jacket recently and this one, again a size small, fits me perfectly. Only after a few wears did I realise that the stuff bag is actually integrated into the inside chest, doubling up as an inside pocket. I’d wrongly assumed that the stuff bag had not been sent with the jacket, so finding it was a nice little surprise and when pushed the jacket into to it, the thing packed down into a tiny little package!
The elasticated wrists feel a bit like those of a cagoule that my mother used to make me wear as a child and I think this manufacturing method, although it feels well made, looks a little cheap. That said, they’re certainly not baggy, sit well on the wrists, do their job and so are by no means a cause for complaint, possibly just an aesthetic preference for some.
I love the smock design and the chin guard sits at the perfect height around the neck
Conditions were perfect here in the sub-Pyrenees to test this smock. Climbing had been binned owing to the threat of rain, yet the rain didn’t look so heavy that we would be housebound. Spitting and mild temperatures, said the view from the window, so still very much hike-able. Cloud base was low. So low that when we reached the top of the cliff, we were in it, occasionally clearing to reveal the valley floor below.
A little rain came and went and I set out dressed lightly, base-layer wise. This wasn’t a day for a heavy jacket, being 19-20 degrees despite the drizzle. A hardshell would have been too much and so Keela’s Ronas light smock seemed like a safe bet for a day like this. Just enough to keep the occasional shower out and light enough not to over-heat. I hardly even felt like I was wearing a jacket at all, it’s so incredibly light. There is no hood, but luckily I’m not so precious about my hair getting wet for a while!
When not required, the thing became almost invisible and undetectable in my rucksack. Keela mention that the smock is windproof on their website, but there’s no mention of it being water proof. Caught in heavy rain, I would definitely want to be dressed in something tougher than this. Certainly though, it stood up to drizzle.
WHO IS THIS JACKET FOR?
Climbers, hikers, bikers… Keep it in your rucksack permanently. It will definitely be coming with me on the bike and if you’re into running, it weighs next to nothing and you can easily throw it on over a T-shirt to take the edge off the wind and rain. Perfect for mild conditions or perhaps as an emergency item, to keep you comfortable before finding refuge in the pub.
If you’re after something with sustainability woven into it, the Ronas smock is part of Keela’s Legacy Project – a repair and reuse scheme that has been developed to include the repurposing of leftover fabric from the brand’s factory in Fife, Scotland, into garments wherever possible, helping to reduce textile waste.
WHAT STANDS OUT?
The Reclaim Ronas smock comes in a nice range of colours. This one is royal blue, there’s also a cobalt blue and a red version too.
The Ronas smock looks and feels like a quality item and certainly has some longevity to it.
Barely there and very breathable.
PACKABLE AND STASHABLE
Stuff it into its own inside pocket, it scrunches into a really neat package that’s easy to chuck in your pack in case of inclement weather.
VALUE FOR MONEY
There’s not a great deal to say here: the Reclaim Ronas smock is good value for money. One could always spend double on the same kind of thing, and for what it has to offer; the convenience of such a light and easily packable jacket with decent eco-credentials, it’s a good buy.
BASE BOTTOM LINE
Part of Keela’s Reclaim line, the smock is made from material that might have otherwise have been binned and ultimately ended up in landfill – adding to the textile waste problem the world currently faces. It’s good to know it’s been diverted from this fate, and made into something actually very useful.
It will suit hikers, bikers and runners to mention a few disciplines. Very packable, very light. As Keela say, you really can ‘put it in your ruck sack and forget about it’.