The relatively recent trend of ‘technical midlayers’ – as opposed to a fleece or big jumper – has seen many of my friends skiing in what I would consider to be two jackets. This winter I joined the two jacket club and have decided to write a review of KJUS FRX 3D jacket which I found to be a versatile technical midlayer.
But what is a technical midlayer? And why do you need one? A fleece makes a great midlayer as it is warm and breathable, a technical midlayer is also waterproof and windproof. So it should keep you warmer and dryer without compromising on moisture transfer. If you like to ski in a shell jacket, go out in really cold weather or do a lot of intense backcountry then a technical midlayer is certainly an improvement on a fleece.
Introducing the KJUS FRX 3D jacket
The KJUS FRX 3D jacket uses Polartec® Alpha® insulation – the first stretchy version of Polartec® – to provide exceptional stretch for unparalleled movement without compromising on insulation, breathability and moisture transportation. The stretch woven outer fabric is windproof and uses HeiQ Barrier for water repellency.
The lightweight, packable nature of Polartec® Alpha® means that the jacket packs neatly into its own pocket, so it is easily stored during a backcountry hike. Polartec® Alpha® not only provides unprecedented levels of breathability and moisture vapour transport but maintains insulation qualities while wet and dries significantly faster than‘puffy-style’ midlayers on the market.
To ensure it is not just technically very good but also practical and comfy it has a hood with one hand adjustment, a microfleece chin guard and elasticated waist and sleeves. It has two front pockets with YKK zippers, and uses a YKK VSLON front zip to keep moisture out. Having already won gold at ISPO 14/15 I could probably leave the review of KJUS FRX 3D jacket here, but I am sure you want to hear my thoughts….
Review of KJUS FRX 3D jacket
In the interests of writing this review of KJUS FRX 3D jacket, before I headed out on the slopes I wore it in the UK on various walks, trips to the shops and even the pub. It kept me dry in light rain, warm on a cold day and kept the wind out. In fact I found it ideal as an outer jacket for much of the autumn and all but the coldest winter days making it a very versatile technical midlayer.
The first two times I wore the KJUS FRX on the mountain I was far too warm. It’s not the jackets fault, I was just keen to try it and did so on days that were plus five or ten degrees. To be honest I could probably have ridden without my outer shell jacket, and would have been the right temperature in just the FRX. However on these warm and sweaty days I tested the moisture transportation qualities to their max and the jacket did a commendable job.
When I eventually wore the KJUS FRX on a cold day I was pleased to find it did a great job of keeping me warm including in pretty horrible minus 15 blizzard conditions. I have also worn it on a few backcountry hikes in Sainte Foy and Tignes and found that as exertion levels increase it helps to keep the body temperature steady and wicks sweat away very efficiently. When I did get too warm and opened my outer jacket having a windproof inner layer helped to avoid the chill you can get with just a fleece.Backcountry trek in Sainte Foy – the KJUS FRX 3D is hidden away but doing it’s job
To conclude my review of KJUS FRX 3D jacket I can also confirm it is very comfortable. The cuffs are thin but tight enough to stop snow getting up them and the chin guard stops the zip from irritating my neck (a problem I have with one of my fleeces). It in no way restricts movement and I was as comfy laying fresh lines in powder as I was hitting features through the park.
The only slight negatives are that the hood got caught up in my outer jacket – technically this is a user dressing error. And that sometimes the waist hem of the KJUS FRX got pulled up by the snow skirt on my outer jacket, particularly when i was wearing avalanche beeper and backpack – this could probably be solved if the FRX was a little longer in the body or if my snow skirt stayed in place like it should.
KJUS FRX 3D a versatile technical midlayer
The KJUS FRX does a great job as a midlayer, although it could also be worn as an outer layer in warm conditions. I have worn it as a jacket off the slopes around resort plus it has kept me warm and dry in typical British autumn and winter weather. It is lightweight and folds up small so it is easy to fit it in a backpack as an extra layer, or to stow it away when you get too hot.
It also looks great and comes in a range of colour options both with and without a hood so it would be a great addition to anyones kit bag. But it is aimed at more serious skiers and snowboarders, particularly those that enjoy intense backcountry sessions. Overall it is a highly versatile technical midlayer that has ousted my collection of fleeces and means I have joined the ‘two jacket club’.
The RRP is £260 and it is stocked by Snow and Rock although only men’s version will be available in UK