It’s autumn, and the weather is its usual unpredictable and bipolar self, and we’re now firmly in to Softshell season where a jacket needs to be everything from well-ventilated for those blasts of warm sun to water resistant for those short, sharp drizzles.
The Keela Lynx Softshell is a jack of all trades of a jacket, with a few clever touches to make it as useful as possible during these autumnal days.
The material is a really stretchy and hardwearing fabric with a sort of ripstop-square pattern on the outside and a soft towelling on the inside. It is very comfortable to wear during all kinds of activities because its degree of stretch is huge compared to some softshells. You can quite easily pull it tight and still bend your elbows with no problem or risk of ripping the jacket.
The fabric is also windproof, and treated with a DWR (Durable water repellent) so that light rain runs off it. Being a softshell it will eventually leak, but by that point you should really have donned a waterproof over the top or found a pub to hide in.
The cut of the Lynx is long in the sleeve and mid-length at the waist with a scooped back to prevent flesh showing when you bend over or go cycling. The piping on the front does wonders for those of use who have had too many pies lately and especially in black it slims you down to look like a ninja.
The wind resistance of the fabric is teamed up with adjustable cuffs and a really neat adjustable toggle on the neck which helps seal out any breezes from going down your back. The waist isn’t adjustable, but a line of soft fleecey material here helps it grip to your trousers and stop riding up.
The Lynx has been designed with 2 massive pockets on the sides which are accessible from top or bottom. This is perfect for when wearing a harness or pack which obstructs the zippers. Great chunky zipper pulls mean that they’re still usable when wearing gloves.
The party-piece for the Lynx is its pit/side zippers. These go from the waist, all the way up to the elbow and expand to reveal a vented mesh material that really does work well to let out heat when the going is sweaty. I was genuinely impressed by how well this worked.
SUMMARY: The Lynx Softshell Jacket is a clever piece of design at a good price. The ability to both batten down the hatches and expand for more ventilation allows this to cater for more unpredictable weather than a plain softshell. The material is excellent and the styling is smart. Quality of finish with a few loose threads here and there is the only negative of note.