Improving on the last Generation Carlsbad jacket, KLIM introduced the latest generation of the Carlsbad early on this year…the previous iteration had 500-denier Karbonite Ripstop in high-impact and high-wear areas, also D30 CE Level 1 armor in the elbows, shoulders, back. The new Carlsbad now boasts 630D Cordura in the high abrasion zones, D30 CE Level 2 armor, and a host of new storage and ventilation options that exceed the outgoing model’s functionality.
The Main Chassis of the new Carlsbad jacket is constructed of the same fabric that their flagship Badlands jacket uses FPL400. This is a weaved fabric that has a weight of 400 grams per square meter. This is a high tensile strength weave that is extremely abrasion and tear-resistant.
One of the things that distinguishes the Carlsbad from competitors entries in this price range is the inclusion of the Goretex Performance shell. The shell is laminated to the body, and in our opinion, such a better design than other jackets that utilize removable membranes. Not only does it not require you to stop and put a waterproof membrane on, but it also prevents soak-through or what’s known as wet-out. All it takes is getting wet once on a ride, and you’ll wish you had the right gear. Not only is it heavy and uncomfortable, but when you get wet, you’re going to feel a lot colder, and discomfort aside, this can have a significant impact on your concentration levels and ability to react in adverse riding conditions. You are on a motorcycle, and you’re gonna need those things!
Because it’s Goretex, the membrane is guaranteed to be waterproof, windproof, and breathable for the USEFUL life of the product.
The jacket features 3m Scotchlite C790 Carbon Black reflective material, positioned in KLIM’s well thought out BIOMOTION recognition pattern throughout the jacket. KLIM claims to have done their research here to help make you look more visible to drivers at night. The shape and arrangement of reflectors on KLIM made products are chosen to ensure the wearer is immediately detected and noticed as a motorcyclist. What about Deer though?
Love the double-headed front zipper…if you need more air on the trails, these are great! Speaking of Zippers…all YKK throughout! The jacket features Klims’ Collar Tab Back system and a cinch-able collar that will definitely come in handy in the rain.
Let’s talk about the 8 External pockets:
We can start with the KLIM standard forearm emergency Stat card on the left wrist. What’s more, you buy the jacket, they give you a free gift card to get your STAT card.! How nice of them!
There are two water-resistant front cargo pockets…big split gusseted cargo pockets. Two front handwarmer pockets, a gigantic waterproof chest pocket, a zippered pocket over the right chest, and a spot tracker/utility pocket over the left chest…whew…
Oh, wait…the inside!
There are two lower internal zippered stash pockets for your melted snickers bars. One left chest internal pocket with a headphone port (just in case you still rock those relics), one right internal zippered pocket, and one concealed document pocket behind the back pad.
D30 CE Level 2 LP@ Pro elbow and shoulder armor and a CE Level 2 back pad. Now we’re talking! This is what we expect at this price point. Thank you KLIM! You can adjust the armor pads using a 3 step velcro pocket system in each of the elbows. The Jacket also includes a zippered channel for a kidney belt, which is sadly not included. Thank you KLIM. Also included is Klim’s KLIMATEK Cooling Mesh for the armor pad pockets and the “Engineered Spacer Mesh Back Pad Pocket.”
Let’s talk about breathability, a big thing for adventure bike riders.
Klim certainly improved upon the last model Carlsbad. The jacket now features huge doubt headed forearm vents. There are velcro strap adjusters at the wrist, which allow you to fine-tune the vent entrances to help guide airflow. There are two chest vents strategically placed on the jacket’s outside edges to take advantage of airflow, not obstructed by a windscreen. The gigantasaurus chest pocket also doubles as an air vent. The back vents are “offset for better airflow,” so Klim says…The zippers for the rear vents are easy to grab while riding and with a gloved hand. Of course, we already mentioned that collar pullback system.
Some other stuff…
A moisture-wicking “Polygiene” anti-odor Liner
A soft collar liner.
A swell adjustable bottom hem that doesn’t include any straps that could get hung up on a tree or Starbucks window. Instead, the hem uses an adjustable Bungie system.
There are glove-friendly zipper pulls throughout, and of course, the handy dandy zipper connection to connect to your favorite riding pants.
All in all, we think this is one of the best adventure jackets at this price point. Are there STILL some things that we’d like to see? Sure. We’d like to see something more at the abrasion zones, like Superfabric. Being as though they built this thing to be waterproof, couldn’t they have made the big old cargo pockets waterproof? These are the first places we’d be reaching to stash stuff. Lastly, it’s an adventure jacket…a hydration pouch pocket would have been nice.
KLIM does things right. The jacket is priced only slightly more than competitors in the segment (like the Rev It Sand), but this is probably due to the laminated Goretex membrane…a price we can fully justify based on the hassles associated with the alternatives. Depending on where you live, this jacket COULD be your year-rounder. With the simple inclusion of a thermal layer in the winter, you’re good to go! If you’re pinching your pennies, there are cheaper, less capable alternatives, but as an all-around investment in safety protection and comfort..you can’t go wrong with the Carlsbad.
- High-grade materials
- Placement of zippered vents
- Waterproof Goretex Performance shell
We didn’t like
- Cargo pockets aren’t waterproof
- Abrasion zone fabrics could be better
- No hydration pocket