This past season, I had the opportunity to test RAB’s Khroma Kinetic touring kit. From November to June, I tested this kit in every condition imaginable; from nuking January storm days to cloudless May bluebird days. I’ve broken the review up into 5 sections: fit, uphill performance, protection from the elements, miscellaneous pros/cons, and “the bottom line.” This is my initial, unbiased review of the kit – for both the jacket and the pants.
- Name: Clay Malott
- Days with the RAB Khroma Kinetic kit: 25
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 170lbs
- Testing location: Aspen, Colorado; Lake Tahoe, California
As a tall, slender person, it’s often very difficult to find well-fitting ski clothing, especially dedicated touring gear. However, overall, I really liked the fit of the RAB Khroma kit. The pants were long enough and fit fairly snugly around my legs and waist. The pants also feature removable suspenders and belt loops, so if the fit in the waist is too loose, you can always utilize those to make them fit better.
The jacket fits a bit loose, which was frankly not a big deal at all. Not only does it increase mobility (more on that soon), but it also means that layering beneath it is very easy – I could wear multiple layers without feeling like the Michelin Man! I also suspect that for most people who aren’t as slender as I am, the fit wouldn’t be an issue.
The uphill performance is where this kit really shines. There are two ways to look at this category: mobility & movement and breathability & ventilation.
In terms of mobility, I was quite impressed by this kit. The material of the kit is quite stretchy nylon. With each stride, I could feel the kit effortlessly stretching with my every move, limiting the exertion of each step. Ultimately, this means less tired legs and more skiing! As I mentioned before, the jacket fit somewhat loosely, which actually aided the excellent movement of the kit.
This kit is highly breathable. The Proflex fabric of the kit has a breathability rating of 25,000 g/m2/24 hours, among the highest ratings in the industry. Ultimately, this means less internal moisture condensation and more comfort. In the spring, I got to try this jacket with cruelly warm temperatures and intense sun. It stood up well in terms of ventilation and keeping my inner layers dry and my body cool. For 95% of my touring days, I would absolutely go with the Khroma Kinetic kit, and I ski quite a few of my touring days in the spring and early summer: a testament to the excellent breathability of this kit!
One gripe I have regarding the breathability of this kit is the vent placement. The pants feature vents down the outer thigh from the lower hip down to about the knee. However, the jackets had very unconventional vent placement. The main vents were placed on the backs of the arms. While they did help regulate temperature somewhat, I absolutely prefer vents under the armpits running down the sides. The Khroma Kinetic jacket features two front pockets with an interior mesh that are meant to double as vents, and they were decently effective at doing so, though it would have been nice if the zippers opened a bit further.
Protection from the elements
The Kinetic Khroma kit was meant to be in the mountains. From the moment you put it on, you can tell. The fabric is high quality and durable. On even the stormiest days with nuking snow and whipping wind, this kit stood up to the challenge beautifully, keeping me dry and warm. There’s not much more to say here; this kit absolutely excelled in this category.
Miscellaneous pros & cons
There were a few little things about this kit that stood out. I already mentioned the vent placement, but the pockets were also a bit strange – in both a good way and a bad way. The pants feature a beacon pocket, which I absolutely love since it means no clunky and uncomfortable beacon harness. The jacket features two awesome large pockets on the stomach, large enough to stash skins, snacks, water bladders, and other miscellaneous items you may want easy access to throughout the day. This is a feature I wish more jackets had. However, the pants also featured two pockets in the front on the thighs that were almost comically small; far too small to store a phone. I wish there were larger pockets on the pants to have quick and easy access to my phone since I take lots of photos during my backcountry travels.
A huge pro of this kit was the size of the hood on the jacket since it was large enough to fit over my helmet. This may seem like a small and unimportant detail. But there’s no greater tragedy in life than a heavy storm whipping snow down your neck, wishing you had a larger hood.
Near the foot of the pants, RAB has reinforced the material, protecting the fabric from boot buckles, crampons, ski edges, branches, rocks, and more.
The bottom line
Overall, I really loved this kit. This kit is perfect for backcountry skiers of any ability looking for a “daily driver” touring outerwear kit, something they can wear in any condition and not have to sweat their decision (pun intended). Shop the RAB Khroma Kinetic jacket and pants.
One thought on “Gear Review: RAB Khroma Kinetic Kit”
I also hated the pockets at first but grew to appreciate them. I put a sunscreen stick in one and an analog slope meter in another for quick access. Phone goes in the rear butt pocket, which is opposite my beacon and my body acts as a blocker for electronic interference.