Embrace the Wind and Spray - Zhik Kiama Review
"Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine." - Anthony J. D'Angelo
...or at least bring a good all-weather jacket. Zhik's Kiama jacket is just the ticket for most of the sailing that I do here on the Great Lakes.
It's design is simple, and I mean that in a very good way. There aren't a ton of panels sewn together or several colors competing for you attention. Instead, the Kiama offers a clean look and a fit that's comfortable. Even in simplicity, this jacket is more than just a shell to fend off the wind and repel rain and spray. It's got a certain heft to it that adds just the right amount of warmth and insulation.
Zhik says it's designed for inshore sailing in mild to moderate cool conditions, but I'm inclined to think it can handle more and will even make a really functional winter ski coat so long as you add a medium weight base layer. Regardless of how it's used, movement isn't restricted but the fit is modestly tight.
As for the features, the Kiama has an outer waterproof, breathable nylon shell and a mesh inner with fleece lining in the zippered pockets and around the collar. All of the seams are taped and sealed, as they should be for a jacket that will see the sea. There's also a fitted hood with a storage pouch.
Bottomline - I like this jacket a lot and find it hard to come up with an objective negative. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since I also really like my Zhik ZK boat shoes I reviewed last year. If you're looking for a sporty, well-made sailing jacket that's equally up to the challenge of nasty conditions and quiet shoulder season sailing, check out the Kiama.