The time for a final review has come. I received my Kana suit right before Christmas and I decided to give the jacket some rest right before Easter but, the weather changed and we hung around until the beginning of May. My impressions? If you want to know more about the Kana technical features, and get a detailed description of the suit (jacket and trousers), click here to read the first part of my review. Today I am going tell you what I think of them after having field tested them for several months.
First of all, I must tell you that we had a very cold and foggy winter, but it hardly rained/snowed, so I cannot say exactly how waterproof the suit is. I think it is, but the maximum time I spent under a heavy rain (without umbrella) was one hour, one hour and a half. Was I dry? Yes, I was and, once at home, the jacket dried reasonably quickly which is a very good point. Do I think the Kana to be best garment you can wear during a heavy rain? Probably not, but this suit has still much to offer.
Let’s start from the bottom: the trousers. The Kana trousers are incredibly warm: too warm to be worn together with the jacket if the temperature is above 0°C, or if you plan to be very active. Nevertheless, they become lovely if you have to stay still, or when temperatures fall below zero. The same could be said about the jacket but, wearing it with a plain pair of trousers, you can make it more adaptable to warmer days. It really depends on what you decide to wear underneath: a proper sweater in winter, or a shirt in spring. The Kana jacket kept me very warm all winter. We had a very cold winter, with much much fog which can affect the way you perceive the real temperature: 0°C in a thick fog is much worse than -5° on a dry sunny day. I remember spending hours in the fog waiting for a field trial to start: it never started as the fog never dissipated but, whereas all the other people were freezing, I was perfectly fine and happy. I like to underline the adjective “happy” because I am very sensitive to extreme temperatures, therefore the opportunity to be fine whatever the weather, is greatly appreciated! I think, on that day, that happiness was painted on my face, people noticed it and quickly connected it to the technical suit I was wearing and asked me about the brand. They thought it was Italian and when I explained it was made by Harkila and it was Scandinavian and more questions came…
After the cold foggy winter we had an unpredictable spring, filled with cold windy days: the Kana jacket, on paper, was too warm, but I had nothing to lose by testing it in these conditions and, surprise… it passed the test. The trick was wearing only a shirt underneath: this combination was perfect for windy days. Again, it was not cold “on paper” , but strong northern winds blowing from the Alps modified the temperature’s perception. I tested the Kana during two wind storms: the first one happened in a wonderful sunset, the wind had cleared the sky and I was trying to take pictures standing still by a river with my camera. I was warm but for the hands as I forgot to bring gloves; the second storm involved rain and we did extremely well, finally certifying the Kana as “windproof”.
You can see how it looks once worn in the slideshow at the bottom of the article (for static gallery click here), this is a size 36 (I wear an IT 40/42 –UK 8). Remember that I am… err… fairly short hence the jacket, which is indeed long, might look it even longer. The extra length was meant to keep you warmer and it does the job. Any notes about the trousers? I think I’d say that, despite being padded, they do not make me look like Bibendum (the Michelin Man), which I appreciate! Disclaimer: in the photo you’ll see a girl wearing only a fleece while I was all wrapped up in the Kana: it was -5°C and we were by a frozen lake, but she was wearing multiple layers underneath the fleece and…. She is often referred as “the Russian” being absolutely unaffected by cold weather. [The Lilja Cardigan will be reviewed separately, I am back to wearing the Jerva now].
Could the Kana be improved? It could benefit from two minor changes that would make it more versatile. The jacket lacks of hand warmer pockets and you sometimes would like to have them when it is very cold outside. It features, indeed, two large front pockets which are deep and large, perfect for storing shots shells and other items, but not padded. Is this relevant? Yes and no: padded pockets would keep your hands and your cell phone warmer. There is also a chest pocket in which the cell phone can be placed, but it is not really handy if you want to check the phone often, the hand warmer pockets would solve all these issues. The second point we could consider is the hood: it is a lovely and warm hood, which can be of great help when it is cold and windy, but not always convenient when it rains. Let me explain better: the hood, as mentioned in the first article, has a bear-like fur lining. I love it as it keeps me warm but, in case of rain, it forces me to wear the hood: if I do not, the fur gets soaked and will not dry fast. But wearing a hood in the rain is not always the best choice, especially if you are shooting, you need to mount a shotgun/rifle on your shoulder and you need a wider field of view: a detachable hood would bring the Kana jacket closer to perfection.
Summarizing, the Kana suit can help you during freezing and windy days and it is great for: stalking, wildfowling, driven shooting and any not so intense activity in cold weather, but the Kana jacket is versatile enough to be worn for rough shooting and in slightly warmer weather.