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Klymit Double Diamond Vest – UpaDowna
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Klymit Double Diamond Vest

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Up, Up, and Away!!! This vest made me feel like a super hero with it's new fangled technology and overall feel. Gas this baby up and you'll have no doubt of the insulating power of Argon! Klymit has developed an inflatable and adjustable vest aimed and maximizing performance and compactness. The design takes advantage of stretch fabric, argon gas, and a built-in regulator dial.





MSRP: $225

The more than modern appearance of this vest had me thinking “gimmick” and "superhero" at the same time so needless to say I was both, and I was skeptical and intrigued from the get go. Upon first inspection, I was impressed with the construction and materials used in the vest. The Double Diamond is built to last insofar as it feels like it could really take a beating and remain in good shape. Details such as stitching, hems, and zippers, all seem well done. The cut of the garment seemed athletic and it fit me well with various levels of inflation. The vest however doesn’t move well with the body when its inflated to what I’m judging to be more than 50%. The Klymit Kinetic’s chambers are heat sealed linearly making it stiff from bottom to top. When getting into my truck with the vest zipped, it rose above my shoulders like a flotation vest in the water. Being somewhat uncomfortable, I wondered if the vest would ride up the same way on a ski chair lift or other similar posture. That being said, I did find the vest comfortable while walking and even jogging. The vest collar is not insulated nor inflatable, but the cut and fit of the collar, arms, and waist seemed ideal for heat retention. Drawstrings compliment both the collar and waist for adjustable fit. The vest design hugs the body especially when inflated, and I was very impressed with the warmth. The vest performed well for me while being in a low aerobic zone near freezing temperatures wearing a long sleeve base layer. Inflation, and hence heat retention, is adjusted by the use of a regulator dial on the left side of the chest. Truthfully, I learned that unzipping and zipping to regulate body temp is almost instinctive to me at this point, and I found I did not take advantage of vests regulator dial as often as I would like. However, since the vests chambers must be gas tight, which differs from air tight because the Argon molecule is larger than CO2 and O2 which in effect allows ambient air to pass through but retains the Argon gas., the relative breath-ability found on other traditional down and synthetic vests is in question with this item. I do not feel that this vest will breath well enough during more increased aerobic activities. But as of yet I haven't worn it for highly aerobic adventures. On several occasions of mild exertion such as ice climbing and medium paced hikes I did build up a bit of sweat. But when skiing with this vest on it felt great and for it's size I was really was much warmer than I thought I would be! The vests inflation hose is retained in its own zipped area within the left hand pocket, keeping it out the way until inflation time. I found the vest easy to inflate and deflate with the included “Klymitizer” and tanks. Although I could find no clear indication on the vest or in the enclosed documentation as to what maximum inflation looks like. Be aware that unless you here the "click" of the purge valve while closing it there is no certainty that you have properly sealed the vest and it may lose some of its gas. In the end, I wonder if folks will be fully taking advantage of the adjust-ability that Klymit has built into this vest. Deflating the vest and recharging later on the mountain just doesn’t appeal to me, but perhaps in time it will. Also carrying the pump, hand or Argon gas, also takes up a bit of valuable pocket space. The Klymit vest when combined with one tank and charger, seems to diminish most if any weight and or storage savings. The insulating value of this vest is pretty phenomenal and I would like to see it in a lighter fabric perhaps something akin to sil-nylon where it could be both light weight and not as stiff.  Keep at it team Klymit! In the meantime, I’ll continue with the traditional layering and venting techniques. Here is a snippet from the Klymit web site concerning NobleTek:

The 9 Core Benefits of NobleTek™ include : – Variable Insulation: Warmth on Demand. – Warm When Wet: Maintains thermal properties when wet and even submerged. – Dynamic Channel Design: Ventilation is enhanced while deflated yet when inflated NobleTek™ chambers conform to your body snugly, capturing your body heat. – Windproof: Pressurized chambers of argon never collapse when inflated and are unmoved by wind. – Thinner: Argon insulates up to 3 times better than "Dead Air", which other insulation traps. Warmer and thinner. NobleTek products can pack up to a fraction of the size of other traditional technologies allowing for compact storage and easey access on the go, like our Kinetic Vest that is less than 0.2mm when deflated and can fold up in the supplied stuff sack and fit in your backpack, car, or back pocket. – Lighter: Argon is virtually weightless. Based on the volume of gas in the vest you can change your insulation from that of a windbreaker to a full-on ski parka with no change in weight. – Loft Retaining: NobleTek™ will never lose its loft like traditional insulation will. Just pump and go. – Safe: Breathe easy, argon is non-toxic and non-flammable, you have been breathing it since the day you were born. – Eco-Friendly: NobleTek™ is the only insulation you will never see in a landfill.

I would have to say that utilizing Argon or any gas for that matter is a relatively new venture for clothing manufacturers and I am excited to see where Klymit takes us here in the future. I mean look at the first cars vs. what we have today! Now that the technology has been introduced big things could be coming. -This review was written using input from UpaDowna guest writer Jeff E.

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