Pleasantries to begin with.. 🙂
Jahti Jakt is already an established staple among European clothing brands for hunters. They have proved themselves as consistent designer of a high quality apparel from Finland. I have bought and tested three of their models (Forest, Classic and Rosto) over last two years and decided to summarize my experience. I will start with the Jahti Jakt Classic Set, which is very affordable and extremely popular in Central Europe. It is also one which, has been recently innovated and it is definitely worth taking a look. My father had its old version for well over 4 years and I have been testing mine (improved version) for about 12 months in different conditions. So what you are about to read is a real hands on & honest review. 🙂
Getting to the point..
Price of a new version of Jahti Jakt Classic in Slovakia and Czech republic is roughly 150 € (jacket and pants only, and set may be available in bigger combos which may include hats, underwear or sweaters). Generally speaking, price for the Jahti Jakt Classic in whole EU and UK is “sub 200 €”. Classic is available only in green color and consists from functional pants and jacket with AIR TEX membrane. AIR TEX (first generation) is a functional waterproof layer which provides protection from up to 8000 mm of water, while still breaths well and allows about 5000 g/m2/24h of steam to escape, securing that you will stay drier than with conventional textile fabrics and furthermore protected from the wind. Jacket’s inside is lined with a mesh layer which increases thermal isolation properties and prevents unwanted insects from entering into your jacket via open vents or pockets.
Top layer is suede-like material which is really quiet during movement. Jacket’s shoulders and inner sides of your pants in the ankle area are protected with not as quiet, but much more abrasion resistant fabric. It will protect parts prone to premature wear from your backpack straps, rifle sling or a lot of walking. This is one of the improvements over the old version of Jahti Jakt Classic Set, as the old version used PU-leather-like material instead of abrasion resistant textile fabric. Whole set is Teflon coated in order to provide additional water resistance. Of course impregnation needs to be periodically renewed to make sure your set will perform accordingly when you need it. Also, consider buying “membrane friendly” detergents in order to prevent AIRTEX membrane damage.
Functionality is part of the equation…
Jahti Jakt Classic Set is definitely functional hunting clothing, which will not let you down easily. I already mentioned that the set is really functional, but what do I meant? Well, you have already heard about AIRTEX membrane and abrasion resistant fabric on the parts of set which are more easily to be damaged by constant use.
Next important segment of the functionality is actual shape of trousers and jacket which allows effective layering of layers under both of them. This in turn makes the set usable in both warmer temperature, without base layer, and harsh in cold with multiple layers underneath.
Versatility is further expanded via system of vents in the armpit area and on your hips. These are sealable with YKK zippers. Openings are protected by a mesh lining in order to prevent insect from entering your jacket, while zippers are undone. And it would be wrong to forget two-way main zipper from YKK which allows you to further adjust rate of fresh air flow through your jacket.
But why am I always mentioning/praising YKK? From my experience during the last few years, I found out that many brands started using cheaper zippers to keep the price down. This of course means that the longevity is often compromised and zippers are often very likely to be the first part to fail. And as we know, Murphy’s laws work all the time, so it tends to happen during really inconvenient moments. So I am really happy Jahti Jakt has not gone this way so far.
Pockets which will carry all you need
Of course, we, hunters, have to carry a lot of stuff with us. Hunting and firearm carry permits, tags, pen, spare ammunition, mobile phone, GPS, gloves, sunglasses, game calls, para-cord… You get me. I know sometimes it is a lot less, but sometimes you will have even more junk to hide somewhere. This is one of very strong sides of Jahti Jakt Classic Set. It will provide you with 14 different pockets, including pocket for your GPS, which will serve your radio or a mobile phone equally well, ammunition pocket, napoleon (chest) pockets, easily accessible hand warming pockets and we still did not cover better part of them. This means that you will have more than enough options to distribute the load evenly and avoid all too familiar bulges. Also thanks to this, you can easily access all your gear very fast.
Are we Finish(ed)?
OK, I mentioned a lot, but we are not finished yet. I still want to mention very important small details which we always take for granted, until they are not there. E.g. detachable protective hood, or adjustable openings with Velcros on both pants in the ankle area and jacket’s sleeves.
Unbelievably good? But let’s be honest.
Well, this is really honest review, so we have to get to the negatives as well. Taking into account, that both pants and jacket cost less than 150 €, they provide awful lot. What Jahti Jakt Classic lacks in comparison with more expensive models from Jahti Jakt or Härkila and others is stylishness. You are not going to look like model during your hunt. Due to its “all season” characteristics, set is simply too baggy for that. Well since I am usually going to the forest with intentions not to take pictures for VOGUE’s front page, I do not really care. Also, I am not going to be bothered if I meet somebody else wearing the same “outfit”…
However, I would appreciate if JAHTI JAKT considers expanding or adjusting it’s sizing, as some other brands, in order to fulfill needs of slimmer part of the population. To illustrate, I am 188 centimeters tall and 90 kg, and I am wearing Jahti Jakt (Forest, Classic and Rosto) sets in size MEDIUM. I felt flatered when I found out that L sized pants are pretty much falling off from me, however this may be life complicating if you are ordering your clothing via internet. Also, not everybody prefers loose fitting sets. Thus providing “SLIMFIT” version for more active hunters, who are on the move more often than waiting, would definitely bring some additional points for Jahti Jakt Classic Set.
All in all, Jahti Jakt Classic is the most “BANG FOR THE BUCK” hunting set, I have come across so far and I would definitely buy it again. Yes, there are some better membranes out there, even more functional sets. And of course more fashionable ones, but if it comes down to the price tag, and Jahti Jakt Classic will not let you down even if all, that you are willing to spend is less than 200 €.