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2020 Klim Carlsbad Review


close range
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2020 Klim Carlsbad Review

 

First off, I have owned a 2019 version of the Klim Carlsbad jacket since late 2018 and have used it extensively in all conditions up here in the Pacific Northwest. I paid for that jacket out of my own pocket at full price after extensive research on what jacket would be best for me. 

Second, thanks to tenere700.net I had the chance to upgrade to the 2020 Klim Carlsbad and I wanted to offer the following review:

 

First impressions:

The 2019 Carlsbad is black and size Large

 

IMG_5846.jpeg

IMG_5861.jpeg

 

The 2020 Carlsbad I chose is Blue/Grey with red accents and is size Medium

 

IMG_5877.jpeg

IMG_5901.jpeg

 

Here are some side by side pictures:

A note on the fitment, the 2020 Carlsbad seems to fit a half size larger then the previous model. This has been many other reviewers experience as well. For me the 2020 medium was an improved fit, it immediately feels better with only a single layer underneath, and still there is enough room to layer my heated jacket or mid-layer. Also, by removing the armour from both models I can wear a Dainese body armour pressure suit and wear the Carlsbad over top.

 

IMG_5905.jpeg

IMG_5904.jpeg

 

The 2020 Carlsbad has D30 Level 2 armour, in contrast to the previous version's D3o Level 1. There is a clear visual difference and the Level 2 armour is heavier and thicker.

 

IMG_5833.jpeg

IMG_5834.jpeg

IMG_5832.jpeg

IMG_5838.jpeg

 

After test fitting, wearing around the house, and commuting a few days (200kms total) I can offer the following observations:

 

- The 2020 Carlsbad's venting system is a massive improvement in usability and effectiveness over the previous model. 

- The sleeves on both the 2019 Large and 2020 Medium are 1 1/2" too long for me. This results in some bunching up in the arms but its not really a bother. 

-The 2020 has more adjustability for armour placement in the arms and it helped me get the armour better placed.

-The breast pocket on the 2020 (with Klim logo on it) is just big enough to fit a Garmin Inreach Mini.

-The Carlsbad offers a great mixture of protection, mobility, and versatility. It was my personal choice in 2018 and the newer model is even better.

 

Once I put some more miles on, including time off-road I will post up more observations.

 

CR

Edited by close range
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@DWEL700 already sold it. Another great thing about Klim, the resale value stays high!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 7 months later...
  • 4 months later...

@close range

I also want to get the Carlsbad in that color but I would like to get the black pants. Do you think those would go together or not that well?

Almost no real life pics around from this color scheme...

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I just bought a set. I really like it expect the arms are too long. I don't know who Klim uses as a base model but I think hey are part orangutan.  

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On 7/27/2021 at 2:08 PM, OK185 said:

@close range

I also want to get the Carlsbad in that color but I would like to get the black pants. Do you think those would go together or not that well?

Almost no real life pics around from this color scheme...

I wore mine with black pants and a I liked the way it looked

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On 3/12/2021 at 6:15 PM, Sherif said:

Would love to hear your updated thoughts after riding more in the 2020 Carlsbad!

Update: after 5000kms in the jacket, through all 4 seasons I chose to sell it and replace it with a Klim Marrakesh jacket and I use a goretex over shell for rain or wind protection. I greatly prefer the layering philosophy, plus the Klim Marrakesh feels like a second skin. 

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9 hours ago, close range said:

Update: after 5000kms in the jacket, through all 4 seasons I chose to sell it and replace it with a Klim Marrakesh jacket and I use a goretex over shell for rain or wind protection. I greatly prefer the layering philosophy, plus the Klim Marrakesh feels like a second skin. 

Oh man. This is too funny. Since I last asked, I ended up buying it and getting too hot.  Now I’m wearing Marrakesh + waterproof shell. What bizarre world is this?

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On 8/1/2021 at 5:39 AM, close range said:

Update: after 5000kms in the jacket, through all 4 seasons I chose to sell it and replace it with a Klim Marrakesh jacket and I use a goretex over shell for rain or wind protection. I greatly prefer the layering philosophy, plus the Klim Marrakesh feels like a second skin. 

Thanks for this info because I was just about to buy it and was not sure if it suited me because I get hot easily... 😄

are you still using GoreTex pants combined with the layering solution for the upper body?

I think I might combine waterproof pants with an airy jacket. 

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@OK185 For pants I mostly use the Klim Switchback plus a lightweight Goretex outer layer for rain/wind protection. 

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone lives in hot climate ( like south east Queensland Australia) the klim baja rocks . 
i tried the Carlsbad 

it was too hot 

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On 7/31/2021 at 8:39 PM, close range said:

Update: after 5000kms in the jacket, through all 4 seasons I chose to sell it and replace it with a Klim Marrakesh jacket and I use a goretex over shell for rain or wind protection. I greatly prefer the layering philosophy, plus the Klim Marrakesh feels like a second skin. 

Bummer on having to replace the Carlsbad with a lighter model and like many of us, finding Goldilocks gear can sometimes be an expensive journey.   Could you expound on the reasons for selling the Carlsbad,  i.e. temps/ humidity encountered  that pushed you to change it out?  I'm in the opposite camp in not wanting to deal with layers and if a jacket has a decent amount of waterproof vents, I can live with it. Thanks for your observations. 

 

"Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" Oliver Wendell Holmes

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1 hour ago, AZJW said:

Bummer on having to replace the Carlsbad with a lighter model and like many of us, finding Goldilocks gear can sometimes be an expensive journey.   Could you expound on the reasons for selling the Carlsbad,  i.e. temps/ humidity encountered  that pushed you to change it out?  I'm in the opposite camp in not wanting to deal with layers and if a jacket has a decent amount of waterproof vents, I can live with it. Thanks for your observations. 

 

To add a bit info on this thread as I also use the Carlsbad ('19 model).

 

This summer I was lucky to test it on the heat (30C - 45C) of Greek summer...

 

My personal exeprience irregardesly of personal comfort with heat is that any sort of ride that requires physical effort on temperatures above 35C is prohibiting due to intense sweating and dehydration.

My feeling while riding in more technical terrain is that the jacket in low speed does not have enough venting to help evaporative cooling of the body.

 

Regarding riding in high temperatures (> 40C) on tarmac I would say is manageable with the vents.

 

I hope this helps...

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I bought a new Carlsbad jacket back in May and can't wait to try it out in the upcoming colder months.  I'm also not a fan of lots of layers.  The Carlsbad is a solid jacket. 

Edited by Seventh Son
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  • 1 month later...

Holy thread resurrection 🤣

 

I got too fat for my 2017 Badlands, so sold the suit and bought a Carlsbad this week.

 

Went generous on size - I realised I shouldn't be sizing as per my jeans, as I always wear layers underneath - so with my 36" waist, I went 38". They are loose,but there is at least 2.5" pull-in on either side, so apart from slightly baggy legs, this was the right long term choice.

 

The jacket though...

 

I have a 48"chest, so went XL, which is also loose, but I can cope with that, but the arm almost come to the end of my fingers!

 

Can't seem to find anywhere if different sizes have different arm lengths either, so bought a large just now and will see when it arrives.

 

The retailer I bought the XL from has no L, so went elsewhere, but each has a good returns policy, so one will be going back.

 

What I would say though, is for less than half the price of the Badlands, I am pleased with the quality and features.

Edited by Burnsey
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I too just recently bit the bullet and got a 2021 Klim Carlsbad jacket. I couldn't find any noted differences between the 2020 & 2021 versions as the changes in venting, armor and such took place between the 2019 & 2020 as noted by the OP @close range.  Fit is fine, but even with my long arms ( shirt size 15 1/2 neck, 34/35 sleeve) the sleeves are plenty long.  I often wear Held Steve gauntlet gloves, normally over the sleeves.  With the Carlsbad, I've switched to the sleeve over the glove due too interference from the sleeve cuff, when inside the glove. Sizing, I normally wear a large, (6'1" @ 175 lbs)  but that swam on me, so I went with a medium, which positions the armor properly, but allows plenty of room for layering, air vest, etc.  I've cinched up the waist adjusters to pull in some of the extra " billow", but wonder if in really cold conditions if it's going to let air in.  The SPOT breast pocket Klim advertises doesn't fit my SPOTX, so it has to ride in the RH inside zipped pocket.  The neck velcro is curious, as the collar seems to be cut lower in the front, but still bothers my adams apple so I'm training myself to adjust the velcro to the absolute widest setting which seems to help. Weighing in at 5 lbs, it's the same weight as my previous Olympia GT Air with both liners. Web bike world calls it " Ultra Lightweight ", which I guess if it's compared to a Badands it is, but not in my book. Ymmv. The wifey added the included zipper half to mate the Carlsbad to my Moose riding pants,  but took a little creative placement as the Klim zips from the left vs right, so the Moose zip didn't mate up like my Olympia did.

 

Initial outing was 130 miles, 80 of which was dirt/ rock strewn 2 track, the balance on the highway @ 65mph.  Morning temps on the highway were in the 50's and with just a T-shirt and vents closed, temps were a little cool, but ok. High temp for the day was around 75°-80° F, full sunshine and an average speed around 25 mph in the dirt. Venting handled those conditions fine, but in the rocks @ 10 mph or so, standing and wrestling the T7 around, things got a bit warm. Not sweating needing a water break every 10 miles, but I was warm.  I used the collar hold downs to get extra venting on the return trip which helped some.  If I had to ride all 80 miles at 10 mph, I would've gotten overheated and been longing for a lighter setup, but the higher average speed balanced out the " sweat sessions" to keep things bearable. 

 

Overall initial impressions,  I'm happy with the venting, weight and flexibility of the jacket, but haven't gotten into rain yet to enjoy the benefits of not having to stop to add a zip in liner.  $600 is a bunch of coin and the most I've ever spent on a riding jacket, except for my 2 piece Aerostitch, so I have high expectations for this one. I'll update as I get more miles on this, but thanks to the OP for the comparison of the earlier version which convinced me to get the newer model with improved venting.

 

*Update 11/30/21*.  Long days ( 6+ hrs)  of constant use revealed the collar issue got worse with time.  The 90° corner of the inside collar continues to cause an irritation on my adams apple. I contacted Klim,  sent pictures,  discussed on the phone and they requested I send in the jacket for evaluation at my expense.   More phone conversations & emails to discuss the issue during which I asked Klim to round off the 90° corner to match their previous Carlsbad design.  They declined and suggested I wear a neck gaiter saying they don't make alterations to their products.  They shipped it back (unchanged), so now I'm out $30 and trying to figure out how to make this collar work for me as the sharp corner and too little adjustment make it a literal pain in the neck.
 

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"Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" Oliver Wendell Holmes

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To conclude this...

 

AS above, bought the XL jacket to fit me (48" chest) and it was roomy,but the sleeves passed my fingertips and as much as the room was welcome, I couldn't live with that.

 

The L arrived today and the sleeves are much better - not perfect, but better. It is tighter in the chest, but my weight is reducing not increasing, so the XL is being returned.

 

The pants I opted for 38" for my 36"waist. They again are roomy and long, but with a large amount of pull in available, they are the right ones to go for. The smaller size again would be perfect, but the waist is the area which tends to increase before anything else!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd add, after a days riding in full on rain today, not one drop passed in or through the suit, so really pleased with it.

 

It's a whole lot lighter than the Badlands, but not as warm of course, however, helped my energy levels on the tricky terrain.

 

I'd conclude by saying it's a cracking all round suit, apart from needing to test it in warmer conditions before giving it a full 5 stars.

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I have a Klim Traverse set for the wet days, also keeping me dry all day.
The pants i use all year and the jacket most of the year, only when it's very hot and not likely to get rainy i use a Klim Marakesh jacket but when in doubt the Traverse will do in hot weather.
In winter i put a Gerbing heated jacket under it and i have 3 kinds of under pants depending on the temperature, i don't realy need a heated one.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/16/2021 at 9:35 AM, AZJW said:

I too just recently bit the bullet and got a 2021 Klim Carlsbad jacket. I couldn't find any noted differences between the 2020 & 2021 versions as the changes in venting, armor and such took place between the 2019 & 2020 as noted by the OP @close range.  Fit is fine, but even with my long arms ( shirt size 15 1/2 neck, 34/35 sleeve) the sleeves are plenty long.  I often wear Held Steve gauntlet gloves, normally over the sleeves.  With the Carlsbad, I've switched to the sleeve over the glove due too interference from the sleeve cuff, when inside the glove. Sizing, I normally wear a large, (6'1" @ 175 lbs)  but that swam on me, so I went with a medium, which positions the armor properly, but allows plenty of room for layering, air vest, etc.  I've cinched up the waist adjusters to pull in some of the extra " billow", but wonder if in really cold conditions if it's going to let air in.  The SPOT breast pocket Klim advertises doesn't fit my SPOTX, so it has to ride in the RH inside zipped pocket.  The neck velcro is curious, as the collar seems to be cut lower in the front, but still bothers my adams apple so I'm training myself to adjust the velcro to the absolute widest setting which seems to help. Weighing in at 5 lbs, it's the same weight as my previous Olympia GT Air with both liners. Web bike world calls it " Ultra Lightweight ", which I guess if it's compared to a Badkands it is, but not in my book. Ymmv. The wifey added the included zipper half to mate the Carlsbad to my Moose riding pants,  but took a little creative placement as the Klim zips from the left vs right, so the Moose zip didn't mate up like my Olympia did.

 

Initial outing was 130 miles, 80 of which was dirt/ rock strewn 2 track, the balance on the highway @ 65mph.  Morning temps on the highway were in the 50's and with just a T-shirt and vents closed, temps were a little cool, but ok. High temp for the day was around 75°-80° F, full sunshine and an average speed around 25 mph in the dirt. Venting handled those conditions fine, but in the rocks @ 10 mph or so, standing and wrestling the T7 around, things got a bit warm. Not sweating needing a water break every 10 miles, but I was warm.  I used the collar hold downs to get extra venting on the return trip which helped some.  If I had to ride all 80 miles at 10 mph, I would've gotten overheated and been longing for a lighter setup, but the higher average speed balanced out the " sweat sessions" to keep things bearable. 

 

Overall initial impressions,  I'm happy with the venting, weight and flexibility of the jacket, but haven't gotten into rain yet to enjoy the benefits of not having to stop to add a zip in liner.  $600 is a bunch of coin and the most I've ever spent on a riding jacket, except for my 2 piece Aerostitch, so I have high expectations for this one. I'll update as I get more miles on this, but thanks to the OP for the comparison of the earlier version which convinced me to get the newer model with improved venting.

Since I am about ready to pull the trigger on the Carlsbad: 34/5 sleeves and the M has long enough sleeves? I was thinking it would take a L based on other Klim jackets.

 

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@sracer The Medium has very long sleeves,  some would argue, too long. I have a 35" sleeve length and I find them about an inch too long, but will live with them.  My issue is the collar, but I'm waiting for the jacket to be returned from Klim before commenting on it.  

11/30/21 - Edited Review above

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"Men do not quit playing because they grow old, they grow old because they quit playing" Oliver Wendell Holmes

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