KLIM ARSENAL VEST
— Testing a way to carry it all comfortably —
If you have ever watched the insanely difficult and treacherous race that is the infamous Dakar Rally, you will have seen quads outfitted with parts to repair their machine in almost any scenario. Most of us don’t ride longer than a few hours at a time, so we don’t require parts for days of exploration. However, if you are a trail traveler that spends all day adventuring through miles of terrain, Klim has the perfect product for you! Like the additional parts and storage locations fabricated onto a Dakar Rally quad, the $189.99 Arsenal vest allows you to load your upper body down with enough tools and essentials to enjoy hours of riding in comfort and with peace of mind.
You may ask yourself, “Why would I spend $200 on a vest? My backpack can carry a bunch of stuff!” Well, that is an argument over comfort. Before we get there, let’s talk about storage.
The Arsenal has two large pockets on the bottom half of the vest that we stuffed with an electric tire inflator, some protein bars, trail mix and a windbreaker. Technically, one of the pockets has a Velcro handgun sleeve, but we live in California, so that wasn’t utilized.
The third pocket on the front upper section provided room for a cell phone, keys and wallet. The other side of the chest holds the hook for the vest’s built-in hydration bladder tube. Along with that is a zipper pocket that can fit a map or smaller items with a matching section beneath the big pocket on the other side of the chest. A mesh material has these pockets all sewn onto it, with multiple straps for connecting items to it like a radio, compass and more. Three adjustable buckles secure the front of the vest.
Each side of the Arsenal vest has three adjustment points, along with adjustments on each shoulder for a secure and comfortable fit. Pardon the pun, but the back has a whole arsenal of storage. The main center pocket holds the 3-liter water bladder, along with a mesh divider inside. Outside of the big pocket is a smaller one that we stuffed with a toolkit and zip-ties, with more room left to go. Attached to all of that is a removable tool pouch with dividers for wrenches, screwdrivers and anything else you want to stuff in it. We had tape, wire, pliers, a multi-tool and screwdrivers, with more room to use. On either side of the center back pockets are two long pockets. We managed to fit a UTV-sized tow strap and soft shackle in one side, and put lunch in the other.
WEARING IT OUT
That is exactly what we didn’t do. On some of our extended testing, we filled the Klim vest with 30 pounds of items and still had space to fit equipment. We rode rocky, sandy, tight and wide-open trails for eight hours before reaching camp again.
The most notable feature of this vest is comfort. We can’t find a backpack-style setup that offers the same level of weight distribution and comfort that the Arsenal does. The airflow through it was reasonable, but we could tell in the summer it would get quite warm. The vest holds a large number and quantity of items, and it doesn’t get in the way of piloting our quads. We would give this setup an 11 out of 10! Go to www.klim.com or call (208) 552-7433.