Keep the Elements Out with Saboteur Jacket

By zachcarbo on June 19, 2023
3 min read

kuhl_ms_1114_saboteur_pirateblue_front_style_pageSince I came onboard as a KÜHL ambassador, I’ve been jonesing for a functional, technical shell.

I live in this wet and wild place called the Pacific Northwest, so I’ve made do with the Parachute Jacket. It's an excellent minimal men's jacket designed to pack down extremely small and give you protection from the elements at a moments notice, but it wasn't robust enough for my more extreme activities.

When I got notice that the Saboteur Jacket had launched, I was all over it like flies on you know what!!!

KÜHL Saboteur Jacket Review

I did a little sizing to figure out what I would need in order to allow for a base layer top and down garment like the Spyfire Vest or Hoody. I decided on one size larger and went with the only color that was still available, Gun Metal. Apparently everyone else felt the same way I did about a good shell!

The Saboteur arrived just in time for my trip to China. Thank goodness because the rain and snow starts in November!

With a zip away hood and more secure, full-zip (and snap) pockets than you can throw a stick at (Trust me. I threw a lot of sticks!) the Saboteur is just what the doctor ordered.Zach_Saboteur_Small

The jacket performed flawlessly on the wet streets of Beijing, as well as flying through the air under the 1200+ foot Balinge River Bridge.

Since my trip to China, I have traveled across the country from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and from (almost) Canada to (almost) Mexico.  The Saboteur has been in the bag or over my shoulders for the past two months. It kept the wind and rain at bay and my valuables secure.

What I Love

Plentiful Pockets

There are two standard lower torso pockets for your hands and valuables and two long zip chest pockets/vents (one on each side) that actually open up to almost the entire front side of the men's jacket!  There is a smaller (a little bigger than an ID or credit card) velcro closure pocket inside each chest pocket. There are also two small bottom closure pockets on the outside of the jacket on each side of the chest.

All of the zippers are water resistant. I'd love to see small cord lanyards on the zippers for easier use when my fingers get cold or when the zipper handle gets pushed under the zipper sleeve.

Cinching Options

I'm thankful for the elastic cords at the bottom of the jacket. They give you the option of cinching the bottom closed or leaving it open and loose for freedom of movement or extra breathability.


The mesh liner throughout the jacket keeps you cool and prevents the jacket from sticking to you. I'd love to see the liner extend through the sleeves to keep your arms dry and warm.

Zach takes the Saboteur downhill

My Peeves

I would really like small zipper cords on all of the zipper handles to help with easier access, whether your hands are cold or not. Although secure, I would prefer velcro wrist closures instead of button wrist closures. I believe velcro gives a better range of options for how tight or how loose you want your sleeve cuffs.

A single upper arm pocket like the one on the Spyfire Hoody would be nice for a ski pass or ID card when bellying up to the bar aprés ski or out on the town.

Finally, I'm a huge fan of pit zips under the arms to allow for ventilation when things heat up. I feel that the addition of pit zips would push the Sabotuer to the next level.

Making the Grade

Providing comfort, protection from the elements, and freedom of movement, the Saboteur earns a very strong B+. Adding features like pit zips and velcro wrist cuffs would propel this performance piece to a solid A.

Retailing at $199, the Saboteur jacket is series is comparably priced to comparable waterproof/breathable garments and is a notable and worthy investment for your packing list.

I received KÜHL apparel for this review at no cost. I received no other compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own.

Zach Carbo is an avid outdoor enthusiast, family man and eager people meeter. The only thing he enjoys more than an outdoor adventure is an outdoor adventure with friends. He is proud to call the great state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest his base camp.



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