Idaho-based Klim has been crafting adventure apparel since 2010, and in that time has built a reputation on its commitment to putting durability and safety ahead of fashion. For many hardcore ADV enthusiasts who spend most of their time off-road it’s the gold standard of gear, but only recently has Klim set its sights on adventure touring, and we’re mighty glad it did.

On a recent trip to the Gore-Tex facilities organized by Klim, we got an in-depth look at the company and its design philosophy and a first look at its 2020 adventure-touring collection. There, we learned about how Klim puts polyester on the inside of its laminated nylon/Gore-Tex shells for added cut resistance, and that using a smaller fiber, twisting the yarn and creating a denser weave makes for a stronger fabric. Yet the fabric is only half the equation; the thread used to stitch it together is equally important and therefore Klim uses strong but hard to sew nylon. We learned that 9-11 stitches per inch is the magic number — enough to hold together, not so many you degrade the fabric’s weave — and that since silicone damages Gore-Tex fabric’s DWR (water-resistant coating), Klim uses non-silicone coated needles despite their slower speed and higher cost.

Impressed, I immediately ordered the new women’s Artemis jacket specifically for my trip to Morocco to ride the new Triumph Tiger 900 (read the review here), and already I can confidently say that if there’s a jacket I want to be wearing in the event of a crash, the Artemis is it. 

Constructed with a laminated two-layer Gore-Tex Performance shell and D3O CE Level 1 elbow, shoulder and back armor, the Artemis carries a CE AA certification for overall impact and abrasion resistance. There are straps at the upper and lower arms and waist to dial in fit and keep the armor where it needs to be, and double YKK front zippers for opening up the bottom of the hip-length jacket when seated.

Klim Artemis jacket
Thoughtfully-placed vents (with waterproof zippers) are key to the Artemis’ comfort, including its famous under-boob vents.

The Artemis, which was designed by a woman, is an eminently travel-ready piece of apparel that includes clever features such as a passport/cash pocket hidden behind the back protector and a not-so-hidden one at the left wrist for a medical ID card. Other pockets include large hand-warmers, several large inner zippered pockets and smaller chest and upper arm stash pockets. Ventilation is pretty good for a fully waterproof Gore-Tex garment and the Artemis’ signature feature is its under…uh…chest vents; there are also vents at the forearms, biceps and on each side of the back protector. It will never flow as much air as a jacket with mesh panels, but that’s the price paid for not having to carry a rain suit.

Klim Artemis jacket
The Artemis is ready for travel. Check out this hidden pocket behind the back protector (which I removed for this photo). It’s perfect for stashing your passport and/or cash.

Speaking of which, it’s been unusually rainy here in SoCal lately, giving me a rare opportunity to test a garment’s true waterproofness. And I’m pleased to say the Artemis passed with flying colors. Just be sure you zip those vents all the way closed, lest water find its way in…which it will!

The Artemis is available in five attractive colors in women’s sizes S-2XL. At $559.99-$699.99, it’s not cheap, but you can rest assured that for your money you aren’t getting a piece of fashion apparel — you’re getting something that was carefully and thoughtfully designed to protect you. It’s just icing on the cake that you look good too.

Fit: Hip-length Adventure
Sizing: Runs true to size
Armor: CE level 1 D3O armor at shoulders, elbows and back
Price: Starting at $559.99
Website: klim.com

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