Review: Beyond Clothing K4 Ventum Line
I’m not a big fan of flashy logos or when a brand feels the need to blast their logo all over a piece of their clothing. It makes me feel like a walking billboard and that’s just not the look I’m going for. When I first received the Ventum clothing from Beyond, I was shocked to realize that the only place they put their branding (at least on the products I received) was on the inside of the garments. This means you don’t feel like a huge advertisement and instead your focus shifts to the comfort of the clothing. This might be a drawback for some consumers but I rather like it. The only negative thing I have to say about the look of the pieces Beyond sent to me is that the cut of the pants is a little baggy for my liking. I prefer my pants to taper around the calves and the Ventum pants are more of a traditional straight cut. This is great for movement but with a fabric as stretchy as the K4-Ventum, I think they could have made the cut a bit more slim.
The K4 gear claims to be wind and weather resistant while still remaining breathable and lightweight. I’ve reviewed a lot of jackets and pieces of gear that claim these same specs but never have I found a non-goretex material that actually delivers what it promises the way the Ventum line does. I wore the pants while guiding a kayaking trip and had to get out of my boat at one point. I stepped into the water and my lower leg was submerged. When I walked up to the shore, the water ran right off the pant and it was still dry. Eventually after wading around in waste deep water for a little while, the material did wet out but I was impressed by not only how well it repelled the water from the first quick dip but also by how quickly the pants dried. By the end of the trip, I was totally dry and ready to hop in the van and head to our next adventure. The Ventum Jacket has taken up residency right next to my door so I can quickly grab it if the weather is looking nasty. It’s been the perfect rainy day companion for the unpredictable Arkansas Fall weather.
The material in this line is designed to be ultralight, and if you know anything about ultralight gear, you know that it often times is quite fragile and has to sacrifice durability to cut weight. The Ventum gear is incredibly light but the material feels much less tissue-paper-like than other ultralight materials I’ve come in contact with. Many light fabrics feel like they would tear with a strong breeze. I’m by no means saying that this should be your new work coat or the pants you reach for if you’re going to be bushwhacking all day. I’d imagine thorns or abrasive materials could do a number on the material in a hurry but for the every day, casual consumer, I think the build is going to be plenty tough enough.
A common theme I’ve realized throughout the testing process of the Beyond Clothing gear is that it punches above its weight class in multiple different categories. The value category is no exception. You’re paying $110 for the pants and $127 for the jacket and you’re getting much more than what you’re paying for. One of my favorite things that Beyond does is tell you what to pair each item with and when you should wear it. It’s basically instructions for clothing, it sounds ridiculous but it’s actually really helpful to be able to think through how to best layer their systems to get the most out of every layer.
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