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KUHL’s The One Shell Jacket Review–Versatile for Van Life!

When it comes to your van life wardrobe, you want clothes that are multi-functional, comfortable and rugged–and ideally, at least semi-stylish! Just because you’re camping out in the middle of nowhere desert, doesn’t mean you can’t look cute! 

But the downside to such versatile clothes is that they’re almost always really expensive. Think top brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and other brands that I’d only consider the sales rack…

But that’s where KUHL stands out. KUHL offers very thoughtfully-made, durable but comfortable outerwear for men and women, at an actually affordable price! 

I’m reviewing The One Shell jacket. This is a jacket that I can wear on a hike, or to an outdoor event, run errands in or even wear out on the town– and feel equally comfortable and stylish.

Note: I am a partner with Kuhl and I may earn a small commission on any products purchased from affiliate links throughout this post, at no extra cost to you.

KUHL The One Shell Jacket Features

Truthfully, the first thing that caught my eye about The One shell was the vibrant coral color. This KUHL jacket is essentially a windbreaker and rain jacket hybrid. I chose this shell jacket because as an avid traveler, I need something lightweight, compact, but very effective at keeping me warm. 

The features I liked include:

Jacket Length: The jacket length goes just past your bum, which adds SO much warmth on a cold or windy day. Or even if you are sitting on bleachers, it can help keep you more toasty overall.

Zippered Pockets: It has an interior chest pocket for valuables such as your phone, as well as regular front side pockets–and all are zippered!

Hood + Collar: A jacket becomes twice as effective at keeping you warm if it has a hood. And if it has a tall collar?! Even better to keep your face or neck from freezing. 

Adjustable Wrist Straps: Velcro wrist straps add extra warmth and protection from the elements.

Side Vent: A zippered vent on the right side of the jacket offers direct access inside the jacket if needed.

Lightweight But Durable: Easy to roll up and pack, but durable enough to add significant protection from wind and chilly temps.

The One Jacket Review

I wore The One shell jacket on the same windy and cold hike in northern Utah. It kept me toasty and comfortable and the hood did wonders for saving my face from the wind. Quick breakdown:


  • Excellent protection from wind & rain
  • Easy to wear layers underneath
  • Adjustable wrist straps and hood 
  • Lots of big, zippered pockets
  • Lightweight & compact
  • Stylish and modern-looking
  • Fits to size


  • Collar is too stiff, can cut into neck
  • Main zipper is tough to use sometimes–gets stuck

My Experience in The One Jacket

I love that it hangs just over my bum and the sleeve arm length covers a small portion of my hand, but not enough to be an issue.

The jacket fit well but was loose enough so I could layer up if needed.

The collar was stiff though, so I didn’t really have the option of not using it. It was nice for protection, but a little awkward feeling when I didn’t need it.

The main zipper is sleek, but sometimes difficult to pull up or down in a quick motion.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions:

Does KUHL Run Small?

It’s funny because I read a handful of reviews that reported clothes running small. But for me, my jacket ran a little big (and on a separate note, I bought the FreeFlex Dash pants and they ran very big). So, from my experience, their clothing may run a little big!

BUT, I also have their Valiant baselayer bottoms and those fit to size…so, I think it depends on the material and clothing article. 

Is KUHL Worth the Money?

While KUHL is a lot more affordable than your “top-shelf” brands (Patagonia, North Face, Arcteryx) and delivers on just as good quality (IMO), it still isn’t cheap clothing. 

You definitely get what you pair for–with most pants ranging between $80-$150 and most jackets ranging between $100-$300, it’s more expensive than getting your basic activewear at a place like Target or a non-outdoor speciality clothing store. 

I think KUHL is in the sweet spot of the most affordable options while still being well-made and specially-designed for seriously outdoor activities.

Who makes KUHL clothing?

Kevin Boyle is the founder of KUHL, where he transformed the previous brand Alfwear into KUHL based on his love of skiing and outdoor adventure in high alpine terrain. 

KUHL’s headquarters are based in Salt Lake City, Utah and their clothing is mostly manufactured in the US, but also internationally. 

Summing It Up

Overall, I recommend KUHL clothing for the adventurous spirits who go off the beaten path. The best part? You can still look and feel cute hitting up the brewery for a cold one post-hike!

If you’re looking for more of top-notch casual outdoor gear, check out my review of Chaco’s Ramble Puff outdoor slipper–it’s like wearing a soft, fluffy cloud with the durability of a brick wall on your feet! 

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