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Jack Wolfskin Kenovo hiking shirt review: practicality, style and comfort from a brand with 40 years’ experience

A high-performance hiking shirt, the Jack Wolfskin Kenovo has green credentials and fashion focus too

Jack Wolfskin Kenovo
(Image: © Jack Wolfskin)

Our Verdict

The Jack Wolfskin Kenovo effortlessly combines style, green credentials and trail functionality. Lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking and astonishingly quick-drying, this hiking shirt is a high-performer that’s designed to keep you dry and comfortable at all times. This year marks four decades of Jack Wolfskin producing innovative and sustainable outdoor clothing – and the experience certainly shows.

For

  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Moisture wicking
  • Sleeve roll-up tabs
  • Great green credentials
  • Comfortable

Against

  • Expensive

Jack Wolfskin Kenovo: first impressions

At a glance, the Jack Wolfskin Kenovo is a stylish-looking garment with all the features you’d expect from the best hiking shirts. It’s lightweight, breathable and made from quick-drying, moisture-wicking materials. It utilizes press-stud fastening throughout, has a single arm pocket and fasteners to roll up the sleeves.

Jack Wolfskin have slapped plenty of certification labels onto the garment, including: ‘QMC’ (Quick Moisture Control), which is fibre technology to ensure excess sweat is absorbed and quickly wicked away to the surface; ‘UV Shield’, where special yarns and fabric construction afford UPF 40+ protection; and ‘S.Fresh’, which means active substances such as titanium and silver chloride have been used to inhibit the spread of odor-producing bacteria.

Furthermore, it has been given the bluesign PRODUCT logo to demonstrate ‘safe textiles, environmentally-friendly production and responsible use of resources’ as well as ‘Grüner Knopf’ (Green Button), a German government-run certification that demonstrates the shirt is good for people and the planet. No wonder Jack Wolfskin get a shout-out in our best eco-friendly outdoor brands article.

Specifications

• RRP: $90 (US) / £70 (UK) / €80 (EU)
• Materials: Polyamide (82%), polyester (13%), elastane (5%)
• Weight (men’s medium): 43g / 8.6oz
• Sizes available: S / M / L / XL / XXL / 3XL
• Colors: Moss / Night Blue / Ebony

Jack Wolfskin Kenovo: on the trails 

Jack Wolfskin Kenovo

You should have seen the patches a few moments ago! But the Jack Wolfskin Kenovo is so fast drying it’s spared reviewer Dan a public shaming (Image credit: Dan Hobson)

From the moment we pulled on the Kenovo, it felt really good. The year 2021 marks four decades of Jack Wolfskin’s green and ethical German engineering and the experience shows. The fit is loose yet complimentary, enabling breathability without being shapeless and unflattering. It’s a dapper-looking number and we set off feeling stylish yet ready for adventure. 

The testing ground for the Kenovo was a fine Autumn afternoon, 17°C and plenty of sunshine. At the foot of the first steep climb, we made a point of marching up. As the intensity increased, the lightweight and breathable fabric did a great job of ventilating away the heat. Moisture was quickly wicked away from the skin and we felt dry and comfortable.

Midway up the ascent, dark sweat patches started showing on the shirt and alarm bells began to ring. But upon stopping, the shirt dried jaw-droppingly fast. It’s difficult to hit home how quick-drying the fabric blend of polyamide, polyester and elastane is. One moment we looked down and thought, ‘Uh-oh,’ and at the next glance it was dry again. Remarkable stuff. 

The single, zip-up pocket on the sleeve is practical, if a little on the small side. We found it wasn’t quite large enough for our phones but it was handy for sunglasses and would be good for things like keys, cards and money. The sleeve roll-up fasteners were in the right place for us, too (just below elbow, rather than just above) and it wasn’t too tight on the arms when rolled up. Overall, the Jack Wolfskin Kenovo is a great-looking, high-performing shirt that delivers the goods.