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Rukka Kemi jacket review

Published on: 26 March 2024

The Kemi jacket, and its matching pant, are new for 2024. Let's talk first about the jacket because, as ever, the jacket will usually be the deciding factor when it comes to buying a suit. Not always, but often.

We'll then talk about the pant, and conclude with a view about the Kemi as a suit, and how it stacks up against other Rukka suits, and perhaps against similarly priced suits from other manufacturers.

Rukka Kemi jacket

The Rukka Kemi jacket

The Kemi has a lot in common with a number of other Rukka jackets. It is equipped with a three-layer, laminated, waterproof membrane. It comes with vents on the chest, at the shoulders, in the arms, up the flanks, and in the back.

You get volume adjusters on the biceps, lots of pockets, Neoprene in the collar, Velcro straps at the sleeve ends, and so on.

The Cordura outer chassis is re-inforced with additional overlays for extra abrasion resistance at the shoulders and elbows. Now, like the , the Kemi is rated A under EN17092, but as it comes with Rukka’s huge Level 2 armour in the shoulders and elbows, one can suggest with a degree of confidence that, in the real world, the Kemi will outperform most AA-rated jackets from a protection perspective; and most definitely so were you to exchange the jacket’s Level 1 back protector for one that meets the higher Level 2 standard.

Level 2 Rukka armour

The Kemi is A rated but throw in Rukka's huge, Level 2, armour, and you have a product that will be be more protective than just about any AA rated garment.

As with all Rukka jackets, the Kemi comes with a six-year warranty, once the jacket has been registered with the UK importer.

But there are three things that make the Kemi particularly worthy of note.

First, it is incredibly comfortable. And this is largely down to the stretch that is built into the outer chassis of the jacket. We reckon the Kemi's probably more comfortable even than the vastly more expensive Nivala; this is partly down to the stretch, and partly down to its weight. It is much lighter than the Nivala. In truth, we think the Kemi might just be the most comfortable, laminated Rukka jacket ever!

The second thing that sets the Kemi apart is that it does not have a Gore-Tex membrane. Now for us that’s certainly not a positive. Gore makes the best membranes. And Gore does not allow the manufacturers it works with to cut corners. You simply cannot make a sub-standard Gore-Tex jacket. Which is why we have often made it clear that if you want a laminated jacket that works in the long term you need to go for one with a Gore membrane. But let’s not forget that we are talking about Rukka here. After all these years, they should know how to make a laminated jacket work properly. I think, therefore, that one can be cautiously confident that the Kemi will not let you down when the wet stuff starts to fall out of ther sky.

Laminated membrane diagram

After all these years Rukka should know how to do laminates properly.

This having been said, whilst with the Kemi you will get Rukka’s six year warranty that will also cover waterproofing, you will not benefit from Gore’s lifetime, waterproof warranty. And that is something you will need to take into consideration, because the Gore promise is pretty amazing. We have seen it in action, and it stacks up. You will always pay a significant premium for Gore-Tex, but for some high-mileage riders, and for those who ride in the worst of weathers, it really can be worth the extra outlay.

Which brings us to the third factor. And that is the Kemi’s price. It costs just £749.99. Compare this to the Nivala’s £1400. It’s not quite half the price, but the Kemi is £650 cheaper, and that is not insignificant. Rukka’s Kalix 2 jacket is £680, but it’s only 2-layer; it doesn’t come as standard with a back protector, and the truth is that it’s not a particularly comfortable or nicely-fitting jacket. The Rukka Comfo-R, by contrast, is one of our favourite Rukka jackets. Yes, it’s Gore-Tex, but it's a drop-liner jacket, and not a laminated one, and at £760, it’s actually more expensive than the laminated Kemi. And that does start to make this new kid on the block look like excellent value.

Rukka Nivala lifestyle black/yellow

The Kemi wears like a Rukka Nivala. It just has less bells and whistles.

Of course, the Nivala jacket to which we likened the Kemi, is better spec’d.. You get a concealed storm collar. You get GTX cuffs. You get a down jacket that costs £270, whereas you get no thermal lining with the Kemi. You also get a Level 2 back protector with the Nivala; you only get a Level 1 protector with the Kemi. All these factors have to be taken into consideration, but the fact is that, never before, has £750 bought you a 3-layer, laminated jacket from Rukka; let alone one that’s this nice to wear.

Rukka Kemi pant

The Rukka Kemi pant

As is almost invariably the case with a suit, the lower half mirrors the top half in all the key considerations. And so you get the same, stretch-infused, Cordura shell with reinforcing panels on the knees. You get the same 3-layer laminated membrane. The same, bespoke and huge, D3O Level 2 armour. The same A abrasion rating under EN 17092. And so on.

You get two water-resistant pockets that fasten with zips. The pants come with vent zips on the fronts, and on the backs, of the thighs. In the seat you get the two patented systems that Rukka uses on lots of its trousers. There's the AirCushion system that sees foam piping running in the seat of the pant. This aids comfort, but also enhances breathability; and at times waterproofing. And there's their Antiglide system. This is basically a panel of Keprotec in the seat. It will stop you sliding about, but it can also come in handy if you end up sliding down the road.

Rukka Kemi trouser lifestyle

With the Kemi pant you get most the stuff you'd find on any Rukka trouser.

There's a very robust waist adjustment mechanism to tighten or loosen the pants. Now we would always prefer to wear a trouser with heavy armour like you get in the Kemi, with braces. They don't come as standard, but are probably worth the extra few quid.

At the bottom of the legs you get long zips and Velcro flaps that mean that the pants will easily go over something like a pair of Daytona Roadstar. (Other brands of boot are available!). The lower part of the leg is reinforced with panels of Cordura 500 for extra durability.

Rukka Kemi jacket lifestyle

In conclusion

Here at Motolegends, strange as it might sound, we do not produce videos and reviews like this with a view to making a sale. Yes, we like, want and need to sell gear. We are, after all, a business, but we try to lay out all the facts so that you can make up your own mind. If you decide, after what we say, that the Kemi suit is not for you, that's fine by us. I suppose we simply assume that we will probably have something else that fits the bill. We simply want to put you in a position where you can choose what's right for you.

Now there's a lot to like about the Kemi. It's a Rukka suit. It's got a 3-layer, laminated membrane. With all its built-in stretch, it's going to be insanely comfortable. And with all that huge, Level 2 armour the Kemi will be very protective, despite what its single A rating might cause some to surmise.

Rukka Kemi ladies suit

It's not here yet, but there will be a ladies' version soon. And we reckon a comfortable, laminate jacket is what lots of ladies are looking for.

But, without doubt, the appeal for many is going to be that, with the Kemi, you can get a laminated Rukka jacket for £750 and a Rukka laminated pant for £600. A total of £1350; and that represents frankly amazing value. But these things are never quite so straightforward as they appear.

Let's take the jacket. At £750, the Kemi is £650 cheaper than the equally comfortable Nivala, which costs £1400. But the Nivala has lots of bells and whistles that the Kemi does not have. Let's go through the main ones, and attempt to ascribe a cost to those additional features.

Rukka Down-X 2 top and bottom

Remove all the bits you get with the Nivala, and the Kemi's price becomes a little less extraordinary; yet still amazing for a Rukka.

Well there's the Nivala's duck-down liner, (£210). There's a concealed storm collar, (say £50). There's GTX cuffs, (say £50). There's a Level 2 back protector instead of a Level 1 protector, (say an additional £50). There's a chest protector, (say £50). Factor in all these additional components, and one might suggest that the Kemi jacket is actually only £240 cheaper than the Nivala jacket on a pari-passu basis.

For some people this will be irrelevant because they can perhaps stretch to £750 for the Kemi jacket, but could not afford the £1400 of the Nivala. But one cannot ignore that the real saving is more in the region of £240 than £650, as we have suggested. But for that saving you are sacrificing a Gore-Tex membrane. Now I do not have to hand the waterproofing and breathability scores for the new membrane on the Kemi, and whether they're a match for the Gore membrane in the Nivala, but what you definitely don't get with the Kemi is the reassurance of Gore's warranty. Gore offers a much better service than Rukka does if your jacket leaks, but importantly with Gore you get a lifetime warranty. And you won't enjoy the benefit of this with the Kemi. You'll get just the six years; and if it does leak, the importer will want to send the jacket off to Finland for inspection and repair. This doesn't happen overnight!

We haven't gone through the same exercise in as much detail with the pants, but it will be a similar story. You won't get the duck down liner. You won't get braces. And so the saving on the Kemi pant will not be quite so significant in actuality as it first appears. And as with the jacket, you won't benefit from the Gore warranty.

Rukka Kemi jacket lifestyle 2

Compare the Kemi not with other Rukka outfits, but with laminates from other brands, and the outfit still looks to offer exceptional value.

But there's another way of looking at this. The Kemi is £1350 as a suit. It's great value for a Rukka outfit. If we look, by way of a comparison, at the Halvarssons Gruven with its matching Laggan pant the cost would be nearly £1050. So the Kemi suit would only be £300 more. For that extra £300 you get a back protector, Rukka's build quality, and a six-year warranty, as opposed to Halvarssons' three-year one. And so compared with a lot of non-Gore-Tex suits out there the Kemi still actually looks like amazingly good value.

As ever, there is no right or wrong here. There is no definitive answer. You’re going to have to try a Kemi on, and then take a view as to whether you can live without a Gore-Tex membrane. And if you don't have to have a Gore-Tex membrane, then you'll need to take a view as to whether you will find better value by not choosing Rukka.

Crikey, I wouldn't want to be in your Daytona boots. It's a difficult one!

The Kemi suit for ladies is coming in May. It will be exclusive to Motolegends in the UK as the distributor is not keeping it in their range. Sara is very excited about it. We think the stretch and the lightness make it an ideal suit for ladies.

For more information and to buy online, click Rukka Kemi jacket.

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