I’m not one to normally take a softshell into the hills, however, the Rab Kinetic certainly has me re-thinking that policy. At just 255g (m: 320g) it is a lightweight addition to my pack, although I hardly put it in my pack because I was wearing it most of the time.
Made with Rab’s Proflex fabric – which is super stretchy and has a flexible PU membrane paired with a knit polyester face fabric and a wicking lining – the jacket is designed to be worn all day in changeable weather conditions.
It’s not only windproof, but impressively waterproof, easily dealing with heavy showers and wet scrub. The breathability of the jacket is excellent, which allowed me to keep wearing it even when it wasn’t blowing or raining.
It’s a slim cut, compensated somewhat by the stretch fabric, but tight enough to limit the number of layers that can be worn underneath. Cut to the waist, it does nothing to protect your legs. But, the upside of the more stylised fit is that it is flattering to wear.
The jacket’s exceptional stretch meant I could move without restriction, which made for pleasant wearing across multiple activity types.
I basically lived in this jacket for a month, regardless of where I went, and it never looked any the worse for wear, suggesting it’s a durable piece of kit.
The helmet-compatible hood is adjusted by a simple Velcro tab at the back, but the stitched-in elastic makes it sit nicely.
In keeping with most Rab jackets, it comes with a separate stuff sack, which is handy but also easy to lose.
This jacket is a near perfect softshell – it is suitable for a wide range of tramping and alpine activities, and will keep you warm and protected from the elements.