There's already a lot been written about Rab's Proflex fabric so I'm going to be brief – it's fabulous! I took the Kinetic Plus jacket to Iceland for a backpacking trip in September, the first thing you note is the 'feel' of the fabric, very soft and definitely can’t be described as a Hardshell, it's also very stretchy making for a hugely comfortable garment. The main story though is breathability, with stats more akin to a softshell jacket than a true waterproof – which this is.

Unless it was a warm day in Iceland (!?!) I decided to wear the Kinetic jacket even if it wasn't raining, I wore it over a Helly Hansen Lifa baselayer and was comfortable all day, a good test of the jacket's breathability. On the first day of rain I wore it for 6 hours, of which two hours were continuous heavy rain, I could see the garment move from beading of water droplets to seemingly soak into the fabric – I was convinced that I was getting damp inside – when I finally took it off at my next campsite I was amazed to find I was totally dry.

The worst day of rain I experienced was really bad – 'blow you over' wind with driving rain for most of the day – I walked for nine hours because upon reaching my intended campsite I was told to hike on because the weather was too bad for the exposed site. I pitched my tent in these conditions and got inside, I removed my jacket which was soaked on the outside – inside I was fairly damp in places, but to be honest I wouldn't expect anything else whichever jacket I was wearing – the waterproof performance of Proflex is up there with other hardshells.

Feature-wise the jacket has all the right bits, except there's no drawcord at the hem. The hood is fine but I wore a waterproof cap under it as I do under any waterproof hood as the cap peak gives me much more protection than a hood peak. The pockets are good but not in a great position for rucksack wearers, though I understand Rab will be releasing new styles in the Proflex fabric in Spring 2019.

At 334g for an XL it's a very lightweight shell, although not in the Ultralight category it is perhaps more suitable for longer treks rather than the absolute lightest option which may not be as durable.

In summary:

  • Fabric is soft, stretchy, very comfortable to wear
  • Proven waterproof performance
  • Not as light as some ultralight jackets but will be more durable
  • Simple feature set
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