You could ask yourself if the Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket is a hard shell or a soft-shell. Because it is a unique mix of both: the soft-hardshell could just become a new category. Read the review!
- Price: € 199.95/ £180.00/ $230.00
- Weight: Men (S ) measured 261.6 gr ( 320 gr specified), ladies 270 gr.
- Sizes: Men S-XXL, women 36-44
You could ask yourself if the Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket is a hard shell or a soft-shell. It is made from Proflex. The thin fabric feels soft on the outside and even baby skins soft on the inside. In addition, the material is super stretchable, creating a high degree of freedom of movement. Everything from a softshell so … Proflex has a PU membrane and all seams are taped, making it waterproof and windproof. Not like a traditional softshell and with that it is a unique mix of both: the soft-hardshell could just become a new category. The Proflex Outer fabric is made of a 95% polyamide / 5% elastane mix. The membrane is 100% polyurethane and the lining 100% polyester. You can wash the jacket with a normal program at 40 °C with normal detergent and then treat it with Wash-in or spray. Afterwards you put the jacket in the dryer.
The jacket is comfortable to wear and the fit is sporty. The front is slightly shorter than the back: your back remains protected when bending over. What I do like is that the sleeves are nice and long and the cuffs are excellent to close thanks to the velcro band. The fabric is slightly sensitive to the hooks and loops of the velcro.
The waterproof front zipper cannot be zipped open at the bottom. This is sometimes useful when you have to go to the bathroom. The zipper pulling tab can be used with cold hands and gloves. Behind the zipper is a great draft flap that also prevents fabric from getting between the zipper. There is an excellent zip garage at the chin.
The two pockets are closed with a waterproof zipper. They are high enough so that they can also be used if you wear a backpack with a hip strap. The zippers are a bit rough and you actually need two hands to open or close them. Rab doesn’t guarantee that the pockets are 100% waterproof; so put your not-waterproof smartphones in a case. The pockets are big enough for large smartphones or topo maps.
The hood is outstanding. It is soft and has an excellent flap construction that not only holds the head up nicely, but also covers the forehead. You can adjust the flap height with a simple velcro construction on the back of the head. Adjusting around the head is not possible but is not necessary either: elastic provides a great connection to the chin and all around. A helmet does not fit under the hood.
Waterproof and breathable
That Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket is waterproof and windproof, which makes him something less breathable than ‘traditional’ softshell without a membrane. The DWR layer does its job well when new, but a light wet-out is visible after three washings.
Unfortunately, Rab is not very clear when it comes to sustainability, except that they want to make good quality products that will last a long time. Rab uses partly PFC-free DWR coatings and partly not – this is the less harmful C6 variant – but fails to mention this at product level. It’s good that the membrane is made of PU. Member of the EOCA. Rab works with the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI); a code of conduct for working conditions. No Rank-a-Brand score.
The Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket keeps the middle between a soft shell with hard shell properties, and vice versa. Light and compact. The material is extremely comfortable and waterproof. However, it breathes slightly less than softshells without a membrane. The pockets are in the right place in combination with a backpack. The velcro cuffs are nice and the hood is great. After washing three times I see more than average wear of the DWR layer, but after washing with a wash-in or spray the Rab is again water-repellent. The softhard-shell like this Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket could just become a new category. Information about sustainability needs to be improved. The price is great for such a versatile soft-hardshell jacket. I rate the Rab Kinetic Plus Jacket at 9 out of 10 points total.