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Hands-on Gear Review

Rab Cirrus Jacket Review

Wind Jacket

Click to enlarge
Price:   $110 List | Sale $84.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Two generous chest pockets, very light, folds into its own pocket, buckle to stow hood when not in use.
Cons:  No way to tighten hood, expensive, hard to find.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Rab


The Rab Cirrus is very similar in both quality and materials to the Patagonia Houdini. Both are among our favorite lightweight wind jackets. The Patagonia Houdini edges just ahead because it packs a little smaller and the hood seals out wind better. That said, the Rab has two hand pockets where the Houdini has none. This makes the Rab a lot better for storing extra gloves and hat on a day hike. It also has a cool buckle to put away the hood. So while we like the Houdini a little better, both jackets are awesome. The Rab Cirrus is a little less expensive.

Compared to the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Squamish, the Rab is lighter but the Squamish is more useful for a wider variety of activities. We prefer the Squamish, but if you are mainly getting this jacket for ultralight hiking and biking, the Rab might be the better call.

Update: March 2015
We have just received word from Rab that the Cirrus has been discontinued and it has been replaced by the Windveil Jacket. More detail on the new version is included below.

RELATED: Our complete review of wind jackets - men's

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Last Updated:
March 12, 2015

New version Rab Windveil vs. Discontinued Rab Cirrus

The Cirrus is being discontinued, and the replacement is called the Windveil. Rab provided us the following info about the replacement.

"The principle difference is the change in fabric. Rather than Pertex Quantum, the Windveil Jacket is made from Pertex Microlight.

Also it is 50% more breathable, which helps to address on of the classic weaknesses of ultralight windshirts. The final upgrade is a new 'Super DWR' treatment which is substantially more durable than the DWR used on the old Cirrus range. Water will continue to bead for considerably longer before requiring reproofing, making it a great summer emergency shell."
— Rab

Though heavier, Rab tells us the new Pertex Microlight fabric is more versatile and offers better performance.

Pictured on the left (below) is the Rab Cirrus; on the right you will find the Windveil Hoody full-zip.
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge 

We have ordered the full-zip Windveil and will be testing it soon (this jacket is available in a 3/4 zipper pull-on as well).


After testing many wind jackets that only had a chest pocket, it was refreshing to test a jacket like this Cirrus that had two generous hand pockets. This let us store extra stuff, and may help ventilate the jacket when the pockets are left open.

The Cirrus is the one jacket that has a buckle to bunch up and secure the hood when not wearing it. This works great when biking because you don't have an extra hood flapping around.

This jacket was about as good as the Houdini at sealing out rain and wind. Both handled light rain well for about an hour before dampness started to seep in at the shoulders. Both jackets used 15 denier fabric with DWR coatings and feel very similar (even though they are two different fabrics).


Like a few other light Rab jackets we have tested, there is no drawstring or tightening mechanism for the hood. When the wind kicks up, it's hard to keep it out.

While we like the bigger hand pockets, it does make the Rab less compact than the Houdini when stowed in its own pocket. This would not even be noticeable if it weren't for the fact that the Houdini is so light and compact by comparison.

This jacket and many Rab products are currently hard to find in the US. And unlike the Houdini, it is much harder to find on sale.


As with most Rab jackets, we needed to size up. The Small fit pretty well everywhere except the chest, where it was way too small (our main tester was 5' 10" 155 lb).

Other Versions

Rab Xenon X
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $215
  • synthetic insulated jackets
  • Won our Editors' Choice award
  • Offers very high quality insulation
  • Packs into its own pocket for ease of transport and multi-pitch climbing

Click to enlarge
Rab Neutrino Endurance
  • Cost $360
  • High quality down coat
  • Top Pick Award Winner!
Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: March 12, 2015
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2 Total Ratings
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   Jan 10, 2013 - 12:39pm
iPlay · Surfer · Talbot County, MD
Amazingly light; yet, performs as described. Excellent no-snag zipper placket. Hood has adjustment in back; and elasticized face-surround is helpful. Did not try to use over a helmet; so, cannot comment. Sizing runs a little small … and there is a longer hem at the lower back (some might prefer this). Pockets are spacious and help venting. Would prefer an anorak (pullover) style, rather than full-zip. Would like to see a snap (or two) at the throat / collar area. Snaps really aid in micro-adjustments for venting. Don't understand why more manufacturers do not incorporate them.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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