The Rab Strata Hoody is one of two jackets in our review to utilize breathable Polartec Alpha insulation. This insulation provides more comfort and moisture wicking for high energy activity than traditional synthetic insulations. Interestingly, Rab builds the Strata with a more wind resistant shell fabric than other models that use breathable insulation. While we generally like to pair a very breathable insulated jacket with an ultralight rain jacket to create a layering system, the Strata is essentially an insulated wind jacket. True to this design, the Strata has the largest hand pockets of any model we tested, which also serve as core vents.
Both of the other jackets focused on breathablity earned higher overall scores than the Strata. The Patagonia Nano Air Hoody (our Top Pick for Breathability) is lighter, more comfortable, and much more breathable if you really are putting the pedal to the metal on an uphill tour or run. The Outdoor Research Uberlayer also uses the advanced Polartec Alpha insulation, but pairs it up with stretchy and breathable shell fabric. However, if you desire a jacket with breathable insulation, and spend most of your time in misty weather or intermittent light rain, the Strata is a good choice.