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Rab Xenon 2.0 Review

While it isn’t the most technical insulation layer, it is warm, comfortable, and light enough to be used for a wide range of activities
Rab Xenon 2.0
Credit: Rab
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Price:  $180 List | $125.93 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  100% recycled materials, lightweight, highly wind-resistant
Cons:  Mediocre breathability, low stretch
Manufacturer:   Rab Equipment
By Buck Yedor ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 28, 2022
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 6.0
  • Weight and Compressibility - 20% 7.0
  • Comfort - 20% 6.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 6.0
  • Breathability - 15% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Rab Xenon 2.0 isn’t a show stopper but does just about everything you’d want an insulation layer to do. One of its biggest selling points is its eco-friendly construction; it's also a lightweight jacket that offers a decent amount of warmth. It features an athletic, bordering-on-slim fit. It lacks breathability and isn’t exceptionally stretchy. If you’re looking for an insulation layer to wear during high-output cold-weather pursuits, this might not be the jacket for you. That being said, it’s plenty comfortable and functional enough to wear around town, to the ski resort, or even to layer up while adventuring in the mountains.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Rab Xenon 2.0
This Product
Rab Xenon 2.0
Awards   Best Buy Award   
Price $125.93 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$98.98 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$200 List
$199.95 at Amazon
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$200 List
$199.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros 100% recycled materials, lightweight, highly wind-resistantVery warm, great features set, packs away easilyWind resistant, excellent breathabilitySlick fabrics layer well, stuffs into pocket with clip loopVery comfortable, warm, many features
Cons Mediocre breathability, low stretchNot the lightestPoor water resistance, minimal featuresExpensive, heavier than similar lightweights, lots of stiching to abradeHeavy, uses an external stuff sack
Bottom Line While it isn’t the most technical insulation layer, it is warm, comfortable, and light enough to be used for a wide range of activitiesWith high loft, water-resistant insulation, this jacket is a great option for staying warm on cold, damp days, and doesn't break the bankBreathable and lightweight, this jacket is the perfect companion for cold weather high-output activitiesA true classic, this contender is stylish and durable, but does not offer the highest performanceThis medium-weight jacket spares no attention to detail when it comes to keeping you comfortable
Rating Categories Rab Xenon 2.0 Rab Nebula Pro Rab Xenair Insulated Patagonia Nano Puff... Rab Cirrus Alpine I...
Warmth (25%)
6.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
8.0
Weight and Compressibility (20%)
7.0
3.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Comfort (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
4.0
5.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Rab Xenon 2.0 Rab Nebula Pro Rab Xenair Insulated Patagonia Nano Puff... Rab Cirrus Alpine I...
Measured Weight (size) 12.4 oz (M) 22.9 oz (M) 11.8 oz (M) 12.8 oz (M) 17.6 oz (M)
Insulation 60 g PrimaLoft Silver 100% postconsumer recycled synthetic fibers Cirrus HL PrimaLoft Gold Active+ Primaloft Gold Eco (60g) PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Luxe
Outer Fabric 30D Pertex Quantum ripstop Pertex Quantum Pro (30D recycled nylon) Pertex Quantum Air 100% recycled polyester, DWR finish 30D recycled Pertex Quantum
Stuffs Into Itself? Yes Includes stuff sack Yes No No
Hood Option? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Number of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 internal zipped 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rab Xenon 2.0features some of the latest and greatest in “green” apparel manufacturing. It is insulated with 100% post-consumer recycled materials, meaning no raw materials were needed to create the lofty warmth it offers. Another notable feature is that the durable water repellent coating is fluorocarbon free. Not only is this a jacket consumers can feel good about buying, but it is also a highly functional insulating layer that competes with many models in our review.

Performance Comparison


Rab Xenon 2.0 insulated jacket - while it isn't super specialized, the xenon 2.0 is a great...
While it isn't super specialized, the Xenon 2.0 is a great all-rounder.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Warmth


The Xenon 2.0 is a lightweight option that provides a great deal of warmth, especially when you consider how lightweight it is. When we paired it with a base layer and a fleece mid-layer, we could be out and about in below-freezing temperatures without much issue. If you plan to be sedentary for long stretches of time in sub-freezing temps, you’ll likely want something bulkier, which can provide more warmth.

Rab Xenon 2.0 insulated jacket - the xenon 2.0 is lightweight and warm.
The Xenon 2.0 is lightweight and warm.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Weight and Compressibility


With our size medium weighing in at 12.4 ounces, we wouldn’t call it ultralight; however, unless you are a serious ounce counter, the Xenon is plenty light enough for just about any adventure. It compresses down to about the size of an acorn squash and stuffs into its own pocket. It has a sewn-on clip-in loop which makes it convenient to clip to the back of a harness or to the outside of a backpack.

Rab Xenon 2.0 insulated jacket - the xenon 2.0 packs down fairly small and can be brought on a...
The Xenon 2.0 packs down fairly small and can be brought on a variety of adventures.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Comfort


The Xenon 2.0 has an athletic fit. It has room in the shoulders and a slight taper through the waist. The wrist cuffs are elasticized, which makes it easy to pull on and off over other layers. The fit is large enough to accommodate a thin base and mid-layer but isn’t overly roomy. Conversely, this jacket layers underneath a hardshell quite well.

Rab Xenon 2.0 insulated jacket - the xenon 2.0 (rab) offers decent wind protection and an excellent...
The Xenon 2.0 (Rab) offers decent wind protection and an excellent price point.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Our biggest complaint is the lack of stretch. For the most part, the cut of the jacket makes it comfortable to move around in but when moving your arms overhead, the shoulders start to feel pretty tight.

Weather Resistance


We typically don’t expect much weather resistance from lightweight insulation layers. The Xenon 2.0 offers good wind resistance and is adequate for cold, blustery days.

Rab Xenon 2.0 insulated jacket - the xenon 2.0 protects against light precip but not much more. this...
The Xenon 2.0 protects against light precip but not much more. This is the case for most insulated jackets.
Credit: Buck Yedor

The biggest advantage of synthetic insulation over down is its ability to keep insulating even when wet. That being said, standing around in a soggy jacket is not ideal or recommended. The outer shell provides some water resistance but won’t keep you dry in a full-on deluge. If the precipitation really starts coming down, you’ll want to throw on a proper hardshell over this layer.

Breathability


While the Xenon 2.0 keeps out the wind, it also traps in moisture given off from perspiration. Our testers found the breathability of this jacket to be lacking. When we tested it while hiking and backpacking for extended periods of time, it left us damp and sweaty.

Rab Xenon 2.0 insulated jacket - the biggest drawback to this coat is its limited breathability.
The biggest drawback to this coat is its limited breathability.
Credit: Buck Yedor

Value


While it’s not the highest-performing jacket we tested, it's a decent choice. It also sells for less than most of the options that outperformed it. Unless breathability is your absolute highest priority, the Xenon 2.0 is a worthy purchase.

Conclusion


The Rab Xenon 2.0 is lightweight, compresses into a small package, and offers great wind protection. It’s not the most breathable in the bunch and doesn’t have a lot of stretch to it. This insulating layer is ideal for someone that's after a decently lightweight model with above-average performance in every metric other than breathability.

Buck Yedor

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