Rab Neutrino Pro Review
Cons: Not that durable, minimal features
Manufacturer: Rab Equipment
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Rab Neutrino Pro
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|Pros||Warm, lightweight, comfortable||Warm, long hem, comfortable hood, great features||Warm, weather resistant, durable||Durable, warm, super comfortable||Comfortable, heavily featured, stylish|
|Cons||Not that durable, minimal features||Bulky, faux fur hood is polarizing||Not very breathable, limited color options||Limited wet weather protection due to non-sealed seams||Not very warm, marginally weather resistant|
|Bottom Line||A warm, comfortable, and lightweight down parka that is ideal for winter hiking and outdoor activities||A warm, stylish, and budget-conscious jacket for those in the coldest regions||A versatile and high-performance winter jacket with plenty of warmth and weather protection, at a great price||This jacket offers comfort, warmth and durability at an attractive price||A solid, inexpensive, all-around winter parka with just minor fit issues and limited wet weather performance|
|Rating Categories||Rab Neutrino Pro||The North Face McMu...||REI Co-op Stormheng...||Marmot Fordham||The North Face Goth...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Rab Neutrino Pro||The North Face McMu...||REI Co-op Stormheng...||Marmot Fordham||The North Face Goth...|
|Down Fill Power||800||550||850||700||550|
|Total Weight (pounds)||1.38 lb||3.55 lb||1.94 lb||2.75 lb||3.10 lb|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 internal chest||2 chest height, zippered handwarmers, 2 exterior top-entry Velcro flap pockets, 1 sleeve, 1 interior media pocket, and 2 side-entry waist handwarmers||5 (2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 2 internal)||2 zippered handwarmer, 1 flap chest pocket, 1 zippered internal media||6 (2 zippered hand, 2 patch chest, 1 patch arm, [internal] 1 zippered media)|
|Hood||Yes||Yes (removable)||Yes||Yes (removable)||Yes|
|Hood Adjustments||2 side drawcords, rear velcro||Rear drawcord||3-way adjustable||Adjustable drawcords||Adjustable|
|Baffle Type||Twisted arm baffle||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric||Sewn-through||Sewn-through inner layer|
|Main Fabric||Pertex Quantum||DryVent 2L 100% nylon||HydroWall 2L||MemBrain 2L 100% polyester||DryVent 2L 100% nylon|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Neutrino Pro is a down parka geared towards technical use, meaning it provides exceptional warmth and some weather resistance in a lightweight and packable package, but at the expense of durability and useful features like pockets and removable hoods.
The Neutrino Pro is a very warm parka. It packs tons of high-quality 800 fill-power down into box baffles on the front torso and traditional sewn-through baffles in the arms and back. The hood provides full head coverage without protruding too far in front of the face, and the hem extends down past the waist to keep the lower body warm. Both the hem and the hood are adjustable with drawstrings to seal in warmth.
While there are some warmer jackets on the market, the Neutrino is warm enough for most winter climates. We felt warm in just the jacket and a T-shirt until about 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.5 degrees Celsius). And for the price, this jacket is also a great value for the amount of warmth it provides. The super-packable down in this parka also makes it a great option for cold winter hiking, where it can be stashed into a backpack easily, then pulled out during breaks, or when the trail heads into the shade.
The Rab Neutrino Pro features Pertex Quantum Pro shell fabric, which in our experience is moderately resistant to rain and water but highly resistant to frozen precipitation like snow. The shell fabric isn't as waterproof as heavier options. Still, in the interest of saving weight, it does the job and is especially appropriate for cold winter climates where winter precipitation falls mostly as snow instead of rain. Down loses its insulation when wet, so the shell fabric needs to do a good job of keeping water out. But in a rainy downpour, some liquid water is likely to get through to the feathers through the stitching of each baffle. The zippers aren't waterproof, either.
The hood features a stiff brim which is useful for deflecting rain and sleet, and the hood protrudes about an inch in front of the face, which keeps the whipping wind off the sensitive skin of the face. The wrist openings are elastic and also feature velcro cuff straps, which act together to create an effective seal over gloves or skin. And, the down feathers are treated with a water-resistant coating, meaning that even if water gets through the shell, the feathers will keep their loft longer.
For a technical jacket, the Neutrino Pro is remarkably comfortable. The Pertex shell fabric and interior lining are both constructed from very small fibers, making the fabric more comfortable against the skin. The large down baffles lay gentle over the body, and fleece lining inserts in the handwarmer pockets and the chin area make the jacket a joy to wear, even when bundled up. The jacket weighs in at just 1.38 pounds in size XL, which is very light for such a warm jacket. This light weight is a welcome relief from the heavy and bulky winter jackets that we are used to testing. We feel more agile and flexible in this jacket than most other winter jackets.
As a technical winter jacket, the Neutrino is designed with a fit that hugs the body's contours more than other traditional winter jackets and trench-style designs. The result is a garment that is much more comfortable to wear than most winter jackets due to its anatomical components that work with the body rather than against it. It feels great when hanging around, walking, or being active with outdoor winter activities like chopping wood and shoveling. Overall, we're big fans of the comfort and fit of this garment.
The look of the Neutrino Pro is decidedly technical and form-fitting. It looks more at home in the mountains or on the trails than it does on the urban streets of a cold city. Some users like this look, but others won't. We actually purchased a size larger than indicated by Rab's size chart, and by sizing up, we found ourselves with a jacket that looks great both in the great outdoors and the big city.
Style is subjective and the hardest metric to test. Still, from the comments we received on style when asking around, this jacket has the potential to look great in a variety of contexts, from technical outdoor use to urban centers, from areas where understated styles dominate to those where people like to be unique. We generally like the style of this jacket.
The Rab Neutrino Pro is decidedly light on features, owing to its design as a technical-minded jacket. It avoids any additions that would create areas where the material would stick out, like removable hoods, fur accents, cargo pockets, and snap closures. Rather, it features just two handwarmer pockets on the exterior waist and one internal zippered chest pocket.
If you are the type of person who likes pockets everywhere, this jacket won't be very useful. But, we found that the handwarmer pockets are large enough to fit most users' needs. They are deep enough to stash accessories like a pair of gloves, a winter hat, or a scarf. They can also fit larger items like water bottles. The chest pocket is large enough to fit modern smartphones and wallets. But other options on the market have way more pockets and other useful features like headphone ports, cuff gaiters, and removable hoods.
The Neutrino Pro uses Pertex Quantum Pro 20-Denier fabric for the outer shell. This material is thin and water-resistant, but its supple feel means it won't stand up well to sharp objects and hard impacts. During our test period, we didn't find any problems with the fabric's durability, but in our experience with this material, users will want to be gentle with this jacket. We paid close attention to where we placed the jacket to avoid snagging sharp objects, and we made sure not to brush past sharp or abrasive surfaces when walking.
Down insulation retains its loft longer than synthetic insulation, and we have found that similar jackets remain warm for many years after purchase. The zippers feel burly, but the thin shell fabric occasionally catches in the zipper teeth. If used heavily, the velcro wrist straps will also wear out over time. In general, if treated with care, this jacket presents decent durability.
This jacket is a good value for the warmth, packability, and versatility that it presents. We wear this jacket all the time in the winter, from cold days in town to brisk winter hikes. We also bring it skiing on cold days and on fall camping trips. If winter in your area is reliably below freezing and precipitation falls as snow most of the time, the Neutrino is a great option for an everyday parka and provides warmth and versatility for a compelling price.
The Rab Neutrino Pro is a warm and packable winter parka that is highly versatile. It provides warmth for the coldest winter days, weather resistance against snow and wind, and can be used in urban environments or in the great outdoors when hiking, skiing, fishing, hunting, and more. It is stylish enough for all but the most high-brow contexts and does all of that at an attractive price. If you want a lightweight, technical-minded parka for cold winter use, this is a great choice.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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