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Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 - Women's Review

An excellent midweight jacket with great warmth, top-notch coverage, and comfortable details
rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review
Credit: Rab
Price:  $190 List
Manufacturer:   Rab Equipment
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 1, 2022
79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Warmth - 25% 7.5
  • Comfort - 25% 8.5
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8.5
  • Weight and Compressibility - 15% 8.0
  • Breathability - 15% 6.5

Our Verdict

The Rab Xenon 2.0 is an excellent all-around insulated jacket, winning our Editors' Choice award in a heated battle. It has a midweight thickness but is warmer than most. This jacket adds even more warmth with more coverage than any other model we tested — longer sleeves have insulation that extends past the elastic cuff to cover the backs of your hands, an extended torso even covers the butts of some of our shorter testers, and a balaclava hood adds warmth to your chin and face. The hand pockets are lined on one side with microfleece, adding further warmth and comfort. Our only complaint about this jacket is that it runs slightly large, but not so much that we wanted to size down. We love pretty much everything about the impressive Xenon 2.0, including its equally impressive affordable price tag.
REASONS TO BUY
Warm without being bulky
Great coverage all around
Protective and comfortable cuffs
Microfleece-lined pockets
REASONS TO AVOID
Runs large
Editor's Note: This review was updated on December 1, 2022, to reflect a retesting of the Xenon 2.0.

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Pros Warm without being bulky, great coverage all around, protective and comfortable cuffs, microfleece-lined pocketsSoft and comfortable, breathable, easy to layer, great mobility, weather resistantLightweight and packable, more coverage, excellent cuffs, good warmth-to-weight ratio, versatile fit and functionWarmth, many comfort features, very weatherproofWarm, packable, light, unbeatable price, decent weather protection
Cons Runs largeDoesn't stuff into its own pocket, hood is very largeHood is drafty without a beanie or helmet, stuff pocket is oddly shapedNot breathable or very packableLess durable construction, not breathable
Bottom Line An excellent midweight jacket with great warmth, top-notch coverage, and comfortable detailsA very comfortable jacket that's great for adventures in diverse conditions where layering, mobility, and protection are keyA lightweight versatile jacket with good warmth and great coverage that's got your back on any missionA cute, high performing non-technical option that boasts an excellent priceA warm, comfortable, baffled jacket that isn't great but comes at a very affordable price
Rating Categories Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Mountain Hardwear G... Columbia Heavenly H... Amazon Essentials L...
Warmth (25%)
7.5
7.0
6.5
9.0
5.0
Comfort (25%)
8.5
8.5
6.5
9.0
4.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
8.5
7.5
7.5
8.5
4.5
Weight and Compressibility (15%)
8.0
7.0
9.5
3.0
4.0
Breathability (15%)
6.5
8.5
6.5
3.0
5.0
Specs Rab Xenon Hoodie 2.0 Arc'teryx Atom Hoody Mountain Hardwear G... Columbia Heavenly H... Amazon Essentials L...
Weight, size small (ounces) 12.1 oz 10.5 oz 9.7 oz 22.4 oz 13.3 oz
Number of Pockets 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 4 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal drop) 3 (2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest) 4 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal slip)
Hem Type Single bungee adjustment Dual bungee adjustment Single bungee adjustment No adjustment No adjustment
Fit Relaxed slim Relaxed Relaxed slim Slim Relaxed slim
Insulation 100% recycled PrimaLoft Silver Coreloft 60 100% recycled polyester 80 g (body, sleeves), 60 g (hood, side panels) partially recycled synthetic 100% polyester 100% polyester
Outer Fabric 30D Pertex Quantum ripstop Tyono 20D 100% nylon
Stretch fleece side panels: 94% polyester, 6% elastane
Whisperer 10D x 10D Ripstop
100% Recycled Nylon
Storm-Lite DP II Polyester 100% polyester
Lining 20D recycled Atmos ripstop Dope Permeair 20D - 100% nylon Whisperer 10D x 10D Ripstop
100% Recycled Nylon
Luscious Pile Fleece Polyester 100% polyester
Hood Option Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in stow pocket Yes; chest No Yes; hand No No; included stuff sack
Cuff construction Elasticized with overhang Stretch-knit Elasticized with overhang Stretch-knit wrist-warmer cuff with thumbholes Elasticized cuffs

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rab Xenon 2.0 is a midweight jacket with a balaclava hood and a slim, relaxed fit. Its exterior is 30D Pertex Quantum ripstop with a single bungee adjustment point at the waist. It has three pockets (two zippered hand pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket) and packs into its own chest pocket.

Performance Comparison


rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - the xenon 2.0 is a great insulated jacket with excellent coverage...
The Xenon 2.0 is a great insulated jacket with excellent coverage and a performance that we love.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Warmth


The Xenon 2.0 is a midweight layer that's warmer than average for its thickness. But where it really excels in its warmth is its exceptional and extensive coverage. By far, the Xenon has the longest sleeves and torso of any model in our lineup. The sleeves extend beyond their elastic cuff, blousing over to keep the backs of our hands warm — even on our long-armed tester with an abnormally high ape index! The torso of the Xenon is so long that our 5'4" tester could cinch it tight at the bottom of her butt to stay toasty warm.


The hood also provides more coverage than nearly any other jacket. It's a balaclava-style hood with a fitted shape and a very tall front that covers our mouths. We could wear it over a beanie, though fitting it over a hat with a pom was tight, and wearing it over a helmet is out. It's also very comfortable and warm even without a beanie. A single adjustment point makes it easy to pull the hem bungee tight, and a full-length wind guard blocks the zipper from leaking air. The hand pockets have microfleece on one side, helping to add warmth to the backs of your hands. However, if you're a fan of using your chest pocket, it's on the inside of the jacket, which is less ideal for access in the cold.

rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - the hood is fitted and warm, with a chin that comes up high, keeping...
The hood is fitted and warm, with a chin that comes up high, keeping your face warm when it's cold.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Comfort


Though the Xenon 20 has a similarly swishy exterior to many classic puffy jackets, it's softer and more pliable than most of the others we tested. Combined with its flexible insulation, the Xenon is very comfortable to wear and not stiff-feeling. The cuffs have an elastic band inside but let the puffy insulation overhang, giving it that feeling of wearing a comfy sweatshirt.


The Xenon has a slightly tapered waist but an overall relaxed slim fit. It also runs larger than any other jacket we tested — though not to the point where we wanted a size smaller. This impacts its layering ability, though, as it may be difficult to fit a shell over the top of this large jacket. On the other hand, it's much easier to layer underneath. The shoulders allow reasonable movement for those active wearers. We're impressed that this large, warm coat doesn't make us look like a shapeless marshmallow, as some do.

rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - the sleeves of the xenon overhang the interior elastic cuff, adding...
The sleeves of the Xenon overhang the interior elastic cuff, adding warmth and comfort even on our long-armed testers.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weather Resistance


In the face of wind, the Xenon 2.0 does very well. No part of the jacket noticeably leaks air, though it is marginally thinner than the handful of jackets that outperformed it in our wind testing. Once again, the extensive coverage of the Xenon comes to its aid. A long, cinchable torso that can cover some or all of your bum, long sleeves that cover the backs of your hands, and a high neck and fitted hood to keep your head warm.


The Xenon proved to be fairly water resistant, too. While a very small amount of water seeped in through the seams in our testing, for the most part, the Pertex Quantum shell of this jacket — designed to be water resistant without additional treatment — does its job. We wouldn't push our luck by wearing it out on a rainy day or all day during a wet snowstorm, but it keeps us reasonably protected.

rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - the pertex quantum exterior of the xenon does a pretty good job...
The Pertex Quantum exterior of the Xenon does a pretty good job shedding water.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Weight and Compressibility


The size Small Xenon that we tested weighs 12.1 ounces. It has a reversible zipper on the chest pocket that allows you to pack it into itself. Once done, a carabiner loop makes it easy to clip this package to your harness or backpack.


However, weight and the ability to pack away aren't the only components of this metric. The Xenon is heavier than some others, but it also boasts extra coverage that other jackets don't have. And while many models we tested pack into one of their pockets, the Xenon does so with extreme ease. The zippered opening is large enough to stuff the whole thing through, and we didn't have to cram it in with a fist against the ground or squeeze it between our thighs to zip it shut.

rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - the xenon is easy to pack up into its own chest pocket.
The Xenon is easy to pack up into its own chest pocket.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Breathability


The only metric in which the Xenon 2.0 performs just average in our testing is breathability. It's not bad, for a spring day that starts cold but warms up slightly. We happily wore it on several winter hikes without complaint.


But all of the same features that make it so warm and wind-resistant turn against it when it comes to breathability. Extensive coverage and warm insulation just don't breathe well. It lacks any venting options to help combat this, aside from loosening the hem and unzipping the main zipper.

rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - the xenon hem has a single adjustment point for its bungee cord and...
The Xenon hem has a single adjustment point for its bungee cord and the loose end is secured to the inside of the jacket.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Should You Buy the Rab Xenon 2.0?


The Xenon is a superb all-around jacket that we love for everyday wear and light adventuring. It's also available at a price point that's less than most of the others we tested. But if you need serious breathability, or to wear your jacket over a helmet or under a shell, the Xenon might not quite be the right fit. But for a great all-around comfortable insulated coat with extended coverage, the Xenon 2.0 is our Editor's Choice Award winner and our favorite model yet.

What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?


The Rab Xenon 2.0 is a fantastically useful, cozy, and comfortable jacket that performs well across our metrics and in most situations. If you need a jacket that's more water resistant than this one, check out the Patagonia DAS Light. Or, if you're looking for a layer that more easily fits into a comprehensive layering system, the Arc'teryx Atom is your best bet.

rab xenon hoodie 2.0 for women insulated jacket review - from running holiday errands to hiking snowy woods, we love wearing...
From running holiday errands to hiking snowy woods, we love wearing the Rab Xenon.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Maggie Nichols
 
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