The Rab Downpour is an excellent rain jacket for those who want to get outdoors for active adventures even when it's drizzly outside. The flexible fabric of this jacket is quite comfortable and moves well with the body. The Downpour is one of the top performers in our breathability tests, and our gear experts frequently grabbed this garment when they were heading out the door for more intense activities that required excellent mobility and when they knew they would be working up a sweat. This jacket offers mid-level rain protection, excellent mobility, and great breathability.Editor's Note: Our Rab Downpour review was updated on October 4, 2022 to include new testing results.
Rab Downpour - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Excellent breathability, great mobility, comfortable
Cons: Zipper catches storm flap, pit zips felt stiff at first, fabric took up water
Manufacturer: Rab Equipment
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Rab Downpour - Women's
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|Pros||Excellent breathability, great mobility, comfortable||Waterproof fabric, protective storm flaps, stowable||Exceptionally packable, lightweight, breathable, good mobility||Simple but functional, hood packs away, good value||Affordable, good fit, comfortable|
|Cons||Zipper catches storm flap, pit zips felt stiff at first, fabric took up water||Crinkly and stiff, zippers not waterproof||No vents, no hand pockets||Small zipper pulls, internal fabric can stick to bare skin||Hood isn't super comfortable, fabric doesn't feel good on skin|
|Bottom Line||This comfortable, breathable jacket has great mobility and is a good fit for those looking to explore in light to moderate precip||A solid rain jacket offering excellent water resistance that will hold up through many rainy adventures||A great emergency layer that is feather-light, compresses into a tiny stow pocket and punches above its weight for breathability and water resistance||A solid rain jacket that offers decent performance at a price point that won't break the bank||A simple rain jacket in which function meets value at a reasonable price point|
|Rating Categories||Rab Downpour - Women's||Patagonia Torrentshell||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...||REI Rainier - Women's|
|Water Resistance (25%)|
|Comfort and Mobility (20%)|
|Weight and Packability (15%)|
|Specs||Rab Downpour - Women's||Patagonia Torrentshell||Outdoor Research He...||Marmot PreCip Eco -...||REI Rainier - Women's|
|Measured Weight||10.6 oz||12.2 oz||5.6 oz||9.2 oz||11.4 oz|
|Number of Fabric Layers||2.5||3||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Material||50D Polyester||100% Ripstop Nylon||30D Ripstop Nylon||100% Ripstop Nylon||100% Ripstop Nylon|
|Pockets||2 hand||2 hand||1 chest||2 hand||2 hand|
|Pit Zip Length (in)||14||11||N/A||10||10|
|Helmet Compatible Hood||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stows into Pocket||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Carabiner Loop in Stow Pocket||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Downpour is a great jacket for those looking to get moving outdoors in less than ideal conditions. The recycled 2.5-layer Pertex Revolve fabric is flexible and soft, moving well with the body and offering excellent breathability, while the fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment will protect you from a drizzle.
Water resistance is an important factor when it comes to a rain jacket, so we ran the Downpour through three different lab tests, as well as field-testing it outdoors in the rain. Through our tests, we found this jacket's water resistance to hover around the middle of the pack.
The softer, more flexible fabric takes up water a bit sooner than some of the more hardshell-type jackets. In the shower test, the Downpour kept us dry in a consistent torrent of water before starting to soak through. While testing the water resistance of the zippers, we found they were not waterproof. Still, the coverage of the zipper flaps is good, and in our paper towel test, they were able to keep the paper towels in the hand pockets dry for longer than many competitors.
Breathability is where the Downpour really shines. The lightweight 2.5-layer Pertex fabric wicks moisture well, and we found it to be one of the most breathable with vents closed on our set route test, where we hiked a mile uphill.
The vents are on the longer side, and as soon as we opened them, they quickly dumped excess heat. The breathability came in clutch on a damp backpacking trip on the coast when the temps were moderate, but the precipitation meant we wanted to keep a water-resistant layer on.
Comfort and Mobility
The Downpour scored high across the board on comfort and mobility. The Pertex Revolve fabric is quite flexible and moves well with the body, offering a full range of motion, regardless of the activity. This made it one of our top choices for when we knew we would be moving around a lot.
The fabric on the cuffs and neck feels smooth against the skin, and the neck fits comfortably under the chin. The cut of this jacket is flattering and easy to move in. The hood was comfortable with great coverage. Our shorter-limbed testers found the pit zips to be an awkward length, ending right at the elbow. This seemed to only be a problem for our shorter testers when wearing short sleeves underneath, and this bothered us less when we broke in the jacket.
Weight and Packability
The Downpour weighs in at a respectable 10.6 ounces, thanks to its lightweight fabric, making it a decent choice for keeping bags light while traveling.
When not needed on an outing, the Downpour easily stashes in one of its hand pockets. The shape is a little unusual, as it is long and narrow, but we found this actually worked pretty well for packing it into a full bag.
We ran the Downpour through our lab tests and meticulously inspected the garment to assess the quality of manufacture and check for signs of wear and tear. The fabric held up well, and the drawcord components were high quality.
We found that the zipper caught the fabric of the storm flap occasionally, especially when rushing, which can be annoying. Also, a tiny portion of the seam-seal tape around the pit zip at the elbow started to peel, which was a little scratchy, and is a concern for the durability of the jacket.
Should You Buy the Rab Downpour?
The Downpour is a great active-use rain jacket. It is an excellent choice for those that plan to move in weird and wonderful ways while working up a sweat, and need a water-resistant layer to keep them protected from light rain. It is appropriately priced, with an intersection of excellent breathability and mobility often missing in a rain jacket, while still offering decent protection from a drizzle.
What Other Rain Jackets Should You Consider?
For those looking to spend extended time outdoors in a deluge, this may not be the ideal choice. The Outdoor Research Aspire II is made of less breathable fabric, but its full-torso pit zips offer excellent venting, and it's much more water resistant. The Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic offers a little better breathability than the Downpour and a touch more range of motion, making it our top pick for those looking to use a jacket for the most active endeavors.
— Jessica Albery
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