Rab Kinetic 2.0 - Women's Review
Cons: Uncomfortable collar, not fully waterproof, no stuff sack
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Rab Kinetic 2.0 - Women's
$229.95 at Backcountry
|$250 List||$92.14 at Amazon|
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|Check Price at Backcountry|
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$63.22 at Backcountry
|Pros||Premium water-resistance, great hood design, adjustable cuffs, harness-compatible pockets, plush fabric||Excellent mobility, great weather resistance, breathable, durable, harness-compatible hand pockets||Lightweight, durable, breathable, affordable, premium features, quick drying||Very flexible, flattering fit, long torso, comfortable cuff||Inexpensive, stellar mobility and breathability, stow-away pocket, harness-friendly pockets, excellent fit|
|Cons||Uncomfortable collar, not fully waterproof, no stuff sack||Thin, spendy, relatively heavy||Below average water resistance, baggy fit, hand pockets inaccessible with harness||Gets wet very easily, thicker fabric is heavier||Not very warm, below average water resistance|
|Bottom Line||An impressively water-resistant and comfortable softshell hybrid with improved breathability and premium features||A feature-rich, aesthetically pleasing technical softshell with great mobility, breathability, and excellent weather resistance||This lightweight and breathable jacket has an arsenal of premium features for an affordable price||This comfortable jacket will keep you protected and stylish, from climbing with friends to hanging at the coffee shop||This wicked light softshell has great mobility, is highly breathable and well-tailored - a perfect layer for fair-weather climbing or hiking|
|Rating Categories||Rab Kinetic 2.0 - W...||Arc'teryx Gamma LT...||Outdoor Research Fe...||Black Diamond Alpin...||Rab Borealis - Women's|
|Weather Protection (30%)|
|Specs||Rab Kinetic 2.0 - W...||Arc'teryx Gamma LT...||Outdoor Research Fe...||Black Diamond Alpin...||Rab Borealis - Women's|
|Measured Weight||9.5 oz (size S)||14.5 oz (size S)||12.5 oz (size S)||6.5 oz (size S)||9 oz (size S)|
|Material||Proflex: Recycled polyester knit face 3L with PU membrane and recycled polyester backer||Wee Burly Double Weave (56% nylon, 34% polyester, 10% elastane), DWR finish||Body/hood: 86% nylon 14% spandex 90D stretch woven ripstop
Shoulders/forearms: dordura 91% nylon, 9% spandex 120D stretch woven
|Schoeller w/Eco-Repel Bio (93% nylon, 7% elastane)||Lightweight Matrix single weave with 2-way stretch and DWR|
|Hood?||Yes, 1-way adjustable||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, 2-way adjustable||Yes, stretchy but not adjustable|
|Number of Pockets (zippered unless otherwise noted)||2 hand||2 hand||3 (2 hand, 1 chest)||1 chest||2 hand|
|Adjustable Cuffs?||Yes, Velcro||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs||No, stretch cuffs|
|Available Sizes||XS - XL||2XS - 2XL||XS - 2XL||XS - XL||XS - XL|
Our Analysis and Test Results
A hybrid softshell aims to provide an extra function beyond your typical softshell jacket. Some do this by adding insulation, others by adding extra weather resistance. Most hybrid softshells fail to triangulate between functions, proving the rule that a jack of all trades masters nothing. The newly released Rab Kinetic 2.0 bucks convention and proves the exception rather than the rule. It is a great example of a hybrid that provides the best water resistance of any jacket in our review without sacrificing breathability or mobility. If you need a lightweight, weather-resistant shell but don't want to feel stifled by a rain jacket, then read on to learn why this might be an ideal option.
Even though it is not a very warm jacket, the Kinetic 2.0 is the most water-resistant jacket we tested, earning it a favorable score in this metric.
The Kinetic 2.0 aced our soak-through test by resisting water absorption for a full 10 minutes, proving to be only a little damp to the touch. In light rain, it beaded off moisture and kept us dry. Despite the fully taped seams and waterproof zipper, it will eventually wet-out if you are in a heavy rainstorm. However, we found it to be a perfect layer for quick summer storms or lighter rain. It also provides excellent wind protection. The only reason this jacket didn't score higher is that the fabric is too thin to provide extra warmth. Then again, the thin water-resistant fabric lends to great breathability and mobility, so we would recommend using it with an insulating layer if you need added warmth.
With how well the Kinetic 2.0 resists moisture, we would expect sub-par breathability, but we were consistently impressed by this jacket's ability to provide ventilation and wick moisture from our skin.
The Kinetic 2.0 is made from the soft and stretchy ProFlex fabric, which is designed to provide weather protection without sacrificing breathability. When hiking, it offered above-average breathability. While it did get a smidge swampier than other jackets in our review, you can open both pockets for increased ventilation. We were surprised by the breathability afforded by this jacket, as water resistance tends to correlate with an impermeable barrier that doesn't allow for effective ventilation (unless you are willing to foot the bill for a premium high-end hardshell). While the Kinetic did not breathe as well as the active softshells in our review, it does breathe better than many hard shells or rain jackets, proving to be a nimble companion on variable-weather days in the mountains.
With supple, stretchy fabric and features designed for comfort, this is another category where the Kinetic 2.0 did pretty well. You can easily lift your hands overhead without uncomfortably lifting the jacket, and the sleeves are stretchy enough for most movement.
With 4-way stretchy and plush fabric, we did expect the Kinetic 2.0 to steal the show in this category. However, we found the collar to be a little too snug and stiff for our liking. Couple this with a rigid neck gaiter, and we found that when the jacket is fully zipped, the gaiter pokes you in the neck and puts pressure on the throat. This is only an issue when you're hiking in the rain and need to zip the jacket all the way. If it weren't for this, the jacket would have garnered top marks for mobility. It otherwise moves well and is very comfortable to wear, with or without a layer underneath.
At 9.5 ounces, the Kinetic 2.0 is one of the lighter jackets in our review.
This jacket was not only featherweight on the scale, but it feels light when wearing. We always appreciate a layer that masters that barely-there feel, so you can focus on having a blast while moving through the mountains.
When we determine versatility, we consider all of the features for each jacket, as well as each jacket's ideal environments, climates, and activities. The Kinetic 2.0 garnered a slightly above-average score in terms of versatility. Aside from being less ideal for harsh weather or colder temps, there are a couple of design quirks that were obstacles to a higher score in this category.
The Kinetic 2.0 is both incredibly weather-resistant and breathable; however, given that it isn't very warm, it did not score high in terms of versatility. This is because it is up against technical softshells that are great for backcountry winter adventures and more nimble active softshells or hybrids that are more durable and have ideal features for rock climbing. That being said, this is the metric we give the lowest priority because it is one of the more subjective metrics, and if you've made it this far in the review, this jacket's versatility score isn't going to be a make-or-break deal.
We appreciate the many premium features offered by the Kinetic 2.0. This jacket boasts a great hood with a snug inner gasket and outer moldable brim, velcro-adjustable cuffs, and harness-compatible pockets. Couple these features with the plush, ultra stretchy, and incredibly weather-resistant fabric, and you have a great jacket for keeping protected from light mountain rains and windy days. We wish the updated version of this jacket came with a stuff sack, though. Past iterations of this jacket came with a stuff sack, and it definitely made it easier to stash this jacket in a pack or clip it to our harness.
The Kinetic 2.0 is a good value. It is a lightweight, breathable, and nimble hybrid with exceptional water and wind resistance. Couple this with supple, cozy fabric and premium features, and you have a killer hybrid softshell for summer mountaineering and light rainstorms. Unfortunately, high-end features don't come cheap, and this jacket is no exception. That being said, you do get an excellent jacket that will easily prove its worth, making this layer easy to recommend despite the steep price tag.
We love the Rab Kinetic 2.0 it is soft, stretchy, water-resistant, and breathable. It moves well, has great features, and makes an exceptional layer for light rainstorms or wind in the high country.
— Mary Witlacil
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