The Rab Kinetic Plus is an impressive hybrid that expertly joins the suppleness of a softshell with the waterproofing of a light rain jacket. Protective, stretchy, highly mobile, and stylish, this is an excellent layer for playing in the mountains — as long as you don't build up too much heat. It's best suited to cooler temps and rainy days. We awarded this piece a Top Pick award for being the best — and only — waterproof layer in our review. While the waterproofing means there's less breathability than there would be with more traditional material, it's substantially better than what you receive with something like a hardshell. Hybrids can be tricky, but overall the Kinetic manages to cover a lot of bases pretty darn successfully.
Rab Kinetic Plus Hoody - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Waterproof, soft flexible fabric, great fit, excellent cuff and hood design, lightweight
Cons: Waterproof material decreases breathability, pricey
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kinetic Plus is a luxurious-feeling waterproof softshell that's lightweight with excellent mobility. If your adventures tend to include run-ins with some moisture, this is a piece you'll want to consider.
The Kinetic is the only fully waterproof piece in our review. The impressive material is also wind-resistant, though not overly warm. For swing season activities where some moisture will likely be present, this is one of our favorite choices.
Immediately upon receiving this jacket, we stuck our arms under the faucet, as you do. As promised, the material repelled water as though entirely non-porous. We also wore the Kinetic into the shower and, yet again, it kept water out with no problem — though we did distinctly feel temperature and got a bit chilly. This jacket isn't lined or insulated, so you will feel temperature changes from water and wind. If your adventure has a chance of being cold, take something to layer underneath.
Breathability is decent for this piece, though not nearly as good as many of our other non-waterproof options. As is the norm with hybrids, there's a tradeoff — in this case, better water management means less ability to breathe if and when you start sweating.
Though the Kinetic doesn't have the breathability of some of the other softshells in our review, it's still pretty darn impressive. We've tested waterproof models in the past that were horribly stifling, and this one is far and away the best we've experienced thus far. The material feels soft and amazing on bare skin and is shockingly light for how protective it is. When hiking on a sunny day, we did get clammy, and our skin started to stick to the inside, but if you aren't a sweaty person or you live somewhere with a damp and temperate climate like the Pacific Northwest, these issues very likely won't affect you. For the right body in the appropriate temperature ranges, you will quickly see why this is a Top Pick winner.
This jacket is stretchy with excellent tailoring, making it very easy to move in.
Whether hiking, biking, climbing, or running errands around town, the Kinetic feels good on the body. The hood is generously sized with a stretchy fitted section and a secondary laminated and stiffened peak to keep water off the face. The main reason we didn't award a higher score here is that, when wearing a helmet, things get tight. You can certainly fit a helmet under the hood, but it's a stretch — literally. If a helmet is a regular companion with your softshell, you might want to consider something geared more toward climbing or skiing. Helmet issues aside, movement is incredibly comfortable in the Kinetic, and the nice wide adjustable cuffs mean that layering and wearing gloves is also a breeze.
At 10 ounces for a size medium, this is a very light waterproof layer.
Frequently, the more weather resistant a layer is, the heavier it is also. But the Kinetic is well designed and manages to be both impervious to the water and very light. It even comes with a stuff sack for easy transport.
We scored this metric by looking at features, style, durability, and how readily each jacket could jump between different kinds of activities. The Kinetic is one of the more versatile pieces in our review.
With a slim and stylish fit, durable waterproof material, wide comfortable cuffs that also cinch down tight, and generously sized pockets, this jacket has a lot of uses. The hood is barely helmet-compatible, but for backpacking and hiking — especially in damp, drizzly climates — this is a great choice. It's very lightweight and comes with a stuff sack for storage and transport. From playing in waterfalls to skipping down the trail to dinner with friends, as long as you're not sweating too profusely, the Kinetic is a well-conceived technical softshell that will serve you well.
This is not a cheap softshell. But overall, it's worth the price if you plan to be in drippy wet areas. It's an attractive jacket with well-designed adjustable cuffs, a hood meant to keep the rain off your face, and generous pockets. For the right outdoorswoman in the right climate, this is a gem.
The Kinetic Plus is a waterproof jacket that, while not the most breathable, is far superior to others we've tested in the past. It's very light at just 10 ounces for a size medium with great mobility, making it a smart companion for long mountain hikes and backpacking trips — especially in rainy climates. Wind resistance is good, and the soft, stretchy material and generously wide adjustable cuffs make this a pleasure to wear. We reached for this layer time after time in many different situations, securing our decision that this should be a Top Pick winner. As long as you don't plan to be using this jacket for overly sweaty heart-pounding activities, you'll be pleased with the purchase.
— Penney Garrett