Rab Windveil - Women's Review
Cons: Lacks zipper when packed
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Windveil is made of Pertex Microlight with a "Super DWR" finish. It has elastic cuffs, a hood stash clip, two hand pockets and a chest pocket. You can stuff this model into its own pocket and easily clip it to your pack or harness. It weighs 5.3 ounces and comes in two different colors.
At $125, this piece is middle-of-the-road when it comes to windbreakers. If you're looking for a cheaper option, we like the Editors' Choice and highest scoring Patagonia Houdini (only $99).
The Windveil performed nearly as well as our top performers, with decent breathability combined with excellent wind protection and a versatile feature set.
The Windveil performed nearly as well as the most wind-resistant pieces in our review, trailing the Patagonia Houdini and Arc'teryx Squamish closely. The jacket's material lends itself to locking out drafts, and its design also aids in keeping the wind off your back. The well-fitting hood helps block drafts from multiple angles, and a unique upper chest button flap allows you to keep the jacket together while venting with the full front zip.
Although none of the jackets in our fleet were outstanding in this category (since they are designed to keep air out), the Windveil did an admirable job. During moderate physical exertion, this piece allowed air to move out of the model, and very little perspiration built up inside. However, like most wind protection pieces, once your output increases and you begin to sweat, the Windveil was unable to dump enough heat. However, thanks to the unique upper chest button flap, you can vent while still keeping the wind off your back and shoulders. Also, mesh-lined pockets allow further ventilation options. For other relatively breathable options, we liked the Outdoor Research Tantrum and the Adidas Shield.
The Windveil sat in the middle of the pack regarding durability. Although none of the jackets in our fleet had significant signs of wear following the three-month testing period, our reviewers did identify possible future problems. The Windveil has very durable fabric, but it lost points in this category because it has a high number of "moving parts" when compared with other jackets, and each of these has the potential to break (i.e., the hood cinch, chest button, multiple pockets). Less featured jackets, like the Patagonia Houdini, scored higher in this category as a result.
Weight and Packability
This category was the Windveil's Achilles heel. The jacket weighs in at 5.3 pounds, making it one of the heaviest in our testing group. But more concerning to our testers was the way that the jacket was held together once packed into its own chest pocket. Instead of featuring a zipper like the remaining contenders in our review, the Windveil features a single button closure. Our reviewers felt like this could potentially catch on a branch or rock and rip open. If you're looking for lighter more compact options, our reviewers liked the Patagonia Houdini and Eddie Bauer Uplift.
The Windveil was one of the most versatile jackets in our fleet, with a unique upper chest button for increased ventilation capabilities, and a hood strap that firmly locks the hood in place when you don't need it (and you don't want it flapping in the wind). Plus, this jacket was the only contender to feature three zippable pockets. It only lost points in this category because the hand pockets are not accessible with a harness.
Windbreakers are not made to be completely water resistant, and no contender performed particularly well in this category. However, the Windveil is unique in this category because it features a "Super DWR," which is woven into the fabric itself rather than applied to the exterior of the fabric. This allows the DWR to last longer than a traditional finish.
The Windveil is versatile and a high performer. It is best used as a wind layer on hikes, bikes, and slow runs. Climbers should think twice, as its hand pockets are not accessible with a harness, and weight-conscious travelers should consider a lighter option.
The Rab Windveil is a versatile layer that provides excellent win resistance in a unique and thoughtful package that has decent durability and breathability.
— Shey Kiester