Rab Neutrino Pro Down Jacket - Women's Review
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Rab Neutrino Pro Down Jacket - Women's
|Price||$384.95 at Amazon|
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$249.93 at REI
|$379 List||$199 List|
$118.93 at REI
$57.97 at Amazon
|Pros||Warm, packable, excellent weather resistance, highly-adjustable hood||Incredibly warm and weather-protective, deep hood, amazing pockets||Warm, light, soft, great hood||Warm, comfortable, simple, inexpensive||Inexpensive, comfortable, decent waterproofing, quite warm|
|Cons||Expensive, narrow cut through the hips||On the bulky side, face fabric holds onto water||No cinch at the waist, not the most stylish||Shallow hood, no internal pockets||Short, no wrist cuffs, questionable quality|
|Bottom Line||One of the warmest and most weather-resistant jackets for active outdoor pursuits||A beast of a winter parka that took on arctic blasts and trips around town with ease||This soft, extra-long down parka with a cavernous hood is a dream to wrap up in when the temperatures drop||Cute, streamlined, and warm enough for almost any winter weather, this jacket is a great value||This low-cost winter jacket is warm and waterproof but much shorter than others we tested|
|Rating Categories||Rab Neutrino Pro Down||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||REI Co-op Norseland...||Wantdo Waterproof Snow|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Specs||Rab Neutrino Pro Down||Fjallraven Nuuk - W...||Outdoor Research Co...||REI Co-op Norseland...||Wantdo Waterproof Snow|
|Insulation and Fill Power||800 fill European goose down||Supreme microloft (100% polyester)||700 fill down||650 fill duck down||Unavailable|
|Hood||Adjustable, insulated||Insulated with detachable faux fur trim||Adjustable||Fleece lined||Detachable, insulated hood, with removable faux fur trim|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 internal zippered chest||6 external - 2 chest, 2 hand warmer, 2 catchall. 5 internal - 2 zippered, 1 button, 2 mesh catchall.||2 zippered hand warmer, 1 internal zippered security, 1 internal pouch||2 zippered hand warmer||2 zippered hand warmer, 2 internal - 1 zippered chest, 1 drop-in pocket|
|Weight (size small)||1.1 lbs||3.7 lbs||2.0 lbs||2.0 lbs||2.5 lbs|
|Weather Resistant Features||Wind and weather resistant, hydrophobic down||Waterproof, windproof||Water and wind resistant||DWR treatment||Waterproof|
|Sizes Available||XS to XL||XXS to XXL||XS to XL||XS to XL||S to XXL|
|Social or Environmental Certifications||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), 100% recycled fabric||Fluorocarbon-free impregnation||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), Bluesign approved, 100% recycled nylon shell||Responsible Down Standard (RDS), 100% recycled polyester lining, Bluesign approved||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Most of the winter jackets we test are parkas long enough to keep your bum and legs warm. They are often heavy and bulky since you're less likely to want to fit them in your backcountry ski pack. The Neutrino is a different beast. Insulated with 800-fill down, it is incredibly warm and also highly packable. It's short, which gives your legs the freedom to move but does leave them out in the cold. For these reasons, this jacket is an excellent choice for outdoor adventures where your legs will be bundled up or will be working hard enough to generate their own heat.
The generous cut of the Neutrino Pro gives its 212 grams of lofty 800-fill goose down plenty of room to expand. Your body heat quickly warms the air pockets those feathers create, working wonders to transform your mood from chilly despair to winter wonderland bliss. Its warmth score reflects our appreciation, but it doesn't earn top marks due to its short length — 25" in front and 27" in back. Most of the jackets we tested are longer.
While the Neutrino is long enough to cover the hips and rear, it only works when standing still. The shoulders fit our testers well in their usual size small, but the hips did not, and the jacket often bunched around the waist. This is because the cut in the hips is narrow, which is our biggest complaint about this jacket. Body fat doesn't generate heat like muscles do. Since women have a higher percentage of body fat, and a higher portion of that fat is often found in our booties, this, my lady friends, is a bummer.
What is not a bummer is how compressible this jacket is, making it very easy to pack. We always kept it with us when playing outside in the winter months in case of an emergency — it's that confidence-inspiring. We also found that it breathes reasonably well, and we never found ourselves sweating through our baselayers while wearing it. That said, moisture management is incredibly important in cold weather. Make sure you pay attention if you start sweating.
One of our favorite aspects of this jacket is its comfortable, protective, and fully-insulated hood, which lends considerably to its warmth. A wire-supported brim and velcro strap at the back work together to maintain impeccable visibility. Elastic pulls inside the neck cinch down to wrap the hood around your ears so tightly that it blocks out nearly every draft. Like many jackets these days, the clasps that release the elastic are sandwiched inside the fabric and take time to find. You get used to it.
The collar comes up high enough to hide most of the face, and with the hood up and a pair of goggles, you can pretty much block all wind and weather from your face. However, some of our testers with longer necks found their noses and mouths exposed. There are no wrist gaskets to keep out drafts, but you can tighten the cuffs with a velcro strap. Between that and a pair of protective winter gloves, we had no issues.
The Neutrino Pro doesn't have many pockets, but we like the ones it has. The hand-warming pockets are tucked in beneath the insulating down layer, insulating the hands quite effectively. The internal chest pocket will also keep your phone or other electronics warm and working when temps plummet.
Yes, the Neutrino Pro is super warm. But, in a winter jacket review filled with long and lofty parkas, that's hardly unique. This jacket really excels when faced with wind, snow, and wet weather. With a snug hood that features a sun and snow-blocking brim, a high collar, and an impressive ability to shrug off wet snow or rain, this jacket is among the most weather protective in the test.
When we stood in the shower for a full 2.5 minutes, the recycled Pertex fabric of the Neutrino Pro did not absorb so much as a drop of water. We simply shook off the excess water and hung it to dry, which it did in short order. Additionally, if the water-resistant fabric wears down over time or a longer period of wet weather works its way inside, the hydrophobic treatment on the jacket's down feathers should maintain their loft and your warmth.
The brimmed, well-fitting hood kept the water off of our faces too. The water-resistant YKK VISLON zipper repelled water effectively, and a storm flap behind it serves as a reinforcement while helping to block the wind.
Speaking of wind, Rab claims the fabric of the Neutrino Pro is windproof, and we don't have reason to doubt this. We never felt a breeze cut through this coat. The hood and collar also fit well enough to protect much of your head and face. Unlike many of the front-country (read: heavy) parkas we tested, the backcountry-focused Neutrino does not sport a fur ruff, so it's not as adept at protecting your eyes and nose from the wind. We recommend a pair of goggles and a buff for windy days when windchills or ice blasting are an issue.
Protecting yourself from wind, snow, and frigid temperatures is the best way to stay comfy in the winter months, and this jacket certainly accomplishes those tasks. Beyond that, its generous cut through the arms, shoulders, and chest allows for plenty of layering and free and easy movement. However, the cut through the hips is another story — it was too narrow for our testers in their normal size. Opening the bottom of the two-way zipper to help widen things increases comfort and mobility but compromises warmth.
Therefore, we recommend trying a size up in this jacket for maximum comfort. Rab sells it in sizes extra-small through extra-large, which isn't the most inclusive range we've seen. Since our size 4-6 lead tester needed to size up to a medium to fit her hips, the range may be closer to extra-small through large.
On the plus side, our test jacket weighed just 1.1 pounds. It feels like nothing whether you are carrying or wearing it, so we always keep it with us when venturing outdoors in the winter months.
The two zippered hand pockets are comfortably placed to keep your wrists in line, lined with soft microfleece, and tucked into the insulation's downy warmth. And the downy, soft hood is comfortable enough to set it and forget it.
This jacket is so fluffy that you look like a bundled-up kid sent out to play in the snow. The shiny fabric also does little to elevate its aesthetics. But the Neutrino isn't meant to be a chic city jacket.
Looks aside, this jacket is so good at its job that we don't much care about anything else. In the backcountry, style is relative, and anything that keeps you warm and dry enough to venture into the snowy paradise of your dreams is gorgeous to us. There are no mirrors out there anyway.
Light, puffy jackets like this one have thin fabric, and we don't expect them to hold up as well as heavy parkas with thick and hardy face fabrics. Still, when we stress-tested the fabric of the Neutrino with the tip of a paperclip, it held up very well, showing no signs of our scraping.
The seams are another story. Our paperclip caught on them and easily slid beneath each one, suggesting they are prone to snagging. We can already see a few feathers sneaking between them, which is normal for a down jacket, but suggests that you should treat this one with some care. That said, we've stuffed this jacket into a full pack and pulled it back out dozens of times, and have also worn it around crampons and ski edges, all without issue. The zipper slides are metal, which should be more durable than plastic, especially when exposed to extremely cold temperatures. The teeth are plastic, though.
Should You Buy the Rab Neutrino Pro Down Jacket?
This is an awesome winter jacket for those who need an extremely warm, light, and packable layer. It's an excellent companion for cold-weather outdoor activities, especially in the backcountry. But if you just need something warm to wear around town, we'd recommend choosing one of the winter jackets that are either longer or that have thicker face fabric.
If you're a values-based shopper, Rab claims that this jacket's fabric is made of 100% recycled materials and that it meets the Responsible Down Standard, meaning that the gooses plucked were humanely raised.
What Other Winter Jackets Should You Consider?
The Rab Neutrino Pro is unique in our winter jacket review for its backcountry focus. If you like the idea of a lightweight, down-filled winter jacket but don't need to worry about your leg mobility while out on big adventures, check out the Outdoor Research Coze Down Parka. It is just as warm and cozy with a great hood and does much more to protect your legs. If you are heading out on an expedition where weight and packability don't matter nearly as much, and you need tippy-top weather protection, check out the Canada Goose Expedition Parka or the Fjallraven Nuuk. You could also look for more down alternatives in our down jacket review.
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