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Kit review: Rab Cirque Women’s Down Jacket

Written by Fiona

February 21 2016

Go Outdoors recently highlighted what they reckon is a new trend for mixing practical outdoor clothing with fashion staples. I am not so sure it’s anything new and certainly I have been wearing practical outdoor clothing with almost every outfit for most of my life!

In this kit review I have tested the Rab Cirque Women’s Down Jacket while doing outdoorsy activities and while walking to the pub and round the supermarket. I like to be on-trend, you know!

Rab Cirque Women’s Down Jacket

This is a 650-fill down jacket made with moisture-repelling “hydrophobic” down.

It’s a regular fit, which means it’s not overly fitted and will easily take a few layers underneath if you need them. If you prefer a neater fit buy a smaller size.

Features include:

  • Outer Shell: Pertex Microlight
  • 650-fill Hydrophobic European duck down
  • Full one-way zip
  • 100% nylon ripstop inner
  • Tricot lined collar
  • Anti-snag hook and loop adjustable cuffs
  • Hem drawcord
  • Stuff sack for easy packing and carrying
  • Weight: 473g

Rab women’s Cirque down jacket.

On test: Rab Cirque Women’s Down Jacket

To start with I should say that I like Rab’s outdoor clothes. I have owned a similar, previous edition of the Cirque for many years and it is still going strong. It looks a bit faded but it still keeps me warm on really cold days.

It is also made with the same Pertex Microlight outer shell and has coped well with all the rough and tumbles of my outdoor life. There are no snags or rubs and it still looks like its durability will last for many years to come.

So, before I even put on the new Cirque I knew it was a good quality item.

The style is puffier and looser fit than many of the newer and sleeker lightweight downs that you now see in outdoors stores but it’s meant to be a really warm jacket. It has 650-fill, which should keep you cosy on even the chilliest of days/nights.

I have never felt cold when wearing the old-style Rab and the new Cirque jacket offered the same high standards of comfort. I have sometimes combined the jacket with another insulated layer beneath it for very cold nights when wild camping and the double layering of warmth has worked superbly.

The Pertex Microlight outer is also windproof and repels light rain or snow. This is not a jacket that will cope well in heavy rain. In these situations you’ll need to add a waterproof outer layer.

However, the down does boast hydrophobic properties. This means that the down is treated so that if there is a lot of moisture, from sweating or light rain, it will retain its warmth properties. Old-style down, when it gets wet, becomes almost useless for keeping you warm but the more modern hydrophobic treated downs are meant to retain warmth even when damp.

Rab men's Cirque down jacket

Rab men’s Cirque down jacket

I have not tested the Cirque in really wet weather because I wasn’t keen to risk becoming cold if it didn’t cope but I have worn it in light rain and it made no difference to the warmth comfort levels.

Other features that I like are the soft fleecy insides of the hand pockets and the fleece-lined collar. The collar rises high up the neck to offer better protection from the cold and damp and the fleece inner is welcomed where it brushes against bare face skin.

I would have liked to see a hood on this jacket. My other Rab down jacket has a built-in hood, which I have used a lot. I guess, what with the new fashion-practical clothing trend you could wear this jacket with jeans and a warm woolly hat!

The Rab Cirque jacket has been really useful for times when I’ve been walking in the mountains. It’s the jacket that I pull out of my rucksack when we stop for something to eat or at the top of the mountain. I like that it is large enough to put on over all my other clothes and it keeps me really warm even in cold and windy conditions. When not in use i stuff it in its own bag and squeeze it into the bottom of my rucksack.

Buy the Rab Cirque women’s down jacket from Go Outdoors.

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