Review: RAB Kinetic Alpine Running Jacket
My guest reviewer Seth spent two days with his dad running 100km on the Camino de Santiago. They headed into Galicia in the fall months and Seth wanted to take a lightweight jacket that would be able to handle the wind, rain and possible snow that can hit at any time in this season.
Seth says: “Coming over the pass with the fog, wind and rain, I am thankful I chose the RAB Kinetic Alpine Jacket. Besides the fact that I saw my dad eyeing it and scheming how he could swipe it from me, I had no issues whatsoever with this great jacket.”
Here is Seth’s review of the RAB Kinetic Alpine Jacket:
Features of RAB Kinetic Alpine Jacket
- Proflex™ fabric which is stretchy, breathable, and waterproof
- Moisture wicking lining
- Hood with brim (also helmet compatible)
- YKK® AquaGuard® zippers
- Three pockets
- Adjustable drawcords on hood and hem
- Adjustable cuffs
- Slim Fit
- Cost: £200
- See Rab Equipment.
Pros: What’s good about the RAB Kinetic Alpine Jacket?
The design team was reaching for three top features: Stretchy, breathable and waterproof. The first two are expected to go together, but it is rare to find them paired with the third. The Kinetic Alpine jacket delivers when it comes to each of these.
My favourite aspect of wearing the jacket is that I have complete water protection while still feeling as though I am wearing a comfortable softshell.
The noise produced in standard rain gear gets annoying if hiking or running for long periods of time and the moisture can build up quickly inside the jacket. The Kinetic minimises the noise and moisture, so much so that even when there is no chance of rain, this is still the jacket I reach for when I just need an extra layer.
My second favourite feature is the hood. The small brim and the elastic draw cord make it a great option for running in the mountains. Having the freedom to turn my head to the side and not be looking at the inside of a hood is helpful when on the trails.
The brim is sufficient enough to keep the rain rolling to the sides, but small enough to not hinder the packability.
The durability of the jacket is evident. Over the past months I have stuffed it in packs, worn it around town and ran with it under my loaded Dynafit pack and had no issues.
When looking for a good jacket, the zippers, seams and drawcords can easily be overlooked. The Kinetic offers quality in each of these. I had no issues with leakage or wear.
I liked the slim fit and the ability to cinch the waist hem down when the rain is heavier.
Cons: What’s not so good about the RAB Kinetic Alpine?
There are a few individuals I would not recommend this jacket to:
A runner seeking to shave every gram off of their pack weight could find another jacket a bit lighter or smaller, sacrificing the pockets, hood, and the Proflex™ fabric for a minimal design and standard waterproof fabric.
I personally found this a good trade off in the mountains even though I had a smaller and lighter option hanging in my closet. The comfort and silence of the jacket in this setting was worth the extra grams.
Also, since I knew we would be stopping for the night, I wanted something comfortable to sit in when the temperature dropped.
This jacket would not suit a runner or hiker who regularly fights through briars or bushes. I have not had any problems with tears, but I also have not tested it out on the hedges of blackberries on the trails.
One problem with standard stretchier fabric is the ease by which it can get snagged on the thorns. According to the website the design team added “reinforced ceramic print overlays in high wear areas”. That is great for skiers or climbers, but runners often follow different paths. Again, I haven’t had any issues, but I have chosen to not test my luck.
If you are looking for a comfortable, waterproof jacket that you actually enjoy wearing, this is a great option. I have not pulled out any of my other jackets since trying this on. It is a quality piece of kit and I envision that I will be using it for years to come.
Other jackets you may want to consider:
Seth’s review of the Dynafit Transalper Light 3L
Many thanks to Seth for this comprehensive review. See his website.