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Review: Rab Cinder Kinetic cycling waterproof jacket and Cinder Cargo Bib Shorts

Written by Fiona

November 28 2023

Rab has launched a new technical, all-conditions women’s cycling collection for women. Rab Cinder includes jackets, shorts, waterproof trousers and tops. The brand reports: “Harnessing our decades of experience combining ground-breaking technologies with time-tested materials to keep you warm, dry and protected in the toughest mountain conditions, we’ve created Cinder women’s cycling clothing.”

I have been testing the Rab Cinder Kinetic waterproof jacket and Cinder Cargo Bib Shorts.

On test: Rab Cinder Kinetic waterproof jacket for female cyclists

Features include:

  • Slim fit
  • Main Fabric: 20 D Proflex™ 3-layer recycled polyester stretch knit face with PU membrane (plus DWR) HH: 10,000mm | MVTR: 35000g/m2/24 hrs
  • Tailored bike fit with articulation for performance and comfort
  • Cycling helmet compatible hood with stiffened peak (roll away)
  • Single handed hood cinch (combined crown and face adjustment)
  • Single chest zipped pocket with YKK® AquaGuard Zip
  • 1 YKK® AquaGuard zipped lumbar pocket with bellowed sides
  • YKK® VISLON® centre front zip with fleece lined chin guard
  • Extended cuffs with stretch binding
  • Dropped rear hem with silicone grip
  • Lightweight single sided rear hem adjustment with anti-snag tether

I have the lovely marmalade coloured jacket. It looks good and the fabric feels soft and comfortable. There is no annoying rustling noise i the wind, which is a big advantage because cycling can be breezy. The jacket does make a bit of a noise when, for example, the arms rubs against the torso but it’s not that kind of crinkley-rustley noise that many jackets have.

You can happily wear the jacket over a short-sleeved baselayer because the inside of the fabric is not too clammy feeling.

The fit is great (UK10) and the jacket is flattering. Well, it’s as flattering as any cycling jacket can ever be!

The fabric has a generous stretch to it as well, which means it’s easy to wear on a bike and gives good freedom of movement.

The torso hem length is ideal for me and especially the lower drop at the rear to cover your bum when cycling. The arms are not quite long enough for me when stretched out on a bike but I do have very long arms for my height. The cuffs are an adequate length but not extra long.

The hood is useful (ish) if caught in the rain. I tend to find I don’t need a hood because my helmet keeps off a lot of the rain but it is useful to have the option of extra protection in a heavy or sustained downpour. Plus, there is a stiffened peak to stop some of the rain getting on to the face.

The chest pocket is quite small, so it’s the sort of place you might stash a key or snack, rather than a phone. The rear zipped pocket is much roomier and very useful for carrying bits and pieces that you want easy access to.

Of greatest importance, however, is performance. A HH (Hydrostatic Head) of 10,000mm is the minimum I would be looking for in a waterproof jacket for cycling or walking. So, the Rab Cinder Kinetic gets a tick. The breathability rating is also good.

Out on my bike, the jacket is very windproof. It is also breathable enough in cooler conditions. The waterproofing is good in drizzle and lighter rain but in heavy downpours it does wet out a bit. That’s when the DWR can’t cope with the heavier rain.

I am not a fan of cycling in heavy rain so I tend not to go out. But, if you are planning to be using the jacket for regular commuting to work or in places where heavy rain is likely to be frequent, I think I would look for a jacket with a higher HH rating.

Overall, this is a well made cycling jacket that is easy to wear. It is not the lightest jacket I’ve used for cycling but it is very comfortable and feels durable. The bright marmalade colour is fairly good for visibility. It’s a jacket I would be more likely to use in summer conditions and when rain is unlikely to be heavy or sustained. It’s a good jacket for winter, too, when the weather is cold or windy and you need a good quality outer layer. You could easily use the jacket for country walks as well, so it is versatile.

The price is quite high in my opinion but Rab products are robust and long lasting in my experience.

On test: Rab woman’s Cinder Cargo bib cycling shorts

Features include:

  • Main Fabric: Flexile™ 250, with fluorocarbon-free DWR
  • Secondary Fabric: Matrix™ RX side reinforcements, with fluorocarbon-free DWR
  • Breathable body-mapped construction
  • Bib drop seat function
  • Centre back panel with laser cut hole detailing for ventilation
  • 2 thigh and 2 rear bib mesh stash pockets
  • Seamless inner thigh for comfort and reduced wear points
  • Silicone grip on lower hem
  • Flatlocked seams
  • Tailored bike fit with articulation for performance and comfort

The shorts are a bit tricky to get on initially. You need to think carefully about where you climb in. Once on, however, they are extremely comfortable. There is a high and comfortable front, which offers protection from the elements and a flattering flattening look.

The shoulder straps are wide and comfortable and sit to the side of the chest. I do not have big boobs so I can’t say how the bib straps will fit larger chested ladies.

There is also a section of fabric at the lower back to stop the wind getting to your skin when you are bent over on your bike.

The shorts length is long. I have long legs and they reach to just above my knee. This might suit some people but not others. (Note, I have the size small.)

The fabric is lovely. A stretchy and silky Lycra with a wide grippy hem. They stay in place when you are riding your bike, which is a bonus because I hate shorts that ride up.

Useful side cargo pockets have been added to the shorts. I have no idea why other brands have not thought of this. It is the first time I have seen side pockets featured on shorts. They are really useful for carrying small bits and pieces, such as snacks or your phone.

I had thought the pockets might prove annoying when cycling but I found the opposite. I didn’t notice what I was carrying and it was great to have easy access to my phone.

There are tow further iockets at the rear for other small items.

The padding is quite thick. Some women will like this and some won’t. Personally, I like the level of padding. When buying cycle shorts, it’s important that they fit neatly because, if they don’t, the padding will move about and cause rubs. These shorts were a good fit.

Another great feature is the drop seat feature. This means you do not need to take off your top layers and remove the bib short straps for a toilet stop. Instead, you simply pull down the back of the shorts to “expose” your bottom.

A few criticisms of the shorts include the length – they are long – and there is a slight bagging of the fabric at the lower, outer edge of the shorts when standing up off the bike.

This part of the seam bags a little when my leg is straight.

The outer edge seams have also started to fray a bit although the rest of the fabric is in good condition. I have found the shorts bulge a bit at my inner thighs, too, which isn’t the most attractive look. I think the fabric could do with being a bit more supportive, although there is always a balance to be had between comfort and support.

Overall, the design of the bib shorts for women is good. There are some great features and innovations. The shorts are very comfortable to wear although I would like the fabric to be a wee bit more supportive (maybe this would happen if i went down a size). It’s nice to have a choice of black or blue, too. Good quality bib cycling shorts are often pricey and £145 does seem like a lot of money but it’s not unexpected.

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