Chris Townsend reviews a waterproof softshell made with soft and stretchy fabric.

This review is part of our ultralight waterproofs gear guide, and was first published in the May 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.

Rab describes the Kinetic Plus as a ‘waterproof, stretch softshell’ and I can see why as it’s too soft and comfy to be called a hardshell. And it really is waterproof. And really stretchy. Breathability is high too, one of the best in the review. The fabric is thin and no warmer than other light waterproof materials. It may feel like a softshell, but it performs like a waterproof. The fabric is polyester with a PU membrane inside. The inner wicks away moisture.

The hood only has a basic Velcro tab adjustment at the rear. There are no front drawcords. There is a stretch gusset under the stiff peak and the hood is close- fitting and stays on in strong winds. The stretch fabric helps it to hug the head but also means it’ll easily fit over a hat.

The pockets are roomy and easily hold maps. The very bottom is cut off by a hipbelt, but a map will still fit. The cuffs are adjustable but only just wide enough for a little ventilation. Oddly, the hem doesn’t have a drawcord or elastication, so it can ride up and allow breezes in.

For comfort this jacket can’t be beaten.

rab.equipment.co.uk

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Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: breathability, soft fabric, pockets

Cons: no hood drawcords

  • Price: £180
  • Weight: 298g (L)
  • Materials: Proflex
  • Hood: wired peak, elasticated, rear volume adjuster
  • Front closure: AquaGuard water-resistant zip with inner flap
  • Length: 70cm
  • Underarm/side zips: no
  • Pockets: 2 lower
  • Hem: plain
  • Cuffs: Velcro
  • Sizes: men S-XXL, women 8-16
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