RAB Kinetic Alpine Jacket Review first posted over at FionaOutdoors
By Seth G
My dad and I took two days to run one hundred kilometers on the Camino de Santiago. Heading into Galicia in the fall months, I wanted a lightweight jacket that would be able to handle the wind, rain, and possible snow that can hit at any time. Coming over the pass with the fog, wind, and rain, I am thankful I chose this 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.
Proflex™ fabric which is stretchy, breathable, and waterproof
Moisture wicking lining
Hood with brim (also helmet compatible)
YKK® AquaGuard® zippers
Adjustable drawcords on hood and hem
Cost: £200 [https://rab.equipment/uk/kinetic-alpine-jacket]
Pros: What’s good about the 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 those.
My favorite aspect of wearing the jacket is that I have complete water protection while still feeling as though I am wearing a comfortable soft shell. 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 minimizes 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 favorite 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 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.
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: