Our take This isn’t the first time we’ve crowned a Rab shell “most comfortable,” and it won’t be the last, as long as the brand keeps cranking out Proflex jackets. The Kinetic Alpine 2.0 features two kinds of the proprietary, superstretchy three-layer material with a flexible PU membrane: a recycled polyester knit face on the main body and a 20-denier, stretch-woven nylon on the shoulders, arms, and hood. The latter added enough durability for us to swing Pulaskis on a trail work project in Colorado’s Mt. Evans Wilderness without fear of damage. And the inner knit polyester layer feels cozy against bare arms. The result: A highly protective, durable hardshell that feels like a softshell for all-day wear.
The details This shell scores high on the breathability index, adding to its comfort cred. “I climbed four Fourteeners in this shell, in temperatures ranging from the low 30s to the 50s,” reports a Colorado tester, “and each time, I felt protected from the windy conditions on the summits, but never overheated.” The Kinetic Alpine 2.0 also comes with a full feature set: a helmet-compatible, stiff-brimmed hood; two hipbelt-friendly hand pockets plus an interior pocket; a cozy tricot chin guard; and adjustable everything. It packs down to the size of a large cantaloupe.
m’s S-XL, w’s XS-XL