Our take How do you make a good thing better? Make it tougher. This update to the 2017 Editors’ Choice-winning Kinetic Plus adds an extra layer of durability to its supersoft, superstretchy nylon fabric (and its matching bottoms are a gamechanger for waterproof pants). Rab placed an ultrathin ceramic overlay on the hood, shoulders, and tops of the arms, boosting abrasion resistance without adding weight. The verdict? The reinforced fabric held up to bushwhacking through thickets of thorny Russian olive in Utah and climbing crumbly volcanic rock in Japan (though we noticed minor pilling on the parts of the sleeves without ceramic).
The details The material is so supple and breathable, more than one tester didn’t believe it was waterproof at first. But it is: “I stayed completely dry in a pounding summer monsoon in Arizona’s Coconino National Forest—the long hem covered my rear, and the fully adjustable hood cinched securely around my head.” Two huge hand pockets easily swallowed a pair of hot water bottles on a freezing night camping in Spain, and the whole thing compresses to cantaloupe size.
Trail cred “The stretchiness meant I could move freely during hand-over-hand scrambling on a particularly steep stretch in the Pyrenees,” one tester says.