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Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Waterproof Jacket Review

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

My Rab jacket addiction continues ! But lets be clear, every jacket I buy is for a very specific purpose and the Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 has been on my radar for a while, allow me to explain.

Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket Review
Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket

The Problem ?

The problem I have had for many years is that I use a separate waterproof jacket for my photography/hiking, much like many of you will and this is designed to go over whatever jacket i'm wearing for the hike.

This will usually sit in the bottom of my rucksack and when it starts raining I would hunt around for it having to remove the backpack and contents only to get a soaking by the time I got it on only for the rain to stop, a reoccurring cycle that drove me mad.

What I wanted was a waterproof jacket I could wear all the time as my main jacket so I didn't need to faff around when the rain started, giving me more time to concentrate on getting the shot rather than searching for a jacket.

So why not just wear my over jacket I hear you ask ? Well most waterproof jackets I find to be not very breathable and usually they have the annoying rustle every time you move in them which again drove me mad and lets face it, they aren't very comfortable at the best of times.

There simply had to be a better way.

Gore-Tex was the obvious solution, its ultra waterproof, superbly breathable and can be worn as a stand alone jacket, and yes I already have one but its overkill for the spring/summer/autumn months and I don't tend to wear it till the winter, couple that with the fact its a hardshell and isn't really easily packable meant it wasn't quite what I was after.

What I really needed was a lightweight soft-shell jacket with a Gore-Tex membrane, but could I find one anywhere ? No and trust me I searched high and low for it.

Around this time I had got wind of a material Rab were using called Proflex, which made the bold claim of being a waterproof soft-shell, which was exactly what I was looking for.

Now let's be clear, there's waterproof, and there's 100% waterproof and these two landmarks can often be many miles apart.

Gore-Tex is usually rated around 28,000 on the hydrostatic head test, I trust Gore-tex like no other material as it has never let me down so therefore in my head the benchmark was 28,000 on the hydrostatic head, The Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 jacket was rated at 10,000 mm so I was a little dubious as to wether it would actually be waterproof enough to keep me dry.

To give you a bit of understanding into this, a garment can be classed as waterproof if it scores above 1,500 on the hydrostatic head test so thats a lot of no mans land in-between !

But in theory that would mean that the Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 would be pretty good with its 10,000 score (Essentially meaning it would cope with the pressure of a ten metre column of water on it before it would leak).

So the jacket itself would be stretchy, comfortable, breathable and in theory waterproof, bingo ! This was exactly what I was after.

The Jacket Essentials

I went to try on the Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 jacket after spending around 2 months researching it (I'm a total jacket tech geek I'm afraid).

First thing that struck me was when I picked the jacket up was just how soft and nice the material felt on it, it was like nothing I had ever felt before and I liked it a lot.

The jacket was incredibly light weight and so comfy it was almost like I wasn't wearing anything and I was loving the stretchy nature of the Proflex material, it really gave a decent feeling of freedom and no restricted movements.

I can't stress enough here just how comfy it was and the material was soft and noise free when moving, I was instantly sold on it and almost forgot about the waterproof concerns cause I liked it it so much.

One of the problems I have with a lot of Rab jackets is the size of the hoods, they're designed for climbers who wear helmets which is great for them, but thats not what I do and I dare say most owners of the jackets either so what your left with is a drawstring system to condense the hood down and invariably it ever really works too well leaving a overside hood with gaps or a oversized hood with elastic pulls, I hate it !

The Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 jacket was the first one I tried where the hood is PERFECT and from me thats really saying something, it fits on the top of your head in such a great way, almost like a swimming cap but without being tight in any places, just stretchy comfort.

It has the usual wired peak which works well and for once the sides don't flap about, it is spot on and the type of hood I have been dreaming of From Rab so a major plus point again.

The draw strings really are effective and create a great seal without ever being too tight.

Draw cords are located on the rear of the hood and can easily be operated with one hand and there's another two on the inside of the jacket just below where the hood starts which also has a brushed Tricot chin guard for an extra soft touch.

The jacket has three layers too it, the outer Profile soft-shell material, a waterproof membrane and then a soft liner but its incredibly thin and weighs only 422.5 g.

The seams are taped for extra protection from the rain to stop it getting through any stitching.

Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket Review

The Jacket has two chest/waist pockets which are absolutely huge and go from the base of the jacket right to the very top, biggest pockets of any jacket I've ever tried in fact.

These zips are YKK branded and fitted with Aquaguard flaps to keep the water out and the usual drawstrings to allow easy operation with gloves.

Then there is an inner chest pocket behind the main zip, but no outer napoleon chest pocket which was a bit of a shame but I guess not essential.

Moving down the jacket you have fully adjustable cuffs with Velcro fastenings to keep the rain out and the usual adjustable hem chord for windy days.

On the outer of the jacket there are areas that seem to have a different type of fabric on which are in fact reinforced areas to give extra durability to the Rab Kinetic Alpine on the hips, arm, shoulders & hood.

This is great for wearing a backpack with or for scrambling up craggy mountains and gives reassuring feel to it all while leaving the softer material for non impact areas to give you more comfort.

So all in all the jacket was exceptionally comfortable, very lightweight and felt really good to wear so I bought it on the spot along with the Kinetic Alpine 2.0 trousers which I will cover in a separate review.

Its quite expensive at £240 RRP but if you shop around you can usually find it around the £200 mark or just under and if you really look hard you can find it for around £150 which makes it an absolute steal.

The Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 is available in 4 colours, I went for the subtle black/Grey (Beluga) but there's also brighter colours on offer if thats your bag.

Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 Jacket Review

How Does It Perform ?

I have used the Rab Kinetic Alpine 2.0 jacket for around 8 months now ranging from spring to early Autumn and I've been really impressed with it.

It's comfort is unsurpassed and I love the fact I can finally wear just one jacket to cover me for all elements, it has a really good level of wind proofing and breathes really well.

The concerns over the waterproofing level of this jacket were quickly tested on my first outing as I got caught in several showers and I have to say it held up very well and kept me completely dry.

I have tested it in warm summer conditions right down to around 2 degrees in Autumn and it is perfectly adequate for that, but obviously wouldn't work as a winter jacket.

I wear it with either a base layer or with the addition of the Rab Superflux hoodie or sometimes the microlight down gilet vest and these combinations have proved exceptionally effective for me in most conditions.

The only time I would say it has let me down is in prolonged torrential rain and 40 mph winds while out for 8 hours, where I did find a couple of damp spots inside but this really was extreme conditions and to be fair I would have chosen the Gore-Tex hardshell for this usually but I really wanted to test the Kinetic Alpine to its limits, indecently the trousers didn't let in a drop on that day but they are 20,000 on the hydrostatic head test so to be expected.

Final Thoughts

I am over the moon with this jacket and although I purchased it for a very specific set of circumstances it has now become my go to jacket for ALL situations with the exception of winter or extremely cold days.

There is nothing better than going out in comfortable kit and not having to change clothes every time the elements change around you, no more rummaging in the bag for waterproofs then trying to get into them as you're already wearing it, without the drawbacks of wearing waterproof kit !.

The comfort levels are simply unbeatable and it makes a hike an even more pleasurable experience as you start the day wearing it and know you're covered no matter what the weather has in store for you.

The price seems a little steep to start with as it puts you in Gore-Tex territory but the jacket is simply put, a total difference from Gore-Tex in terms of how it is to wear and i'm actually really glad I went this route as its performed almost as well as the Gore-Tex but with far more comfort & freedom so ultimately the price is well worth it.

Finally soft-shell jacket with hard-shell performance.

Would I change anything ?

I would love to see an outer napoleon pocket on this jacket and the addition of pit zips to make it absolutely perfect but I guess Rab have their reasons why they didn't do this.

Im also curious why the trousers are rated at 20,000 hydrostatic head while the jacket is only 10,000 ? But the trousers do feel less soft than the jacket so I'm guessing that's the reason ?

Would I recommend it ?

100% yes BUT know what you want from the jacket and make sure it fits your criteria as its not an all year round jacket, but does what its designed for with exceptional performance and comfort, in fact it surpasses all expectations and over performs in most situations.

All the benefits of a hardshell without any of the drawbacks.

Final Scores

Breathability 09/10

Price 08/10

Comfort 10/10

Waterproof 09/10

Features 08/10

TOTAL 44/50 88%

You can see this jacket by visiting Rab Clothing

This jacket was purchased with my own money and reviewed without any bias and I am in no way connected to Rab.

You may be interested in the following reviews of other Rab jackets


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