A lightweight, wind proof and fully featured soft shell that is suitable for all mountain activities.
- Light and supple
- Gore-Tex Infinum is very windproof
- Well featured.
- Non taped seams
- Hood could be a little larger for climbing helmets.
We recently reviewed the excellent Rab Vapourise Alpine and I have always been a fan of those, excellent breathability and reasonably shower proof I have owned and used every model of them. They do however, have a slight flaw, they are not totally 100% windproof. After a while you will start to cool down – I did once own the thick winter guide version which was ace – and the Pertex can be prone to tearing in heavy use.
The Rab Scimitar Windstopper Jacket is the Gore Tex version of the popular Scimitar Jacket. The choice of Windstopper Infinium offers improved wind resistance and better protection from showers as it has a membrane.
The jacket is well made and featured and has all the elements you’ll need for a full day out in the mountains. In warmer conditions the jacket is supple enough to be just worn with a T-shirt or lightweight baslayer. The cut is generous enough to wear a midlayer as well as a baselayer, although I tended to overheat when hiking uphill. The Gore-Tex Infinium material is very supple and felt great against the skin, the perforated inner scree is designed to wick material through the membrane as well as trap heat when you stop for a rest.
The hood on the Rab Scimitar Windstopper Jacket worked well with a cap.
The outer material is durable and as I have said is very supple. It has a lighter feel than the standard Scimitar jacket. It has a DWR finish that did a great job of shedding off light showers. But you should remember it has a Windstopper membrane so it isn’t waterprooof and you will need a hard shell for full on rain and snow. The seams are not taped either so do note that if you’re looking for hardshell capability you should be looking for a hard shell! I found the combination of a baslayer, the Scimitar and a lightweight mountain shell was good enough for three season use. For winter I plan to add a thicker baselayer and a mountain weight hard shell and that should be enough for everything but a prolonged stop. It’s also finished with reflective logos for leading out those dark deserts off The Ben.
The Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper is a premium lightweight membraned fabric that can be found on many high end brands so you will pay more than for the standard Scimitar windproof jacket. But you will get better windproof performance from the Infinium and a lighter jacket, shaving over a 100g from the weight. I think the extra 50 quid gets you a lighter, more versatile option in that you could use it through warmer, breezy conditions as there is no brushed lining.
The Scimitar Windstopper Jacket has some great pockets. Two voluminous handwarmer pockets. Both will fit a folded OS map and the left hand pocket is especially good for this and easily swallows up a laminated map. The chest pocket is plenty big enough to hold a phone, some energy bars and lightweight gloves. In winter I would just keep this pocket free for gloves. All the pocket zips are YKK and easy to use with gloves on and they are made using mesh to aid ventilation when open. Venting is further enhanced by the pit zips which are not meshed for allow full air flow when opened. Useful for that steep approach to the base of a route or summit dash.
The main zip is also YKK vislon and has worked perfectly every time I have used it. The more I use and review jackets the more I realise how important a good quality zip is. There is nothing more annoying than deploying a jacket to find the zip undoes from the bottom or will not zip up using gloves. No such faffing using the zip on this jacket. It is finished with a storm flap to help keep the wind and water out.
The hood is integrated and is just about helmet compatible. It will fit over for that breezy belay session but if it’s cold and you want to wear it all day you’ll need to wear it under your helmet. It could just do with being slightly larger and then it would be fine with no movement restriction. If you’re not wearing a helmet it’s perfectly fine: velcro adjuster at the rear, internal adjusters so no face whip in windy conditions and a wired hood all make for a well engineered hood; as you would expect from Rab. There’s no brushed fleece chin guard but the material has felt fine when I needed to have the hood fully zipped.
The Rab Scimitar Windstopper Jacket was excellent for climbing in with full range of unimpeded movement.
So, the Rab Scimitar Windstopper Jacket is a great all round mountain jacket that would be suitable for a whole range of mountain activities from hill walking to winter and alpine mountaineering. The premium Gore-Tex Infinium Windstopper offers lightweight, showerproof protection and the pockets and hood all work very well. Oh, and it’ll look cool for urban hikes, down the pub or strutting around the climbing gym too!
It’s worth noting that Rab are a Fair Wear Leader and Carbon Neutral company – which we always like to highlight when we can.
The Rab Scimitar Windstopper Jacket comes in sizes S-XXL and three colour options.
There is a female specific version that comes in UK sizes 08-16 and two colour options .
The SRP is £200 and is available direct from Rab or specialist retailers.
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