Review: Rab Kangri GTX Jacket
See what our good friend Paul makes of one of RAB's newest jackets and their recent move into GORE-TEX waterproofing.
Throughout life we discover great combinations: jam and toast, coffee and sunday mornings, Rab and Gore-Tex, wait, what? That’s a new one! Winter 2019 sees two outdoor juggernauts begin to work together to create hard wearing, mountain-focused outdoor equipment.
Rab bring expertise in cut, fit and design while Gore-Tex provide their breathable, tough, and waterproof fabrics. I was lucky enough to take a brand new for 2019 Rab Kangri GTX Jacket up to the Isle of Skye in October to see how it stands up to day-to-day use on a long distance walk.
Initial impressions were positive, I went for the size large (I’m a 42 inch chest), and it provided ample room for layers both in the body but also through the arms and shoulders with enough length to cover my bum comfortably without feeling baggy or overly big. The sleeves are long enough that they don’t restrict or limit movement with two large handwarmer pockets provided in the middle of the abdomen, well out of the way of any rucksack buckles or a harness.
Made from Gore-Tex 70D with 3 layer construction, there’s a reassuring stiffness and crinkle to the fabric, it feels solid and trustworthy with a coating of DWR to keep the water beading well and the fabric breathing. The hem and hood both feature easy to use adjustment toggles which can be operated one handed. There’s two-way zippered armpit ventilation too, which can be adjusted while on the move.
The Isle of Skye, in October, the Trotternish ridge, a 30 km stretch of sharp hills, dramatic views and cliff edge drops, a ridge known for getting battered by storms rolling in off the Atlantic coast at a time when Britain is braced for wind, rain and weather warnings. The highest average rainfall of any month on the island and a brand new waterproof jacket to test out. Perfect. The only problem? A whole 7 day forecast for sunshine.. That’s right, sunshine everyday with a handful of showers forecast.
When the jacket came out for the 10 minutes of rain on the trail it performed well, easily going over the layers I had on for walking (merino wool & synthetic baselayer with polyester close fitting fleece over the top), and kept out the passing shower. The Gore-Tex also provides plenty of wind resistance and helps to lock in heat, a couple of mornings we woke to frosty tents and having a down jacket underneath the Kangri really helped to maximise the warmth it reflected back into me
The Kangri needed more use and luckily on return to the south west, plenty of wind and rain had arrived along with a drop in temperature. I’ve now had the opportunity to take this jacket out in plenty of wilder weather than it received on Skye and each time it has performed well. The DWR beading still performs and sheds water quickly, allowing the jacket to breathe and ventilate by releasing sweat vapour from within, this partnered with the pit zips allows easy ventilation on the move and keeps the ‘climate’ within the jacket comfortable. When the sun comes out between the showers there’s a noticeable rise in body temperature, this happens with all waterproof jackets, there’s only so much moisture they can take and it’s important to manage the layers you wear beneath to keep your body temperature regulated and consistent while maximising ventilation through the pit zips and front zip of the jacket.
The fit continues to be comfortable with enough room for layering in the cooler weather, enough length over the bum to keep out any stray drips and length in the sleeves to keep movement free and unrestricted. It’s right on the sweet spot that it feels comfortable with a thin baselayer on underneath right through to a heavy weight down jacket.
I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the Rab Kangri GTX jacket and it’s quickly become one of my favourites. I like the cut and fit of the jacket along with the trustworthy fabric choice from Gore-Tex. I look forward to taking it on many more adventures!
Paul has been reviewing and writing about outdoor equipment for over 5 years. From Arcteryx down jackets through to Vango tents, there isn’t an outdoor product he doesn’t have an opinion on. He can often be found on the hills of Dartmoor where he works as an outdoor instructor or around the city of Exeter where he lives. You used to be able to find him at Taunton Leisure Exeter before he headed for pastures new.