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Rab Downpour Jacket Review, Tested in the Cairngorms

Used extensively by Cairngorm Treks throughout Autumn and Winter 2017/18 within the Cairngorm National Park and surrounding areas.

On first inspection, the Rab Downpour jacket is light and feels of a high quality. It compresses well into its integrated stuff-sack (the left pocket) and takes up minimal space in a backpack, meaning it’s a perfect jacket for carrying with you as needed.

The peaked hood is fully adjustable at the front and back and the pockets are protected by storm flaps and have good access with the use of a graspable cord, meaning opening with gloves is not a problem. They are also large enough to hold a folded map – always a bonus particularly when navigating in wet weather – and open high enough to access above a rucksack waistband. The same style zips are also used for the underarm vents that allow further breathability when the going gets tough. Another thing that allows flexibility when getting the jacket to fit just right is the draw-cord hem at the bottom of the jacket, as well as the simple velcro adjustments on the wrists - somewhat tried and tested methods of keeping leakage to a minimum. One thing to mention is that the jacket doesn’t feature an inside pocket, often useful for extra protection when carrying electrical devices. This is a shame as such a small addition could really make it all-singing-and-dancing in the world of affordable quality waterproofs.

The biggest niggle, and perhaps this comes more down to personal choice, is the use of velcro to secure the storm flaps on the front zip. Whilst this is no doubt a cost saving exercise to keep the price of the jacket low, it is a compromise. The velcro, as it does on all jackets of this nature, catches repeatedly on the inner netting leaving it bobbled and looking a little worse for wear. If this is also an issue for you, it’s worth spending a little more and getting something with waterproof storm zips. Otherwise this compromise allows Rab to offer a high-quality product at a more affordable price.

As the name would suggest, this jacket protects well from heavy downpours and has a level of breathability that means long stints of wet weather won’t leave you feeling damp. The Pertex Shield 2.5L fabric with Dry Touch also provides good wind protection, although it isn’t particularly warm and would always need pairing with a warm mid-layer in colder weather.

What we think

This is a very good everyday waterproof jacket that offers a high spec at a good price. Features such as the hood and pockets are excellent, and the fabric not only provides top-notch protection from rain and wind, but also ensures the jacket is light and packable. For keeping handy in your daysack when out hiking, to wearing day-to-day for regular outdoor tasks, the Rab Downpour jacket is more than adequate.

Large Pockets
Good Hood adjustment
Stormflap

Cairngorm Treks is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...

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