One of the challenges in layering for the outdoors is finding the right piece for the weather and the activity. Everyone has their own individual preference on layering systems and luckily, especially on the female front, over the last 10 years the development of different shell types, colours and fits has been huge.
Rab have recently overhauled the fit of their women’s line. For me, this has been more accommodating to an athletic, tailored fit in their jackets. My main problem is normally getting enough width in the shoulders and length in the arms. Thankfully, Rab have nailed it with the line up this season, including the Alpha Flux Jacket.
I’ve been wearing this over the tail end of summer and throughout the winter. It’s a light, super breathable softshell outer layer, that can double up as a super warm mid-layer. I expected it to be a bit chunkier due to the fleece lining but the pliable, soft Alpha Direct compresses with ease. When it’s in your bag as an extra layer it hardly takes up any space, squishing easily into all the gaps and when used on the right day, it doesn't need to go in your bag at all.[caption id="attachment_28604" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Weighing in at just 330g the Alpha Flux represents the perfect all-rounder.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_28605" align="aligncenter" width="921"] The Alpha Flux combines a protective, woven shell with zoned insulation to create the perfect outer layer.[/caption]
It’s an easy piece to stuff in and pull out of your pack and it works perfectly for walking, scrambling and climbing, and I’ve even used it for ski touring. The tailored fit and stretchy face fabric gives excellent mobility without shifting under your harness or up your arms. As it is a close-fitting piece it also means that you aren't faffing over excess fabric when getting gear off your harness as it’s perfectly flush to the body. Rab have really thought about the design for climbing with a stretchy hood which fits perfectly with or without a helmet even without draw cords.
What I love about this jacket is it just moves with your body, you don't have to think about it, nothing catches or pulls or tightens as you climb so you can just focus on the task at hand. In addition the colour scheme is ace, coral is my new favourite for the season! If you are in the market for a super warm, super breathable, lightweight soft shell, this is the jacket for you.