I have recently been testing Rab’s Salvo Jacket – a mid-weight, hooded softshell jacket. I’ve been wearing the garment for over three months in a variety of environments from the coastline to the winter hills of Scotland, both hill walking and climbing.
I have always liked wearing a softshell type jacket, particularly for winter use at work. Being windproof and weatherproof they are, for me, an essential piece of equipment – especially for Scottish and alpine winter exploration. I find they’re ideally suited to those days when it isn’t raining and when I am wanting something that gives me the freedom to move and protection from the wind.
On opening the packaging, my first impression of the Salvo was that it is a stylish, modern-looking jacket. The design is clean and athletic in cut with a well-designed hood. I am a 40-inch chest, and the small is a good fit. It has two zipped hand warmer pockets and an external chest pocket. Velcro closures keep out spindrift and wind at the wrists.
I’ve found the pockets work well and are easily accessible even with a harness on and the chest pocket is big enough for a large smartphone or compact camera, and unlike other manufacturers, it is externally located, making access that much simpler.
The hood is designed to be worn under or over a helmet. It does both well. The drawcords and trim hold the hood in place even in strong winds while the small peak works to shed wind and rain.
The length of the jacket covers your lower back and fits neatly under a harness and doesn’t ride up on belying or bending over.
The Matrix AP bonded shell fabric is windproof and very shower proof. I have worn the jacket on some extremely damp days recently in Glencoe and the jacket remained dry on the inside. When it did get wet, it dried very quickly after hanging or being opened up as I walked.
It is pleasing to see the colour range is bright and modern. Rab have brought together form and function with the Salvo Jacket. This is one of the best softshell jackets I have worn and will become my go-to mid and outer layer from now on.