I have been wearing the Kinetic Plus since August 2016. My first impressions were that it would be a comfortable, lightweight summer waterproof. I thought it would be perfect for summer drizzle and the odd shower – the kind of jacket to keep in my bag on those days where I didn’t expect heavy rain but didn’t want to head out into the mountains without a waterproof.
I’m very pleased to report that the Kinetic Plus has exceeded my expectations in every way.
It is the most versatile jacket I have every owned. While it might not be best suited to continuous heavy downpours (I’m talking torrential rain all day), it is fantastic at everything else. Even though I live in North Wales, somewhere renowned for its wet weather, most of the time it does not rain all day continuously. That is when the Kinetic Plus comes in.
It’s fantastic when paired up with a thermal or a thin fleece when walking or scrambling. It’s so breathable it’s like wearing a really comfy softshell, not a waterproof – I hardly need to alter my layers in a whole day out as I don’t get sweaty, and if it rains I am fine. I can handle wearing thin layers underneath, as the jacket provides excellent protection from the wind. This means that I have great freedom of movement. The only thing I might do is put on something like the Inferno Shield over the top if I get chilly at lunch time.
When the heavy rain is set to arrive at some point during the day, I still start off wearing the Kinetic Plus. As it is so breathable, when it really does start to pour down, and I get my heavy duty waterproof out there is no need to take the Kinetic Plus off. It then becomes another thin layer underneath the heavier waterproof. It would feel uncomfortable and cumbersome to do this with most waterproofs, but the Kinetic Plus is no ordinary waterproof. It is so thin, light and supple feeling it’s as comfortable as any thin fleece or thermal.
It has a simple, uncluttered design with minimal features. This helps to keep the weight down, but it also adds to the comfort of the jacket. Remember – this jacket does not feel like a waterproof. The hood has a small peak and slight gathering around the face that makes it perform well on breezy days and helps keep the rain out of your face. There are two large pockets with tags on the zips which make them easy to use when wearing gloves. The cuffs have also been well thought out for year round use as they are the perfect width for fitting nicely over medium thickness gloves.
When I first saw this jacket, I had no idea just how versatile it was going to be. I have used it extensively, walking, scrambling and ski touring. I never realised it was possible for a hardshell to perform so much like a softshell, and a lightweight, comfy one at that! Normally with outdoor clothing, there is at least something small that I would change, but I think the team at Rab have got it spot on with the Kinetic Plus.