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GEAR TEST: Rab Xenair Alpine Jacket

Versatile insulation for the cooler days

The Xenair has been with me on many a trip since trying it out. Yorkshire Dales, Dartmoor and the Peak district and it has been the jacket I pull on over any other when any chill has been in the air.

RAB’s Xenair Alpine jacket is like most RAB products jammed with tech, looks modest and performs. First off, they are using Pertex Quantum Air fabric which translates to superlight, super breathable and water resistant. Dual that with some Primaloft Gold Active+ insulation and you’ve got yourself a sweet insulating jacket you can take out for a lot of different activities. The jacket is body mapped allowing your sweaty bits to breathe easier with 80gsm fabric (Grams per Square Metre) and putting a better barrier 100gsm fabric where you need it.

I layered this up with a baselayer and lightweight mid-layer and wore it pretty much a whole weekend with a 40litre pack strapped over it in minus temperatures, snow, and freezing winds. Prepared further with a waterproof in my bag just in case which at times even if not raining could help you contain more hot air to add to your warmth if you need it. Worn through nearly 3000 feet of elevation it moved with me extremely well and I felt no restriction at any point.

You can cram this jacket into a stuff sack too if you want to save space and are looking at it taking up around 3.5 litres of space which you can reduce a bit more with a compression sack.

It has 2 hand pockets spaced plenty above the hem to allow for a hip belt and a decent size chest pocket. Its hood is elasticated and adjustable from the back which I found to be perfect for making it sit just right across your forehead and for increased comfort, snug on the turn up of my beanie. Snug fitting cuffs and insulation behind the zip protects you that bit more and it can also be adjusted from both sides of the waist to create your own microenvironment.

Dear RAB, please replace the lower zip with a locking zipper to stop this riding up whilst in use. This is my only small observation on an otherwise fantastic jacket.

Welcome to my outdoor wardrobe Xenair!

#gearguypaul

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