**Best for staying dry whilst moving fast in the mountains**
I was recently approached by Rab asking if I would take one of their new Flashpoint waterproofs up the Scottish mountains for a wee test. Here’s my findings. 5 is the maximum rating I’ll give in each category. Please note, I’ve tested this from a hill/mountain ‘running’ POV, it’s an incredibly versatile jacket and just as suited to climbing, hiking as well as the use I found for it.
Testing** – Used this jacket now for over a month. I’ve worn it just as a protection from wind, on walks, up the mountains in adverse weather and everything in between. It was tested for Waterproofness during a 5 hour mountain run in Lochaber, Scotland. The weather was windy and wet! 40mph gusts and pile driving rain for hours.
Categories: Appearance/fit – Material – Waterproofness – Cost
Appearance/fit – 4
The first impression of any item your going to spend your pennies on will always be appearance. This jacket looks great, it feels great to wear. The fit is active, but not so much so that there isn’t any room. I am a small in everything and I found this a little on the bigger side, still fitted great and actually, it means I can wear it over a pack which is a big plus. I use Salomon slab vests. The colour is rad and it looks like it’s made from very good stuff! I’ve only not given this a 5 because if the jacket was made purely for the hill runner there are a couple of things I’d change. I’d have thumb holes on the sleeves and I’d have a smaller hood. There’s lots of cords to rectify that but I did find I have to pull them tight to make sure it didn’t fall down.
Material – 5
The material is possibly one of the things I love most about this jacket. It’s a different kind of material from any other waterproof I’ve owned or used. It’s very light in feel and weight. I initially did think, I wonder if that will keep me dry – it did (see description of weather conditions during testing). The 3L Pertex Shield fabric is incredible and you can tell a lot of effort has went into making this a solid, lightweight waterproof. All the seams are very well taped and the YKK aqua guard zips work amazingly. The jacket is unbelievably lightweight and it’s down the a small fist size when packed.
Waterproofness – 5
Its really hard to come by a jacket that truly keeps you waterproof, certainly I’ve found. This is exactly that though. I spent 5 hours out and at least 4 of that was proper rain, gusting winds of 40mph. I was completely dry when I got back to the car and removed the jacket. My underlayer was a bit moist, but that was of the sweat variety, not the, just been pelting with rain for 4 hours variety. Genuinely, a top waterproof. It’s not immensely breathable, so if you sweat a lot, you’re gonna be slightly wet. No jacket that’s breathable will be completely waterproof so you have to think about that when deciding which waterproof to buy – if you want to be completely shielded from rain and wind, this jacket will do that.
Cost – 3
It’s pricey! I think it all depends on how much you value being dry and ultimately your intended use. As a runner in the hills, being completely dry isn’t a necessity, being warm whilst wet is. I think given the quality in materials and the brilliant protection from adverse weather conditions this is worth the money. You’ll buy 2/3 waterproofs at half the cost looking for 1 that is like this anyway. Rab retail the jacket at £230.