Alex from our Exeter store let us know her thoughts on this 3 layer waterproof.
The jolly sunshine coloured piece for when the rain blocks out the real thing – The Rab Arc Eco:
This jacket really is a “do it all” piece that I believe is a necessity in every outdoors lover’s wardrobe!
Although the Dartmoor crossing trip was its official “try out” I couldn’t help but have a few little day trips with it first!
And can now reliably say that this packable waterproof shell is perfect for everything from multi-day hikes on the moor, stuffing in the frame bag for a bike trip or dashing out in the rain to pick up some bread.
My first little day trip was Lydford Gorge where I stuffed it into the front pocket of my pack as a last minute thought. When we arrived I was grateful I had!
While exploring the waterfalls, rambling under dripping rocks or cutting through overgrown hedges this jacket was a lovely little security net that allowed me to crack on without needing to take up half of my bag or being sweaty like a heavier bomb proof winter jacket would have been in the sunshine.
The small pack size paired with a regular fit that is loose enough to be able to layer, yet fitted enough not to flap like a parachute in the wind mean that I am sure to be using this jacket all year long for many more adventures.
Since the jacket is one of the most colourful pieces I own it’s quickly became a firm favourite and so has become a go to for being stuffed into a bag for anytime I leave the house. It was only a matter of time before it ended up on a ride.
While the jacket doesn’t have a specific bike style fit, the helmet compatible hood still make it a nice piece for a ride into town and the bright colour makes me feel visible. The hood features multiple adjustment points so I was able to keep my hair dry whether under a helmet or not.
The peaked brim means that my bike glasses remain rain free, or is equally useful to prevent mascara smudges when the rain comes in on a morning dash to work. The anti-snag tab on the hood was reassuring on sketchier downhills where I’m often scared I’ll be yanked off the bike by a branch to the hood!
The simple Velcro feature means you get far less flapping about, reducing the noise and constant feeling of being tapped on the back that I’ve experienced with other jackets.
Dartmoor – The True Test
The Dartmoor trip had us all amazed by brilliant sunshine and glorious warm weather! I had never expected to be so grateful for a typical grey, misty and rainy Dartmoor morning but when our third day delivered rain and hail I was so excited to test out the jacket in proper Dartmoor conditions.
I must admit that being used to the stretchy kinetic jackets I was worried about the jacket riding up as I snuck snacks out of the top pocket of my pack mid shower. Rab had obviously thought of this too, and the articulated arms and drawstring hem meant I could enjoy all the snacks without the jacket riding up. A feature that was also beneficial on scrambles, climbing higher stiles or moral lifting dancing and still keep a dry midriff!
On the day trip to Lydford Gorge it had taken a little getting used to the higher helmet compatible style pockets. But once on Dartmoor and with the hip straps on the bigger pack, I was able to utilise the higher positioning and the roomy pockets allowed loads of space to stuff a thin mid layer, phone and all of the wrappers of the many snacks I consumed.
The YKK Aquaguard zips enabled me to put the phone and dry clothes in these pockets with confidence that they would still be dry post downpour! The same zips are also used on the pit zips so you don’t end up with wet under arms during the rain but are able to let out any excess heat in the dry moments without having to take a full layer off. Something I enjoyed on the uphill when I knew I’d be wanting the wind proofing on the downhill minutes later.
The fabric of the jacket is 50d 100% recycled Pertex Shield Revolve, this helps keep the jacket packable and lightweight. However, I did notice that after a long day in the rain it doesn’t bead as it did at the start.
The downside of this isn’t that I got wet, as I still had 3 layers of Pertex shield between me and the rain so was still dry, but it did make the jacket drying out time slightly longer. A good shake and being thrown over the back of a chair for the train journey home was long enough to sort this out though. Bearing in mind that this jacket isn’t made to be a winter heavyweight it seemed like a small price to pay when paired up with the weight and packability that the fabric allows.
The Green Bit
Made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester, Pertex Shield Revolve is made from a polyester face, polyester membrane and polyester backer. This monopolymer, or single type of material, not only has a reduced impact during production, but it also paves the way to be recycled again at the end of its life. Check out Rabs Net Zero Plan here