Rab Kinetic Ultra Waterproof Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Waterproof Jackets

Rab Kinetic Ultra Waterproof Jacket | Review

A highly breathable, waterproof and windproof running jacket fit for the toughest mountain conditions

Why We Chose the Rab Kinetic Ultra Waterproof Jacket: windproof, breathable, performance

The Kinetic Ultra is part of Rab’s Skyline Collection, kit crafted for the no-compromise-on-protection yet lightweight requirements of mountain running. This is a running jacket that has been designed to excel in foul weather, intended for wear when the conditions look bleak from the outset which, let’s face it, is a common occurrence high in the hills. If you’re serious about getting out and putting in the miles no matter what the Mountain Weather Information Service have to say on the matter, then the Kinetic Ultra is for you.

Who is the Rab Kinetic Ultra Waterproof Jacket For?

As part of the Skyline Collection, the Kinetic Ultra is aimed primarily at trail runners, though its innovative design features and specifications make it an attractive proposition to fast hikers too. It’s heavier and pricier than the Skyline’s Phantom Pull-On jacket, though the Kinetic Ultra is much more fully featured, as well as being stronger in the breathability stakes. In essence, you’d pack the Phantom for a run just in case it rained, you’d take the Kinetic Ultra because you expect it to rain.

Enhanced breathability also equates to greater comfort which, coupled with features like the zippered sleeve pocket, makes the Kinetic Ultra desirable to fast and light hikers and trekkers. However, the close-fitting, cap-style hood is too small for a helmet, meaning the jacket is unsuitable for climbers, mountaineers, and cyclists.


The jacket features Rab’s proprietary, highly breathable yet waterproof 3-layer fabric, which is also one of the brand’s most windproof materials too. Windproof qualities are often overlooked when it comes to considering what is desirable in a hard shell, yet there are few more essential attributes in the world of mountain running.

In the event of becoming demobilised a twisted ankle or, worse, suffering a benightment, the effects of windchill can eventually lead to hypothermia. The Kinetic Ultra provides a good level of protection against this, giving you time to arrange a rescue, while the jacket’s reflective branding makes it easily visible.

Let’s get back to the fabric, which has the feel of a soft shell in terms of comfort and stretch, restricting movement less than a designated hiking waterproof. The outer and inner layers are woven from a 100% recycled polyester, while the meat in this 3-layer sandwich is a hydrophilic polyurethane coating, which provides the waterproofing. The front zipper is reinforced by storm flaps to ensure there are no weaknesses for the drink to exploit.


For those seemingly never ending, sweaty ascents, the Kinetic Ultra boasts rear yolk ventilation holes to keep ventilation going and regulate airflow. Many of the finer details have been well thought through, such as the elasticated wrist cuffs that allow you to easily check your watch and the oversized panel on the back of the cuff that assists water runoff. The hood takes inspiration from running caps and is close fitting and fully adjustable thanks to its rear cinch. Unlike many hard shell hoods, it moves with your head as you bound along the trails, giving a more comfortable fit. When not required, it rolls away and is secured by an elasticated clip.

This is also jacket with a trick, or rather a water-resistant pocket, up its sleeve for keeping things like energy gels or keys in an easily accessible location.

Watch our editor Will testing the Kinetic Ultra on a run across An Teallach’s infamous mountain ridge…

Rab Kinetic Ultra

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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