Rab Women’s Flashpoint – Performance
When the first Flashpoint launched a year or so back, Rab described it as ‘an alpine retreat jacket’, something to throw on and run away in when the weather crapped out in the mountains. In reality though, it’s more versatile than that and we’ve used the original men’s jacket for walking, running and cycling as well.
The new women’s-specific version earned Review Crew plaudits for being ‘super lightweight and soft’ in feel. That makes it a little disconcerting if you prefer a more robust feel to your waterproofs, but but at 150 grammes on our digital scale, it’s something you can throw in your pack and forget about until it’s needed.
‘Reaching up for that overhang in the jacket showed there were no restrictions on movement at all’
Outdoors instructor Caroline loved it for just this reason. She prefers to use a soft-shell most of the time, but needs a reliably waterproof back-up in case things get properly wet. We just about managed to get it back from her…
Cut is a good combination of trim-fitted, female-friendliness and non-restrictive, alpine savvy and went down well with all our testers. There’s plenty of hip room at the adjustable hem, no tightness around the chest or shoulders and the climbing-friendly Rab sleeves fitted everyone fine. It’s also reasonably long, something that’s not always the case with lightweight shells.
The minimalist Velcro cuff fasteners meant they stayed in place too, though it seemed odd that the loop part of the strip was in two parts rather than a continuous one. They also fit fine over gloves.
‘I quite liked the colour, a sort of burnt umber but found the pink zip detail combination a little startling’
Waterproofing is good, despite the thin, almost translucent fabric, and it also scores well for breathability making it comfortable on the move. One point that came up was that thin jacket simply don’t feel as ‘warm’ as thicker alternatives, particularly when the outside surface gets damp.
Last but not least, the hood is helmet compatible and works reasonably well with a climbing lid, though best with lower profile ones. Worn over a bare head or beanie, it’s a little compromised, though still moves with the head. Two of our three testers found that the top-cord adjuster sat uncomfortably over their ears, the third found it just fine. We’d definitely try before buying as it seems to come down to ear position.