The Rab Kinetic is a hard shell jacket that offers full features at a minimal weight. Much like it's slightly lighter, but less featured sibling, the Pulse, the Kinetic is made of Pertex Shield Plus. Shield Plus is a 2.5 layer polyurethane coated fabric much like those offered on most other hard shells in this class. Compared to the previous Pertex Shield, the new Plus fabric has a much better feel, almost tissue paper-like. I much prefer the feel of the new Plus on my bare skin over the more trash bag-like feel of the previous Shield.
The author wearing the Kinetic as viewed from the front and side
Just like the Pulse, the Kinetic offers a full zipper (YKK Aquaguard) backed by an internal storm flap, a roll down helmet compatible hood, and a single exit hem drawcord. The Kinetic, also like the Pulse, comes in a medium cut, and that is where the similarities end. The Kinetic weighs in at one ounce more than the Pulse, and that extra ounce comes from the addition of a stiffened brim, two mesh-back hand pockets in place of the single chest pocket, and adjustable velcro closures on the wrists in place of the elastic. Undoubtedly those changes will be well worth the extra weight to some and not worth the bother to others.
The Kinetic has a helmet compatible hood that includes a foam stiffened brim, 3-way adjustability, and can be rolled away when not in use.
I have been using the Kinetic both on the trail and in town for the past couple of months and have found the performance quite favorable. Here in the Southeast, I find it practically impossible to hike with any hard shell during the warmer seasons. With our ridiculously high humidity I always find myself wet, either from my own perspiration or simply the rain itself, so unless hypothermia is a risk I usually choose the rain. With that said, if you're looking for a lightweight shell capable of dealing with foul conditions the Kinetic is an excellent piece of gear.
The Kinetic includes two mesh-backed zippered pockets with the left doubling as a stuff sack.
|Year/Model||2012 Rab Kinetic|
|Style||2.5 L hard shell jacket|
|Weight||Manufacturer Specified: 8 oz (227 g) in men's L
BPL Measured: 7.8 oz (221 g) in men's S
|Features||YKK Aquaguard full zipper with storm flap, stiffened roll down helmet compatible hood,
two zippered mesh-backed hand pockets, single exit drawcord hem, velcro adjustable wrist
closure, left pocket doubles as stuff sack