Review – Rab Exodus Jacket

The Exodus and me up on the Peak District moors
I’ve come to learn the Exodus is a tough beast – it wants you to play and be rough all the while protecting you from the elements we encounter up on high ground.

New from Rab this winter is their fully-featured soft shell jacket the Exodus – a non-membrane top aimed at those into aerobic activities while out playing in the hills.

Lugging a cumbersome 100litre rucksack about on the snow covered moors and gritstone edges of the Peak District last weekend, the jacket proved to be very breathable – as with every other trip.
Now, I’m the sort of chap who radiates a helluva lot of heat – I sweat considerably in the summer (gross I know but healthy!) and get cold easily in the winter. Bearing this in mind I was careful to note how breathable this jacket really would be. It has no membrane like most soft shell jackets available – so is it all the better for it?
Storm flaps inside the zips
Yes and no.
The fabric is of medium weight, double-weaved, treated with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) and gives reasonable stretch – the latter being a God send for the likes of scrambling and perhaps climbing. But I found myself getting quite chilly at times. 
Though the fabric keeps most breezes at bay, if a full on chilly wind is doing it’s dance around you – I found I could detect the cold breaking through and in turn giving me the odd shiver – and I felt this despite the fact I was hot under the collar racing up the odd hill.
On the flip side, I’ve yet to come across any damp or condensation and that’s with the zip-pits fully closed. Even with a fleece and baselayer on underneath – there was no noticeable damp.
So, for stretch and breathability the fabric gets full marks. I was impressed and felt comfortable – it’s just that the odd chilly breeze can penetrate the jacket from time to time. This may not be of too much concern for those whose metabolic rate differs from mine, or perhaps is made of sterner stuff in lower temps. For full on aerobic activity it’s likely a blessing for many.
You get two hand warmer pockets which happily eat up Ordnance Survey maps and are positioned carefully to be above any hip belt you may have strapped around you if backpacking for example. The YKK zips don’t snag, grip well with gloves and have storm flaps on the inside to keep out rain.
An adjustable hem, articulated sleeves, velcor cuffs complement the rest of the jacket along with a fantastic featured hood.
Fully featured hood
You get a full on wired and stiffened peak which is completely adjustable and turns well to whichever way you are looking. In fact, the hood alone is a big selling point of the jacket – top drawer stuff from Rab and unusual for a soft shell jacket in it’s price range (£100 RRP).
I have to admit it doesn’t roll up too easy for me and as a consequence I leave it hanging loose giving the impression I’m wearing a hoody top.
So, how durable has the jacket proved to be so far and how weather resistant?
Rab get top marks again on this front.
Velcro adjustable cuffs
I may have my quibbles with wind resistance but when it comes to shedding snow or rain it excels. The performance of the jacket on this front deals with such elements better than most budget waterproof jackets and rivals some of the ‘bigger’ brands, too!. Water beads off it despite being used and abused for several weeks. It reminds me of the ‘Epic’ fabric used in the likes of Alpkit’s Jeanius jeans. You’d almost think it was waterproof (which it isn’t) despite any dirt or sweat accumulation.
The Exodus jacket has been scraped (sometimes deliberately) on rocks, used as a seat, blanket, pillow and more. I’ve laid on it on rocky, dirty ground as insulation while relaxing on wild camps – and thus far the fabric has not torn, sheds dirt and suffered no loss in performance. It’s still going strong despite not having been cleaned since first use.
I’ve come to learn the Exodus is a tough beast – it wants you to play and be rough all the while protecting you from the elements we encounter up on high ground.
It’s definitely a jacket you can wear from the off on any hike and not bother with a waterproof (unless it’s hammering it down for hours on end of course). You’ll be comfortable, movement is good thanks to the cut and stretch, highly breathable and comes with many top end features.
Value for money? Certainly. I’ve ditched my other soft shell jackets as a consequence but still take a lightweight fleece for a little extra warmth from time to time.
We’ve bonded
Whereas I immediately fell in love with the Rab Infinity down jacket and am still in a happy relationship – the Exodus has proved to be a slow burner. It’s not as attractive – all it’s beauty comes from within. As time has gone by we’ve bonded and though we may have our squabbles now and again – we’ve come out stronger and better for it.
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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice one, that looks very much like the older of my 2 baltoro guides, both of which have had a hammering over the years, the oldest is a plain black one that was getting used for evertying so i ended up buying the newer version in blue and black as i couldnt get the red, last year to use purely for winter hiking and then kep the old one for every day use

    they are totally bomb proof and surprisingly weather resistant, the newer one is possibly a bit more technical and warmer as its got some thicker fleecy bits inside.

    if this is anything like either of those two they are onto a winner!

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  2. Mac E says:

    I think my metabolism is like yours Terry, not sure if I mentioned it on here before but in summer wearing short sleeves my forearms will be wet. I find softshell isn't warm enough on it's own when I stop or if the temp drops.

    The Exodus looks to have some good features, I like the pockets and the hood looks protective. How do you find it when the drawcords are tightened, I've found in the past that as the fabric on softshells can be a bit stiff/thick that they can be a bit lumpy (for want of a better word)

    Richard

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  3. terrybnd says:

    @Andy – Oh aye, it's tough 'un. I've been well impressed on that front.

    @Mac E – Fantastic features on this jacket and the hood is spot on. Will take a helmet, too – volume adjuster at the rear will keep things snug to the head.

    As for 'lumpy', to be fair it's no better or worst than other soft shell jackets, Mac. It's better in that there's no membrane but the fabric is still rigid-ish. BUT it's very stretchy. So, once on you don't feel restricted – like you're wrapped in 10 layers etc.

    I've had worst jackets for more money. I feel very lucky to be testing the jacket. Shame it will have to go back in the coming months 😦

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  4. Jhonne says:

    Great post! It was really a nice and durable jacket.

    My feet have several thousand meetings scheduled with the dirt on a trail not far from here.  Who am I to keep them waiting?  Time to run.  ~Jeb Dickerson, Mountain Hardwear

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  5. terrybnd says:

    Hi and thanks! 🙂

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  6. Chris Sumner says:

    Well done Terry Great reveview

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  7. terrybnd says:

    Thanks Chris 🙂

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  8. Gary Edwards says:

    Hi Terry
    Great review, do you think it would work as a mid layer with a lightweight shell over the top, like a Marmot SuperMica, when the rain got a bit heavier.
    Thanks
    Gary

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  9. terrybnd says:

    Hi Gary –

    It could work as a mid-layer but I doubt it be very comfortable. You'd need the shell to be that bit bigger I say to make it work.

    The Exodus is more of an all rounder, you see. It covers most bases up until heavy downpours.

    Hope that helps

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  10. ovidiuplayer says:

    i am watching from Romania,and you have great adventure there in England,glad i watch your videous.You can find me on ovidiuimage.blogspot.com

    Like

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