I already have the Rab Cioch jacket which is very similar apart from the hood.
I admit that i have never been a big fan of Soft shells for backpacking as they are just to big and bulky and most of the time they are in the pack and not worn.
But a comment from Gibson, AKA Afootinthehills, about the Mountain Equipment Astron had me scurrying into Manchester to have a look at one for my pending trip to New Zealand.
Mountain Equipment Astron.Just as luck would have it. Nobody in Manchester had one in stock so apart from taking the odd mm off my Inov-8’s, tramping around the streets, i came away empty handed.
But what i did notice and was very tempted by was the Rab Boreas pull on. Completely different spec to the Astron but i liked it.
The Rab Boreas Pull OnThe next week after reading some very good reviews on it, i went back and purchased one. So i have been wearing it in and i like it very much. Ideal for what i want for this trip.
The Boreas is not a jacket, it is not waterproof and has no DWR finish. However that can be resolved somewhat with a washing in Nikwax. (To be reviewed later).
Rab market this as a Mid Layer for both warm and cold conditions and has good sun block qualities and good wind resistance.
I think, conditions depending of course, that you could wear this in all 3 guises, base layer, mid or outer as it breathes very well even directly next to the skin.
The top is lightweight at 250gr for this medium size.
It’s very stretchy, 86% Polyamide and 14% Spandex. It has a Lycra feel.
The cut is generous rather than athletic.
The arm length is longer than std and ideal for the walker/climber or visa versa where quite a bit of stretching is called for. It’s also easy to roll the sleeves up with the material being so stretchy. It doesn’t have thumb loops.
The 2 zips are YKK, the main central zip being a good length for ventilation and the other closing a small chest pocket. There is no depth to this pocket but width wise it is reasonable, going across to the sleeve seam. The top will pack away into this pocket when not needed.
All the seams are flatlock.
The hood is close fitting low profile with the zip coming well up the chin. Surrounding the collar area is a soft fleecy material that feels really nice when it’s fully zipped up.
The tail length is slightly longer, so it should stay in place when worn with a hip belt or harness.
So far i am very pleased with it, it has become my must wear item this last couple of weeks. I am certainly going to enjoy it in the warmer climate down under.
To complement this top i purchased a pair of Rohan Fuzion trousers. 100% Polyamide. 385gr weight and only 3 hours drying time. I have not had time to do a first review as yet. (To come later).