Our Rab Veil 2 Vest Review explores a high performance vest from a mountain clothing and equipment industry giant. We really hope you find it useful.
Rab need no introduction. From their cottage industry beginnings as a provider of the highest quality down products to their current broad range, they have been leading the clothing and equipment industry for many decades. Their sleeping bags and clothing have been used on the highest mountains and at the poles, but you are just as likely to see their garments on a gritstone crag or travelling the world.
Their focus remains products for mountain adventurers, but as well as mountaineering and climbing clothing their range now also includes products for trail runners, mountain biking, leisure and travel. They still have a focus on down products and clothing, but they also now produce rucksacks, sleeping mats and even a selection of tents. They brand themselves as ‘The Mountain People’ and they certainly cater for type of mountain adventure.
We have been proud to work with Rab for many years and they have generously supported our environmental activities with time, personnel and resources. We have also enjoyed reviewing a selection of their products and we’ve added links to a selection at the bottom of this review. Most recently, we’ve enjoyed testing some products from their trail running focussed Skyline range. You can find a link to these reviews at the bottom of this review.
With all that in mind, Rab have recently added a range of trail running focussed packs to their range. There is the largest capacity Veil 6 here and Veil 1 litre belt pack here. The focus of this review is the Veil 2 running vest. Please read on to find out more and we really hope you find it useful.
The main body of the Veil 2 is constructed from what Rab describe as a Multi-Directional Mono Mesh chassis. Mono Mesh offers a lightweight, hydrophobic and breathable non stretch frame around the back, shoulders and front of the vest. Then, stretch panels at each side offer support and a comfortable fit. The various pockets are also made from stretch fabrics. The product is fluorocarbon free. This includes the fabrics, but even in all the small details like the zips and threads.
The Veil 2 is all about efficient and stable storage. On the front there are 2 upper flat stretch pockets and 2 lower vest front stretch stash pockets. 2 further sleeves house the included 500ml soft flasks and in front of this there are 2 YKK concealed stretch mesh pockets with ultralight zip pulls. At the back there is a further dual access stretch stash pocket. bungee pole holders sit on either side to offer on the go storage.
The front closes with an adjustable and customisable sternum fit system. There is an enclosed key clip and emergency whistle in an upper front stretch pocket. Silicone print on the lower hem helps to secure the vest when moving over challenging ground. Finally, reflective details on front and rear aid night time safety.
The Veil 2 combines the non stretch multi-directional Mono Mesh chassis with stretch panels at either side. This combination really works. The Mono Mesh offers support across the main loading bearing elements of the vest while the stretch panels keep it snugged up around the chest. It ensures a comfortable and yet stable carry.
All the storage is made from stretch mesh. This ensures items are held securely while allowing good breathability and comfortable load carrying. The fabrics all link together to do their jobs with efficiency.
There are going to be times when you need more capacity and times where 2 litres is too much, but for the type of runs I do this size really hits a sweet spot. Capacity to carry liquid, some food, navigation equipment, spare clothing and items of emergency equipment are the essentials. I’ll also want space for my phone and keys. For mid distance runs I can usually fit this into a pack of this size. Then, I need this equipment to be easily available and stored efficiently. With all that in mind, it is obvious the Veil 2 has been designed by runners. They have the various storage options dialled in superbly.
Starting at the front, there are easily access pouches for 2 included 500ml Hydropak Softflasks. These can be accessed when running and are held securely in the elasticated sleeves. If extra security is needed, an elasticated keeper loop can be hooked over the top of each flask to secure them. This is a tried and tested system used on many vests and it works superbly.
In front of each soft flask there are zipped elasticated pockets ideal for small items such as a compass, energy bars or a phone. The left hand pocket also includes an inner elasticated sleeve that will further help keep items like a phone secure.
The sleeves that make up these front panels them also form sleeves that open behind and drop down to lower hem of the vest. These make really handy elasticated sleeves that can house items like gloves, head torches or even a low bulk windshell. These sleeves aren’t locked tight, but items are held snugly and we’ve had no problem with them falling out.
Lastly, there are two small elasticated pockets that sit above the hydration sleeves. They hold items by one side of the stretchy sleeve overlapping the other. So, although not completely locked in, these hold items like energy gels or compasses really well. The left hand sleeve included a clip and small emergency whistle inside. At either side of the front panel there are also elastics to hold poles.
Across the back of the vest there is a large elasticated sleeve. This has access points from the left or right hand side. This pocket is the go to pack for larger items or spare clothing. Items stored in here are held by the elastication of the fabric and the fact that the pocket sits flush against the body when worn. This traps the items efficiently. Finally, the shape of the pocket means that items have to pull to the side and down to release them. The big advantage of this is that some items can be removed while wearing the vest. This makes this sleeves perfect for on the go access to items like a jacket.
In practice, all the storage options work exactly as designed and the vest is a joy to use. You can reach the items you need on the go and the items you need holding securely are held securely. It is an intelligent design and Rab have it absolutely spot on.
Comfort & Stability
Of course, a running vest might be great to storing things and yet perform really poorly on the trails. How does the Veil 2 stack up? Rab offer the Veil 2 in three sizes and a sizing chart is offered on their website. This allows you to get a good initial fit. Then, further adjustment comes from the elasticated fabric on the side panels and the elasticated rear hem. Rab have also included rubberised grippy dots to this hem which helps prevents the vest from riding up while in use.
When you pull the vest on you will notice the vest sits quite high. This allows good stability when moving over challenging ground. Then, the front closes with 2 hooks that links the 2 halves of the vest via lengths of shock cord. These cords allows micro adjustment of the tightness across the front. It also allows for quick and simple on and off. Rab have also used adjusters that lock at any tightness you prefer. This is a really clever design.
Shell Layer Integration
In challenging weather we usually prefer to wear a top over our vests. This is easy with the Veil 2. The low profile shape and slippy materials allow a layer to pulled over the top efficiently. Then, if you decide to take the top off it can easily be stuffed into the elasticated rear sleeve while still on the go.
Rab are leading the way in sustainable manufacture. Over recent years they have implemented many steps that are driving the industry towards a more sustainable future. There is far too much to detail in this Rab Veil 2 Vest Review and we’d really ask that you have a browse on their website here. In the case of the Veil 2, all the fabric elements of the Veil 2 are fluorocarbon free.
Rab have included various sections of reflective material around the Veil 2. There are reflective logos and a strip of reflective material that sits across the back. I also like that Rab have added an emergency whistle, although there is definitely a limit to the volume of tiny whistles when compared to a full size whistle.
The Veil 2 weighs 0.27kg with flasks included or 0.19kg without the flasks (for size medium). It is available in 3 sizes (S:34-37″ M:37-40″ L:40-44″) and costs £115. It is available in Gargoyle/Graphene colour option.
Our Rab Veil 2 Vest Review reveals a great low volume option that will suit so many runners for mid distance adventures. Every detail is really carefully considered and, as a result, everything integrates well and performs superbly. This product has clearly been designed by people who use the products and know what exactly what works. It is very difficult to consider how the vest could be improved.
If you are a runner needing to carry the trail essentials with comfort and security, we’d really recommend giving the Veil 2 a look. Full details are available on the Rab website here.
Alongside this Rab Veil 2 Vest review, we have tested a wide range of Rab products and they can be found in the review section of our blog here. Of particular interest may be our reviews of other Skyline products. Our review of the Rab Kinetic Ultra Jacket is here and the Windveil Pull-On is here.