Our Rab Windveil Pull-On Jacket Review details a garment from Rab’s extensive trail running collection. We really hope you find it useful.
Rab has a prestigious history. From the companies early days where founder Rab Carrington started sewing up sleeping bags to sell to discerning Alpinists to their current extensive range. They are known as The Mountain People and that’s still at the core of their ethos. They are also industry leaders in sustainability.
In recent years they have expanded their range to incorporate products for mountain running. This is a great fit for a mountain focused brand and ties in well with the explosion in popularity of mountain and trail running. We were keen to test some garments from the range and first up is Paul’s Rab Windveil Pull-On Jacket review. Please read on to find out more.
Rab Skyline Collection
The reality of mountain running, particularly in the UK context, is that you need to be prepared for all weathers. Conditions can change quickly and will often vary significantly over the course of a run. At the same time you don’t want to have to carry too much or to keep stopping to alter layers.
Versatile garments are key and the item I tend to use more than any other is a wind shirt. It may be a dry day for a run, but for UK runners in particular the chance of regularly facing the chilling effects of wind are very high. So, it was good timing when Rab asked me to try one of their Windveil Pull-On Jacket’s. Especially as it arrived as we were also heading into the windier and more chilly late summer and autumn months.
The Windveil is part of Rab’s Skyline Collection. This offers a broad range of mountain running products designed to offer lightweight and dependable performance in all conditions. The range has hardshell and insulated garments alongside tights, base and mid layers. There is also a range of running vests, back packs and waist packs.
Wind Resistance & Breathability
For this Rab Windveil Pull-On Jacket Review, let’s start with the key features. A windproof top for running needs to combine wind resistance and breathability. To achieve this Rab combine Pertex Quantum Air with Motiv Aero Mesh.
Pertex Quantum Air is a 20 denier nylon offering windproof breathable protection and incorporates a PFC free DWR (durable water repellant) coating. This is combined with strategically placed panels of stretchy Motif Aero single jersey mesh fabric with odour control treatment. The Quantum fabric weighs 47 gsm (grams per square metre) and the Aero weighs 85 gsm.
Rab use body mapping to ensure the fabrics are best placed to be effective. This means Quantum Air covers the front, over the shoulders, the lower back and most of the sleeves. Aero Mesh is used across a section of the back and on the under arms.
The Windveil is designed so that a running vest can sit over or under the top. To allow a vest to be worn underneath the fit is Rab’s regular fit which allows a little more room. The stretch nature of Aero Mesh also offers some room for expansion.
A long front zip runs from collar to well down the chest. This also features a locking zip puller so the zip will stay put at any desired length. There is also a small popper tab inside the zip that sits half way down. This is a really clever feature. You can keep the front panels from flapping around but still have the zipper fully open for ventilation.
The cuffs are a simple elasticated design. This allows the sleeves to be slid up (depending on the size of your forearms) and allows easy access to a sports watch. The sleeves are also designed to be long enough to pull down over the hands for weather protection. Of course, how well this works for you will depend on your arm length. There is also an adjustable elasticated hem.
The Windveil has a zipped rear pocket that sits on the lower right hand side. This is large enough to store keys or gels, but won’t fit a smartphone (tested with an iPhone 13 Pro). The pocket also serves as a storage bag for the jacket. An interior hang loop inside the pocket allows it to be clipped onto things. Finally, there are reflective logos on the front and rear for night time visibility.
Rab make the Windveil in 3 colours. There is the Aspen Green/Zest combo which is shown in this review. There’s a dark grey/black version called Ebony/Graphene and an orangey red colour called Firecracker. It weighs 115 grams (see photo below) for a size men’s medium and the RRP is £80.
As already mentioned, a windproof layer is often an essential item for trail running in the UK. Weather conditions can vary considerably over the course of a run and chilly winds are likely at any time. So, if you are packing one, what sets the Windveil apart from other options out there?
Firstly, although it maybe isn’t a defining consideration for a practical running garment, the Windveil is a great looking top. The Aspen Green and Zest colour combination on the test top works really well and highlights the contrast between the Quantum Air and Aero Mesh panels. It is a simple garment and yet simple also means attractive.
How about the fit? For me (with a slim to normal build and 38” chest) the size medium is a perfect size. It has a roomy and yet streamlined fit. I am 5’8” tall and the length is on the right side of generous. For taller runners it should still have plenty of length. The sleeves certainly have enough length to offer hand protection for me, although this again will be influenced by arm length.
Collar & Zip Design
The top has a simple collar design, but with the zip pulled up fully it offers a protective snug fit around the neck. In fact, talking of the zip, this is such an integral part of the Windveil for lots of reasons. It offers great ventilation when running hard and yet can be zipped up quickly when needed.
The long length opening allows easy on and off and also gives the option for it to be pulled down and over the shoulders while on the move. This is great if you want to keep it tied up around the waist when not in use.
Running Vest Compatible
The fit of the Windveil allows it to be used with a running vest underneath. I have tested this with an Osprey Duro 6 and a Patagonia Slope Runner vest. It is a snug fit with a 6 litre capacity vest like the Duro 6 when it is fully loaded, but it work. The Slope Runner is a little less bulky and fits better. So, there is no problem using a vest underneath, but you will just need to consider what type of vest works best for you.
Quantum Air Fabric
The Quantum Air fabric certainly offers excellent wind resistance whilst also proving very breathable. I have also used the Windveil in some showery and damp conditions and it has protected me well. The DWR coating helps as water tends to bead up well on the surface. This fabric isn’t going to fend off any sort of heavy rain, but it is a windproof after all.
Aero Mesh Panels
The way Rab have incorporated the Aero Mesh panels is also very well considered. You get protection when running into wind and yet the mesh’s high breathability keeps you comfortable. I have felt the wind whipping through the top a few times when the wind has been coming at me from the back or side. That’s got to be an inevitable compromise for the excellent breathability though.
Odour Control Treatment
In use I really haven’t been able to tell that there is an odour control treatment used on the mesh. However, I do have experience with similar treatments from a seven day wear challenge I did some years ago. I can only say that in that test the odour treatment worked extremely well. It is definitely a bonus that Rab added it on a garment designed for high output activities.
The pocket on this top works best as a storage stuff sack type pocket. You can squidge the top into it very easily and then you just have a tiny bundle to carry along with you. Similarly, it works well for something light like a car key or a couple of gels. I haven’t enjoyed using it for storing anything heavy as it tends to bounce around too much as you move. You may be happy living with that, but just sharing my own findings.
Finally, the drawcord hem and elasticated cuffs are spot on. I haven’t chosen to cince up the hem much, but it is easy if you choose too. The cuffs are simple and yet keep the arms protected. They are perfect for this type of top. Lastly, having the reflective logos on is a nice touch for anyone out at night or when vehicles would have their lights on.
As the summer has shifted into autumn the Windveil has joined me on just about every run. I have either started off wearing it or it has been in a vest or pocket in case another layer is needed. It packs to such a small and lightweight package that there is little reason not to carry it.
In use it has proved to be a great performer. The Rab design team have clearly thought about the needs of runners very carefully. The Windveil is a really great windproof withy every feature you could need.
The only final thing to mention is that, although I have focussed this Rab Windveil Pull-On Jacket review on this as a running top, It could be used for a wide range of activities. It is a very versatile design. It also offers good value given the quality materials and careful design. All in all, I heartily recommend the Rab Windveil. Details on this jacket and all the Rab range are available on their website here. Please also check out their information video below.