The Rab Flashpoint Jacket is one of a new wave of very lightweight technical waterproof jackets, originally launched in 2015, and now updated for Summer 2016. So what’s new, and is it any good? Read on for our Rab Flashpoint Jacket waterproof review.
The first and most obvious thing you’ll notice about the Flashpoint Jacket is the lack of it – at 185g this is really very lightweight indeed, almost into the territory of windproof jackets, and the Flashpoint Jacket even comes with a tiny wee stuffsack too, which is a good idea to protect it from rucksack-based damage.
The big revision for Spring Summer 2016 is a change in material, from Rab’s own ‘Flashpoint’ material to super-light Pertex Shield+, a 3-layer fabric also being used by Montaine, OR and a host of others. Rab claims the Flashpoint is their lightest weight waterproof jacket, and it’s not hard to believe that.
On the fabric side, although it’s too early to say how robust and long lasting it’ll prove, the Pertex looks very promising indeed – the 3 layer ply giving it more stiffness and shape than you’d expect from an ultralight waterproof. Certainly many ultralight waterproofs suffer in heavy rain, and essentially collapse into something resembling a bin bag under a hosepipe, but this is much more rugged, albeit not 3-ply Goretex rugged.
Here’s a video of fairly heavy rain beading up nicely, but also note the structure, it looks like a far more heavyweight jacket:
Rab’s build quality is certainly up to snuff here, and their insistence that the Flashpoint be a “fully featured technical outdoor jacket” has resulted in a very usable shell. All the usual mod cons are present, including a decent helmet-compatible hood with stiffened polymer peak, YKK AquaGuard zips all round a half hem drawcord, and adjusters to match.
There’s only one thing that might prove an issue, and that’s the small area where the stiffened hood peak meets the hoot itself – on our sample theres a slight edge, which feels like it might wear through relatively quickly (see below) That could just be an impression though, so we’ll keep you posted!
The Rab Flashpoint Jacket is available now, in Koi (red) and Zinc (grey) from about £180 – here at Ultralight mountain gear