The Rab Arc is a multi-purpose outdoor jacket rather than one designed specifically for mountain biking, so if you’re looking for a jacket to fulfil a number of different needs this could be a good option.
Opting for a one-style-fits-all waterproof jacket for all your wet-weather activities is lighter on your wallet but inevitably means making some compromises, such as in the cut.
The Rab Arc jacket’s features include large front pockets and a hood that fits comfortably over a helmet
This jacket does have a boxier cut than those designed purely for riding, but a generous back hem length and long arms make the trail to bike transition an easier one.
The fabric is three-layer rip-stop with a high-quality and durable feel. Three-layer waterproof fabrics have a lining that’s bonded to the inside layer of the membrane. It feels more comfortable than the usual ‘rubbery’ next to skin feel and helps protect the membrane itself from wear.
The Arc slides on easily over baselayers and even heavier mid-layers, and in my view its strengths are definitely felt in cold-weather conditions.
I can see it holding up well against the usual wet and filthy UK winter trails but doing double duty off the bike too, with features including large front pockets and a hood that fits comfortably over a helmet, which again is a win for a multi-purpose jacket.
The relatively heavier weight of the three-layer fabric makes this a reassuringly substantial jacket and gives me confidence regarding the longer-term wear of it. The downside of that increased durability of course is the extra weight and warmth — especially on milder days. Wearing a good baselayer helps with that and given that this would be a cold weather option, it’s not a deal breaker.