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Rab Zenith waterproof jacket review

A highly breathable waterproof made for multi-activity use

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £250.00 RRP | USD $300.00 | EUR €300.00
Rab Zenith waterproof jacket for trail mountain biking

Our review

For active use that demands excellent breathability, this is one waterproof jacket that really does do it all
Pros: Breathable comfort; fit; active use; range adjustment; cross-functionality
Cons: Cut might not suit all mountain biking situations; expensive, but with Gore-Tex performance
Skip to view product specifications

The mountain heritage of the Rab brand shines through in this waterproof jacket that will see you right for all active outdoor use.

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The carefully thought-through features of this jacket will work across a range of outdoor uses.

The long, easy-access front pockets are designed to function with a climbing harness, but also work with a bike pack.

They also do double duty as vents, if you need them for cooling down.

Long pit zips can be opened right up on warm days and fully sealed in exposed conditions.

Rab Zenith waterproof jacket for trail mountain biking
The Zenith’s front pockets are easy to access.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The hood is very versatile, designed to go over a climbing helmet, with a wired peak and offering a wide range of adjustment.

When not in use, it packs down efficiently enough not to be noticed.

Longer than a dedicated riding jacket, the drawcords can be pulled in for a sealed fit.

Rab Zenith waterproof jacket for trail mountain biking
Drawcords can be adjusted for a sealed fit.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The Gore-Tex Paclite Plus material is a 2.5-layer construction with a smooth, durable handle that’s comfortable enough to wear against the skin and light in weight.

To find the right size jacket for your body shape, please consult each manufacturers’ size guides, and come equipped with key measurements such as chest diameter, arm length and height.

Our male tester requested a jacket to fit his 184cm/6ft height, 96.5cm/38in chest and 86.3cm/34in sleeves.

Rab Zenith waterproof jacket performance

It can be hard to get the fit of cross-functional jackets right, as what works for walking and climbing can result in a style that’s too long and bulky for cycling.

Rab, however, has managed it. Anyone looking for one jacket that does everything won’t find too many compromises here.

Rab Zenith waterproof jacket for trail mountain biking
The freedom of movement suits riding, climbing and walking.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

The cut is long enough to be fully protective when walking, yet it’s neat enough that there isn’t too much length through the front to be restrictive when on the bike.

The freedom of movement through the shoulders that has been allowed for climbing without pulling the body of the jacket around translates into the same on the bike.

If I was being picky, I’d point out that the sleeves pull up slightly at full extension on the bars, but not enough to be uncomfortable.

I chose to wear the hood under a helmet and the range of adjustment, including the wired peak, made it very easy to get the right fit without restricting movement or peripheral vision.

Rab Zenith waterproof jacket for trail mountain biking
A wired peak and easy adjustment make for a comfortable fit over a helmet.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

I set the collar less high for riding and pulled everything in to hide behind it on wet and windy days, appreciating the range of adjustment.

I’ve been riding in this jacket across a wide range of wet conditions, from the perma-mist on a Scottish mountain to milder (12-14℃) temperatures but driving sideways rain.

It has never disappointed in terms of comfort.

The breathability of the material is probably the best I’ve used. Even though the jacket can be further ventilated with pit zips and through the front pockets, I’ve never had to use them.

Rab Zenith waterproof jacket for trail mountain biking
Sleeves may ride up slightly at full extension, but it’s not a major concern.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

It beads well, doesn’t wet out and after a brisk shake to get excess water off, dries fast too.

The Zenith is a higher-budget item, but for a fully-featured Gore-Tex jacket that’s versatile enough to wear across a wide range of active use, it pays off in terms of practical versatility.

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Rab Zenith waterproof jacket bottom line

In summary, an excellent all-rounder that really does do it all, and it’s worth noting that Rab offers a wash and DWR reproof service to maintain the waterproof and breathable performance.

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €300.00GBP £250.00USD $300.00
Weight 314g (L)
Brand Rab

Features

Features Material: Lightweight 13D GORE-TEX Paclite Plus Technology with 20D reinforcements
Waterproof rating: 28,000mm
Breathability rating: 25,000g/m²
Hood: Helmet compatible hood with one-handed adjustment
Pockets: Lightweight chest pockets
Zips: YKK pit zips for easy venting
Sleeves: Articulated sleeves
Hem: Fully adjustable hem and cuffs
Safety: Reflective branding
Extras: Stuff sack included
Gender Men's