Rab Xenon 2.0 Review
Cons: Mediocre breathability, low stretch
Manufacturer: Rab Equipment
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Rab Xenon 2.0
Check Price at REI
$259.00 at REI
$172.45 at Amazon
|$119.97 at Backcountry|
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$149.96 at Amazon
|Pros||100% recycled materials, lightweight, highly wind-resistant||Very comfortable, great fit, breathable, impressively warm, great mobility||Very warm, great features set, packs away easily||Wind resistant, excellent breathability||Very comfortable, warm, many features|
|Cons||Mediocre breathability, low stretch||Pricey, not as warm as thicker layers, doesn’t stuff into itself||Not the lightest||Poor water resistance, minimal features||Heavy, uses an external stuff sack|
|Bottom Line||While it isn’t the most technical insulation layer, it is warm, comfortable, and light enough to be used for a wide range of activities||The ideal active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility and great breathability, yet still wards off the chill during cold weather||With high loft, water-resistant insulation, this jacket is a great option for staying warm on cold, damp days, and doesn't break the bank||Breathable and lightweight, this jacket is the perfect companion for cold weather high-output activities||This medium-weight jacket spares no attention to detail when it comes to keeping you comfortable|
|Rating Categories||Rab Xenon 2.0||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Nebula Pro||Rab Xenair Insulated||Rab Cirrus Alpine I...|
|Weight and Compressibility (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Rab Xenon 2.0||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Nebula Pro||Rab Xenair Insulated||Rab Cirrus Alpine I...|
|Measured Weight (size)||12.4 oz (M)||13.20 oz (M)||22.9 oz (M)||11.8 oz (M)||17.6 oz (M)|
|Insulation||60 g PrimaLoft Silver 100% postconsumer recycled synthetic fibers||60 g/m2 Coreloft Compact w/ Stretch Fleece panels on sides||Cirrus HL||PrimaLoft Gold Active+||PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Luxe|
|Outer Fabric||30D Pertex Quantum ripstop||20D Nylon Tyono||Pertex Quantum Pro (30D recycled nylon)||Pertex Quantum Air||30D recycled Pertex Quantum|
|Stuffs Into Itself?||Yes||No||Includes stuff sack||Yes||No|
|Number of Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 internal zipped||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Xenon 2.0features some of the latest and greatest in "green" apparel manufacturing. It is insulated with 100% post-consumer recycled materials, meaning no raw materials were needed to create the lofty warmth it offers. Another notable feature is that the durable water repellent coating is fluorocarbon free. Not only is this a jacket consumers can feel good about buying, but it is also a highly functional insulating layer that competes with many models in our review.
The Xenon 2.0 is a lightweight option that provides a great deal of warmth, especially when you consider how lightweight it is. When we paired it with a base layer and a fleece mid-layer, we could be out and about in below-freezing temperatures without much issue. If you plan to be sedentary for long stretches of time in sub-freezing temps, you'll likely want something bulkier, which can provide more warmth.
Weight and Compressibility
With our size medium weighing in at 12.4 ounces, we wouldn't call it ultralight; however, unless you are a serious ounce counter, the Xenon is plenty light enough for just about any adventure. It compresses down to about the size of an acorn squash and stuffs into its own pocket. It has a sewn-on clip-in loop which makes it convenient to clip to the back of a harness or to the outside of a backpack.
The Xenon 2.0 has an athletic fit. It has room in the shoulders and a slight taper through the waist. The wrist cuffs are elasticized, which makes it easy to pull on and off over other layers. The fit is large enough to accommodate a thin base and mid-layer but isn't overly roomy. Conversely, this jacket layers underneath a hardshell quite well.
Our biggest complaint is the lack of stretch. For the most part, the cut of the jacket makes it comfortable to move around in but when moving your arms overhead, the shoulders start to feel pretty tight.
We typically don't expect much weather resistance from lightweight insulation layers. The Xenon 2.0 offers good wind resistance and is adequate for cold, blustery days.
The biggest advantage of synthetic insulation over down is its ability to keep insulating even when wet. That being said, standing around in a soggy jacket is not ideal or recommended. The outer shell provides some water resistance but won't keep you dry in a full-on deluge. If the precipitation really starts coming down, you'll want to throw on a proper hardshell over this layer.
While the Xenon 2.0 keeps out the wind, it also traps in moisture given off from perspiration. Our testers found the breathability of this jacket to be lacking. When we tested it while hiking and backpacking for extended periods of time, it left us damp and sweaty.
While it's not the highest-performing jacket we tested, it's a decent choice. It also sells for less than most of the options that outperformed it. Unless breathability is your absolute highest priority, the Xenon 2.0 is a worthy purchase.
The Rab Xenon 2.0 is lightweight, compresses into a small package, and offers great wind protection. It's not the most breathable in the bunch and doesn't have a lot of stretch to it. This insulating layer is ideal for someone that's after a decently lightweight model with above-average performance in every metric other than breathability.
— Buck Yedor
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