Rab Clothing Test 4 : Vapour-rise Lite Jacket

Now that the days are getting longer, temperatures rising and trails drying out nicely in time for summer (HA!) I’m finding myself heading out riding and running with fewer layers, but there are some days when I just don’t know what to wear and conditions go from one extreme to the next. This is where I find the Rab Vapour-rise Lite Jacket most useful.

RAB Vapour Rise Lite

(Photo borrowed from Rab UK until my camera battery charges)


Essentially a softshell, the jacket is made from a lighter version of the already established and proven Pertex Equilibrium fabric. It’s lighter than the standard fabric but is still windproof but more importantly it is designed to wick and dry rapidly and efficiently. It is lined with Rab’s light tricot lining which offers some warmth when it gets cold.

Being the “Lite” version the jacket comes in at a very respectable 320g for the medium I have and packs down into a tight small ball - perfect for sticking in your backpack. The jacket has a full length zipped front and as with most of Rab’s jackets there is a very handy, deep, zipped chest pocket to store your valuables. Lycra bound collars and cuffs with thumb loops on the sleeves offer added comfort.

The jacket has a fitted cut with a dropped back, high collar, no hood and an elastic drawcord waist, making it a perfect garment for cycling, which is what I’ve been using it most for. I’ve experimented using various layers and found that it is most effective when used with just a light short-sleeved base-layer when cycling. That way, it never gets too cold or too warm. If it’s on the cold side, add a layer or longer sleeves.

It isn’t fully windproof like other Rab tops but what it lacks in that department it makes up for in its wicking and drying properties. I’ve been caught out a few times in heavy showers but it has dried nicely in very little time. The jacket isn’t very waterproof, it’s not designed to be, but it will take a good rain shower for it to soak through.

There’s hardly a thing to fault the Vapour-rise Lite jacket. For cycling, especially for the road, some reflective bars on the back would probably be a welcome feature, but with today’s huge range of super bright cycling lights, there’s no excuse not to be seen.

So the verdict : another great Rab garment to add to the collection, especially for going out into weather and conditions that just can’t decide what it’s doing, which, as it is at the moment, every day.

Written about a year ago (last updated about a year ago).