Rab Alpha Flash Jacket
Breatheable, lightweight midlayer that pairs perfectly with a wind shirt. If you want to go light, this packs warmth like few other midlayers... but there are caveats.
- Stellar breathability
- Warm for its weight
- Sizing is odd
- Stretchy panels could use a re-think
The Rab Alpha Flash is an outstanding midlayer for active use. Constructed almost entirely of Powertec Alpha Direct, it breathes so well that you can leave it on during high-exertion activity without overheating. Plus, it dries fantastically, freakishly quickly. It is not a general-purpose garment, but it absolutely excels when worn as intended.
The flip side to its crazy-good breathability is that breezy conditions whip right through it like it isn't even there. Thus, the Alpha Flash pairs ideally with a wind shirt worn over it. This combo allows for extremely versatile and capable temperature regulation.
Fit-wise, the Alpha Flash has very long arms relative to its hemline—if the arms fit, you might find the hem a bit too high, and vice versa. Also, the stretchy panels on the sides mean that your armpits are covered by the least breathable part of the garment! It has an elastic shock cord at the waist, which seems redundant given the stretchy panels. Still, this is a very lightweight piece. I appreciate the full zip, too, as another means to dump heat and for easy on/off.
While it appears impossibly delicate, the Alpha Flash is surprisingly rugged. I don't recommend grinding it against bushes or sandstone, but I've been pleased by how well the material has held up. Treat it with some care and it will last a long time.
I used the Alpha Flash as a midlayer in southern CA hiking and snowboarding for three years. It has replaced 100-weight fleece as my go-to midlayer.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $102
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Current Retail: $125.00-$145.00
Historic Range: $93.71-$145.00
Reviewers Paid: $102.00
273 g / 9.6 oz
Fabric Outer—Thermic:,125g/m²,100% polyester (recycled)
Insulation—Polartec Alpha:,178g/m², 94% polyester 6% elastane
Current Retail: $145.00
Historic Range: $86.93-$145.00