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Rab Neo Guide Jacket

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Rab Neo Guide Jacket waterproof jacket

Super breathable jacket that is a perfect fit for nearly ever activity. It's better than most of my softshells, but is waterproof, has more pockets storage then my 8 litre running pack, and is durable. It's a bit on the bulky side as it is designed it be worn over hefty layers, but it seems even a bit too big for that. I Found it to be a bombproof layer for alrounders alpine pursuits.


  • Super breathable
  • Versatile
  • Stretchy
  • Huge pockets


  • Bulky fit
  • Unnecessary pit zips

Fit Disclaimer: I'm 5'10" 155 lbs and very lean. I have small shoulders, a 29-inch waist and always fit a size small. I tend to run very hot as soon as I start moving. But get cold quickly. I find that Black Diamond Dawn Patrol series and Marmot fit me best and most brands' Trim fits feel normal to me. What works or doesn't for me may Or may not for you. 


This jacket and pant combo is the best hard shell on the market. I've used it backpacking and on a mountaineering trip in the coastal range that involved a lot of rain. The jacket proved to be a true wonder piece. It's stretchy and comfortable wear, and feels more like a thin softshell than a hard shell. The material itself is very soft to the touch. It holds of water the same as anything I've experienced. The DWR seems above average, and so far has worn well.

Breath ability is where this jacket shines. It is honestly as breathable as a standard softshell thanks to polar techs NeoShell material. This does mean that it is air permeable, though I never noticed any winds despite gusts as high as 20km/h. This jacket performed better than my Arc'teryx Epsilon LT, a hardfleece/softshell that has no membrane.

I wore it for the morning but had to ditch it in favour of a windshell when the sun came up as it got too hot. It has pits ops but they are a hindrance more than help. They weigh a fair bit, are awkward at times, and in material this breathable serve no purpose. I left them closed as the jacket felt more comfortable that way.

When we slowed down for the rock section of the day it held up great, stretched when it got rubbed against harsh granite and dint show signs of abrasion. It was breathable enough that I could wear it, which rarely happens to me. In wind it performed well, though we didn't experience anything extreme. The really high collar comes above my nose, and it's pretty spacious with microfibre cloth in front of the mouth. 

The Neo Guide has huge pockets, enough to hold gloves, bars, gels, maps, tat, and GoPro with a couple mounts if you so required, as well as a large internal glove pocket or water bottle. I actually used it instead of a pack for a 3 hour scramble we took in the rain, as a pack seemed unescessary with so much pocket room.

i have only one complaint about this jacket. It's designed for Scottish winter climbing, so it is sized with lots of layers in mind. I found that made the sleeves run well over my hands, really long, and that it was just too much space. I've tried layering it and found that I can get an Arc'teryx Atom LT and a Patagonia Ultralight, with base layers and still have a little room to spare. For me this is too much room as the climate I climb in tends to be dry cold, so one softshell for climbing and huge belay parka is normally the way to go. 

Overall, I highly recommend this jacket. It's well built, super versatile and my new favourite piece.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"

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