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Rab Scimitar Jacket

rated 4 of 5 stars

The Scimitar Jacket has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best soft shell jackets for 2024.

photo: Rab Scimitar Jacket soft shell jacket

Light, well-designed, all-around softshell for doing anything in the mountains.


  • High degree of movement and stretch
  • Good breathability-to-wind/water resistance
  • Durable
  • Relatively inexpensive


  • Does NOT dry quickly
  • Forearms snug

Purchased this jacket about six months ago and have had the opportunity to take this jacket hiking, biking, ice/alpine/rock climbing, backcountry, alpine, and cross-country skiing, and traveling to Asia.

The fit in Rab is usually spot on for my body type, and this piece very nearly got it perfect; only gripes are forearms that are too snug to use very substantial layers underneath. Granted I'm a climber and my forearm girth may be a bit above average but even snug with baselayers.

The fabric (Rab's proprietary Matrix DWS soft shell) lends itself to fantastic stretch, breathability, wind resistance, and water resistance. More durable soft shell panels are used in the top of helmet, shoulder, and harness area for increased longevity and abrasion resistance. I've scraped many crack climbs, tree branches, brambly approaches, and seen lots of pack rub, but none have let a mark on the tough fabric.

I have many days with this jacket under a climbing harness, and it moves phenomenally, if not with a little bunching underneath. This has only been a problem so far when racking draws or ice screws on a harness; the biners tend to snag easily on bottom hem, especially when using gloves.

Skiing, this jacket is wonderful too. On colder days, I'll layer an older Patagonia R2 hybrid, with Polartec sleeves, and this has worked quite well although fleece tends to wet out quicker and stay that way.

This jacket does a good job in my opinion of blocking most of the weather outside, but is still susceptible do moisture from inside when working hard. On the skin track, approach to ice climbs, and on long uphill rides I've sweated out the jacket (I run hot), and it doesn't seem to retain as much insulation when wet.

That said, layer right, and use it for the right activities (ice/rock/mixed/alpine climbing, skiing down, cold approaches, hikes, and general mountain use; higher exertion levels, take a windshell and put this on at the top), and this jacket will take care of you for years to come.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"

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