There are two reasons that I want a wind shell for. Firstly, to protect me from windchill, particularly if I’m damp, and secondly to act as a “half layer”, a step up from a base layer, but not quite as warm as adding a fleece.
On my wish list for a windshell are lightweight and breathable. If it has a full length zip too, great.
The Rab Wind Veil seems to tick all my boxes, so I ordered one. Size Large was not available from the Rab website so I opted for XL.
The jacket is described as “Athletic fit”. I am not an athlete, I’m a middle aged man, with a love of walking. This means my shape is different to your average 20 something sports climber, and therefore it is just as well I went for XL. Having said that, at 215 pounds, and 5 foot 9, the fit was good, a little long in the sleeve, but I can see that as an advantage if I want to hide my hands inside.
The jacket cost £85, and shipping was free. I guess I am like most older blokes, I don’t mind spending a bit more, as long as I don’t feel overcharged. The Rab was about as much as I wanted to spend, and it seems reasonable value. There are cheaper, but having had Rab gear before, I feel confident in its ability do do what it says.
The Jacket folds away into a mesh bag that doubles as an inside pocket when you are wearing your wind shell. The weight is roughly 5 oz, I think I estimate it at 4 in the video, but either way, this thing is light. Being made out of Pertex, its breathable too. This fabric has the added advantage of being showerproof too, bonus!
First impressions on the hill are that the jacket is windproof. I felt considerably warmer with this very thin layer than I expected to. A big tick against my first criteria. The fabric has no stiffness to it, and flows over your arms like silk, it is no problem throwing a fleece over it, just my normal fleece, no size increase. As a “half layer” this is great. It adds warmth to the fleece if worn over or under it, so when I stop for a break I can just add a layer, no need to take the Windveil off first.
On the front of the garment are two useful pockets, with high zips, so they can be used when you have a pack on. I doubt I will ever put much in, but useful. The top of the front zipper has a turn of material folded over, such a good feature, all zips should do this. It works very well at stopping your chin from being irritated. There is also a short webbing strap with a popper, so you can hold the top together even with the zip undone. Stops flapping. Also preventing undue flapping is a strap and clip that holds the hood rolled up.
To conclude, I believe this is a great Wind proof layer, which has met or exceeded all the specifications I had in my mind before I bought it. The small details that make a good jacket great have not been forgotten, and I look forward to many happy miles inside it.