Rab Downpour Plus 2.0 jacket review: A versatile shell ready to take on the 50 names of rain

Doing everything is not always possible. But with the perfect balance of features, fit, and price, the Rab Downpour Plus 2.0 Jacket makes it look easy.

Winter came with a roar in the Pacific Northwest this year, but in January the well seemed to have dried up. Dry spells in the northwest don’t last, however, and by April the precip was back with a vengeance, sending us all back into our trusty rain jackets.

This spring, I reached the Rab Downpour Plus 2.0 Jacket as my all-purpose rain shell, and I’ve found it to excel at everything an exceptionally wet spring can throw at it – from all-day squalls around town to mountain bike tours after a few morning showers.

The jacket – featuring a 2.5-layer Pertex Shield waterproof membrane, a host of comfortable and functional features, and an affordable price – easily ticks the boxes on most outings where the weather report might otherwise be. discouraging.

In short: When it comes to balance, Rab has his finger on the pulse with the Downpour Plus 2.0 Jacket. Using a trusted and affordable Pertex waterproof membrane, this rain shell made our pre-trip gear selection that much easier.

Rab Downpour Plus 2.0 Jacket Review

(Light on its feet, the Downpour 2.0 Plus didn’t weigh our tester down on a fast lap. Photo/Nick Belcaster)

Downpour Plus 2.0: Specifications

  • Waterproof membrane: 2.5 Layer Pertex Shield
  • Waterproof index: 20,000mm/24 hours
  • Breathability rating: 20,000gsm
  • Pit zips: Yes
  • Adapt: Usual
  • Lester: 13.2oz
  • Price: $185

Waterproofing

Compared to other waterproof membranes we’ve tested, Pertex Shield consistently scored high marks, with a waterproof rating of 20,000mm/24 hours. This metric puts the membrane near the top of the heap in terms of its ability to keep rain out of the fabric, and the durable water-repellent (DWR) finish helps keep it that way.

Although not the most waterproof, this jacket also does not have the exorbitant price of other jackets with advanced membranes intended for extreme environments.

In our tests of Downpour Plus 2.0, we’ve worn it in all 50 names for rain in the Pacific Northwest: pouring rain, spitting rain, drizzle, drizzle — and we’ve stayed dry in all of them. To learn more about the science behind watertightness ratings, check out the Buyer’s guide to our best rain jackets of 2022 article.

Breathability

Typically, as a jacket’s waterproof rating increases, its breathability rating suffers. That’s why we think a jacket with a 20K/20K membrane is pretty much a split gold buckle for everyday, all-purpose use.

On a mountain bike ride that promised sunny skies in the afternoon but rain all morning, the Downpour Plus 2.0 handled the climb admirably – requiring only the lowering of the zips on the pits to keep sweat flowing through the jacket. When the tides turned and the sun came out, the jacket did double duty and provided protection against a mud attack, while still being breathable.

Our experiences with Pertex Shield in jackets like the Helium Outdoor Research Rain Jacket and other 2.5-layer waterproof membranes have shown overwhelming perspiration potential in situations that require a full-hood, zipper-closed configuration. However, the generous pit-level zippers on the Downpour alleviate this problem considerably, allowing heat and sweat to escape before they become a problem.

Rab rain pockets
(Photo/Nick Belcaster)

Comfort

The Downpour’s regular fit worked well for a wide variety of tasks. It wasn’t snug enough to limit layering, but it wasn’t so baggy that it limited mobility. Then there are the benefits in the details: a brushed tricot chin guard to soothe those who play sports, and an articulated fabric cut in the arms that prevents the hem from lifting when it reaches the head.

The Downpour’s material has no built-in stretch, but in versatile jackets we don’t miss the added functionality. Overall, we prefer the added protection against premature wetting that stretch fabrics can suffer from.

Weight and Packed Size

At 13.2 oz, the Downpour lands about middle of the pack on the scales—not an ultralight, ultra-thin trail runner’s dream, but not a beefy mountaineering bomb shelter either. Jackets like the Janji Rainrunner Pack Jacket or the Black Diamond StormLine Stretch have it protrude a few ounces, but are either more fragile or sport a lesser quality waterproof membrane.

However, its compact size really won us over. It compresses down to the size of a grapefruit. This is largely thanks to the thin Pertex Shield membrane used in the construction and the absence of an oversized 40D outer fabric. At the end of our hike, it easily stowed away in our backpack.

Rab's Storm Hood
(The hood can make or break a rain jacket. Rab makes it here. Photo/Nick Belcaster)

Zippers, pockets and hood

As you’d expect from British manufacturer Rab, the Downpour’s main zipper features a left-hand pull tab. While not a deal breaker, it certainly takes some getting used to. The front zipper – as well as the pockets and zippers under the pits – are all YKK Aquaguard zippers, featuring high water resistance to ensure water intrusion is not a problem.

The main chest pockets are roomy and extend quite high, positioned to be accessible while wearing a backpack belt or climbing harness. We were able to easily store and grab the essentials while carrying a backpack while hiking in the North Cascades.

The hood is refined, features a three-way buried toggle adjustment system, a flex brim, and is helmet compatible with a hood tab for storage. It fits easily on a mtb helmet in recent testing, and we were able to stow it effectively during the descent to prevent excessive flapping.

Durability and durability

Rab used a recycled outer fabric in the Downpour, which is definitely a step in the right direction when it comes to the durability of rain jackets. Another is the fluorocarbon-free durable water repellent (DWR) finish, an industry change we’re excited to see more of.

During testing, we found that we didn’t need to use children’s gloves when handling the Downpour, which is required for other ultralight, skimpy rain jackets. The 40D outer fabric has proven to be durable (even during an accidental kiss with a tree at the side of a trail), and since all the zippers are of the waterproof type, they will probably continue to stay clean and work in good condition. candy.

Rain shower profile of Rab
(Photo/Nick Belcaster)

Conclusion:

While other specialty jackets may excel in their own niches, the Rab Downpour Plus 2.0 Jacket is an easy answer for a ready-for-anything rain jacket.

With 20K waterproofing and 20K breathability, the Downpour exists in what we think is the perfect balance for a waterproof jacket – without giving up any metrics too much. A number of smart features, like a very fitted hood, long zips and Aquaguard zips, make the Downpour a very capable jacket.

As capricious and unpredictable as the weather is, the Downpour is ready to adapt and protect you.

Check Men’s Price at REI Check Women’s Price on Amazon