Written by 8:36 pm Camping, Travel Gear

Rab Xenon X

This is an image of a young man walking, wearing a black jacket with hoodie on a foggy day.

Now and then, you come across a piece of clothing that challenges your brand loyalties. It will leave you wondering have you been missing out all this time by not using a jacket from this brand. Whether you stumbled across it because you borrowed your friend’s jacket, or you had been bought as a present, there will always be these defining moments.

The Rab Xenon X jacket is this jacket. Possibly the best synthetic insulated jacket available on the market at the moment, its lightweight feel and stylish appearance will keep you protected from the wind, rain, and even colder climates.

The Xenon X has a controlled warmth, minimal weight, and weather shedding fabric that is really a step apart from many other jackets available. This jacket is a backpacker’s dream as it also boasts a super small folding size for when you are not wearing it.

In our review today, we will be looking at the high and low points of the amazing Rab Xenon X jacket, giving a true insight into what it can handle and the kind of use it is great in. A truly wonderful jacket that could be the next item on your Christmas list.

Rab Xenon X Hoodie Overview

Image of a hoodie with shiny/waterproof cloth outer, a zipper for closure, one front pocket positioned vertically. just beside the main zipper.

Specification

Average Weight – 12 oz | Insulation – Primaloft Gold Insulation Active, 60g/m2.

Shell Fabric – Pertex Quantum | Lining Fabric – 100% Nylon Ripstop | DWR Treatment – Yes

Number of Pockets – 2 zippered hand pockets, 1 zippered internal chest pocket | Stuff Into Itself – Yes

Hood/Jacket Option – No | Adjustable Hood – No | Adjustable Waist – Yes

Gender – Male and Female | Sizes Available – XS-XXL

Manufacturer Warranty – Lifetime warranty

Performance

The Rab Xenon X Jacket boasts of being 20% lighter than it’s predecessor, the Quantum. This by no means will be less insulated, but this light size helps it be one of the best jackets for packability in the entire collection of Pertex fabrics found in these insulated jackets. The fabric is simply amazing. It guards you against wind and rain without leaving any strain on your shoulders. Plus, in those hotter climates, it won’t take up much room inside your bag. Time and time again, the Rab Xenon X jacket will keep you protected against wind, rain, dirt, ice, and even snow while keeping you comfortable with full maneuverability.

If you are out hiking, there is a chance for bad weather. Gusting wind and sleet can make for miserable conditions. Hiking and camping in this kind of extreme weather can leave you feeling annoyed and wondering why you are even out there.

With the Rab Xenon X jacket, you will feel comfortable in your own little bubble of dryness and warmth. The materials help to fight off the cutting winds that can bring an icy chill. You may even wear a single layer base garment. The insulation is so good. When confronted with sleet and melting ice, the Pertex material outside of the Xenon X sheds any of this moisture with ease. Knowing this will give you loads more extra time before you need to reach for something like a storm shell jacket that may be more suited for these kinds of climates and conditions.

If you find yourself enjoying a campfire when the sun is just about to set, the chance of high winds could derail that with you feeling that the synthetic insulation isn’t good enough. With the Rab Xenon X, you will be safe from a serious wind chill leaving you to enjoy the night and enjoy the campfire. When it comes to synthetic insulated jackets, there is sometimes a chance that wind protection isn’t in the highest regard, but with the Xenon X, you will have no problems, making this hoodie one of the very best.

When it comes to the liner fabric that has been used inside the Rab Xenon X, things start to get even better. Rab has used a tightly woven nylon that feels silky smooth. The coziness is really at the top of its game, which is a great way to make the most out of a bad weather situation. If you’re someone who enjoys a dip in any open water you can find when you are out on a hike, then bring the Rab Xenon X jacket out with you. After a few minutes, you will feel dry and warm again with the quick-drying material. This is, of course, weather permitting.

These kinds of different harsh settings really make the Rab Xenon X jacket what it is. If you are looking for a synthetic puffy jacket that will do the business, then look no further.

An In-Depth Look

As we have already mentioned, the Rab Xenon X takes weather protection really seriously. This is due to the combination of both the Pertex Quantum shell and the Primaloft gold active insulation. These combinations help to bring more breathability and more stretch than the standard Primaloft gold available. If you haven’t heard of Primaloft Gold before, it is considered the more premium solution to synthetic insulation.

When it comes to looks, the Pertex Quantum shell isn’t the most attractive, it tends to look wrinkly when worn, but this is okay as the element protection brings more than makes up for it.

New technology is always one thing, but to make an insulated jacket really great, it needs to have undertaken a real-world test too. There is a lot of versatility with the Rab Xenon X jacket. It weighs only 12 ounces but will still keep you comfortable in conditions ranging from mild desert afternoons, all the way to mountainous night that is below freezing. Marketing wise this jacket is classed as being actively insulated, mainly due to the wide variety of temperatures it is comfortable in. Along with this, the protective outer shell helps keep the wind at bay, making it the better choice for stop-and-go activities rather than highly aerobic outputs over a long period of time.

Sadly if you are someone who loves going on trial runs, then this is probably not the jacket for you, mainly due to the overall breathability of the Rab Xenon X jacket, but this is the only aspect we feel needs work.

Regarding features, the Rab Xenon X jacket has a lot to choose from. Away from the Primaloft Gold Insulation active technology and the Pertex Quantum material, you still get lots of things with this jacket. Ther is a stiffened storm flap and a strong Vislon zipper that will keep your undergarments clean, and dry, while also contributing to the wind resistance. Elastic cuffs on the bottom of each sleeve and the hood hug the Rab Xenon X close to your body but don’t cause any binding.

There is a scuba styled hood that covers a good portion of your face. This helps protect from and strong winds. There is also an elastic dual drawcord hem that will prevent spindrift and wind from sneaking inside. There are reflective logos on the chest and the cuffs for better visibility, which we believe are a nice touch offering better visibility when in low lights. When you’re completely zipped up, a microfibre chin guard will help to keep your beard and chin to stay comfortable rather than feeling the teeth of your zipper. Elastic on the hood keeps everything inside that you want and everything outside you doesn’t want, and we really think that the chin guard is a great feature.

When it comes to a good jacket becoming a great jacket, the detail is everything. The Rab Xenon X has a feature on the pocket that is really small but really valuable. All of them have insulation behind and in front of the pocket bag. Usually, in other jackets, pocket insulation is only found on the front, but you can really notice the difference with insulation being on both sides. Compared to the competitors, your hands will be much warmer in the Rab Xenon X. Cold hands can really ruin your mood when you are out hiking or walking, so the handwarmer pockets are a great little feature that will keep you extremely happy if you have forgotten your gloves.

While the Rab Xenon X does work great on hikes and backcountry walks, it has been designed with climbers in mind. The use of durable fabrics and thoughtful design make it a climber’s dream. There is a noticeable drop-tail hem that covers a bit more of your backside featured on the Rab Xenon X. Not much use for normal users but climbers. It will be a godsend as it keeps your behind warm while you sit down on cold granite surfaces if you’re are working the ropes. There is a double zipper feature that makes sitting down very easy while wearing a bulky harness. This also allows you to keep your jacket closed if you’re breaking for your partner.

Stuffable pockets are a good feature if you like to preserve a little bit of space in your backpack. This is a great way to benefit both climbers and runners. If you’re a backpacker, this is great as you can use the stuffed jacket as a pillow if you become stranded and need to find a place to sleep. The main problem with synthetic jackets that do stuff into pockets is their size. Usually, they don’t contribute to a size pillow that an adult can use, but there is no need to worry about the Rab Xenon X.

The internal stuff pocket on the Xenon X is a game-changer. You can keep food and snacks nice and dry while also having a place to keep your wet gloves, bringing a lot of practicality to the chest pocket. If you have forgotten an inflatable pillow when you’re backpacking or on a trip, then this feature can come in handy, especially with the great size that the Rab Xenon X stuffs into.

Weight and Compressibility

Rab says that a large jacket’s weight should weigh around 12.7 ounces, which is an extremely lightweight option when you’re looking for a jacket. There have been some tests on the Rab Xenon X, and it comes out at weighing an even more impressive 11.0 ounces, a noticeable difference. There have been many jackets tested in different shapes and sizes, making them difficult to compare with complete accuracy. Still, the Xenon X is one of the lightest insulated jackets around. If lightweight is a must-have when you’re buying a jacket, then you will love the Xenon X.

Another amazing feature of the Rab Xenon X is how easily it stuffs into its interior pocket. Not every jacket has this feature, and we believe it is perfect. Having a jacket that can be compact in your bag when you’re not using it will be a real advantage when you have packed a backpack with only essentials in a limited space. There are clip-in loops that are large and durable. These are a great choice if your bag is full and you want to clip your jacket into the exterior.

Rab xenon x Buyers Guide

Durability

Pertex fabrics are always durable, and the Xenon X is no exception to that. Even after long durations of wear, there are no signs found on the Rab Xenon X jacket. If there were any more stubborn spots left on the jacket, the material is easy and simple to wash, making it look just as good as it was when you bought it.

Warmth

The Xenon uses proprietary stratus insulation in a pattern that needs no baffling. It provides extra warmth with 60g/m2 strength. The insulation panels are held in place with minimal use of the seams.

Due to how light and thin the jacket feels overall, it is a surprise in how much warmth is given by the Rab Xenon X. It is a pleasant surprise to know that it does bring levels and has been considered to be one of the best jackets when it comes to the warmth and weight ratio.

This being said, if you’re in the market for a winter coat, then the Rab Xenon X won’t outperform that of a thick parker because it hasn’t been designed to. The best way to think about the Rab Xenon X is as a shoulder season jacket or an active outdoor layer. It is the perfect jacket choice for when there are chilling winds around or a small rain threat. It can be enjoyed over having a base layer and is a great pairing with a more breathable active mid-layer. These jackets are very versatile and make a great layering setup.

Breathability

The Xenon X has been designed with an Atmos fabric that makes up the entirety of the jacket. It has been designed to be completely wind-resistant. This makes it not very air permeable. Sadly this wind0resistant technology contributed negatively to the overall breathability of the jacket. Hot and moist air gets trapped inside and does not pass through the jacket with much ease. As expected, it didn’t score very high on an independent comparative test in this area.

It’s already been mentioned that this jacket would be the perfect choice to use as an outer layer jacket to keep you warm while also fighting against any wind. Many synthetic insulated jackets are designed to be used as a leave-on middle layer but not this one. The breathability doesn’t feel like a massive strain that it isn’t the best, just because if it becomes too hot, you can take it off.

Style

Style is always a personal opinion. Everyone has their own tastes, and what they think is stylish may be a disaster for someone else. It is a larger fit, so if you are someone who likes to show off their silhouette through their clothes, this may not be the jacket for you. It isn’t the most flattering, and we definitely believe that the jacket’s practicality has been thought about more than its stylistic qualities.

The shiny and slippery surface provides a more technical look. You know this jacket has been made for outdoor activities rather than for a city dweller who likes the active look. There is a decent color scheme on the out layer. It won’t repulse anyone too much.

Comfort

Mobility is not something you will need to worry about when wearing the Rab Xenon X. You could easily go climbing in this jacket feeling little to no restrictions. The sleeves are long. Even if you stretch your arms overhead, you won’t feel any constriction in the shoulder areas. The hood is a great size. It can even be used over a lot of helmets. There is a really low hemline, which is great. It helps to add insulation in the lining fabric and means that the jacket won’t ride up if you are raising your arms over your head.

Compared to some other stretch fabrics, this insulated jacket isn’t as soft and comfy as you can find on the market. The Atmos fabric that has been used on both the lining of the jacket and the outer layer is smooth and slippery to touch. It has a remanence of sleeping bag material. However, all of this doesn’t mean that the jacket is by any means uncomfortable. It feels mildly unnatural, and it is a bit of a noisy jacket to wear. These complaints are minor and just there, so there are some downsides to the jacket. None of these issues are big enough to dishearten anyone who is looking at the Rab Xenon X. The warmth to weight ratio means for extremely comfortable wear every time.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best outer layer insulated jacket you can buy, then the Rab Xenon X is easily the jacket for you. It is a lightweight jacket that still impresses us with how warm it is. The wind resistance is one of the best out at the moment too. If you want a warmer windbreaker for those chilly and windy days you’re up the mountain, then the Xenon X is the jacket for you, and what’s more, it is extremely valuable.

Looking for a standout synthetic insulation lining fabric jacket, then the Rab Xenon X may be what you have been looking for. It has a beautiful combination of premium materials such as Primaloft gold insulation active and Pertex quantum shell fabric that brings warmth, comfort, and durability. There is a precise and thought-out zippered pocket on the inside and outside that are not only there for show, but they have a real use in your day to day hiking or outdoor activity needs. A jacket that will last a lifetime, leaving you thinking when you have never bought one before.

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