An intelligent softshell.
- Polartec Neo Shell stretches without compromising on ability to weather the elements
- DWR coating sheds moisture
- Helmet-compatible hood accommodates protective gear
- Hemline drawcord helps you seal out cold from below
- Reflective trim enhances visibility during low-lighting situations
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Share your thoughts
This is my favorite shell. Breathes well, has some stretch and very durable. This is now my go-to shell for multipitch ice and alpine climbing. Keeps you warm, but breathes well. I'm 6'3", 190 lbs. and the XL fits great. The blue color is really nice looking.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I have had this jacket for about six months now and have had a lot of opportunities to test Polartec's tall claims on breathability. I hike up my ski resort for training in the mornings so staying dry is crucial to being comfortable when around zero degrees fahrenheit. I have tried many jacket systems softshells work very well to keep the sweat out but only work moderately well if you score a nice powder runs and you are still cooking on the inside of the jacket. Gore tex works great to keep the moisture out but I have taken my Gore Tex Pro shell off after a good morning workout and sweat was literally dripping down the inside of the jacket and I was wet and frozen all morning.
The Rab Stretch Neo is the best alpine jacket I have ever owned! My base and midlayers are always dry or just slightly wet even after 4000 ft in elevation and 1200 calories. The jacket is soft, stretchy and breathable like a soft-shell but fully water proof like a traditional shell. The features Rab included are also superb the pockets are perfectly placed out of the way of your pack and the same waterproof material is used inside the pockets so you don't loose warmth or get wet from your gloves or anything else wet you put inside. The hood is simple fits well over a helmet and cinches down great. The high collar is great when it's windy. Best of ll the sleeves are long for those of us with a possessive ape index so you can easily reach and not expose your wrist. Most other Polartec Neoshell jackets have a fleece lining which can limit your layering ability this one does not big plus in versatility. Their is nothing not to like about this jacket if high energy alpine endeavors are your thing.
Can someone help with sizing?
I am 5"10 175lbs. In arcteryx I am a medium, how about with RAB?
You can fit the medium, but it could be a bit tight with only a light layer. However, if you want to layer 2-3 layers underneath, then you might want to step up to the large. The large will still have a slim fit, but the sleeve length may be too long. Hope this helps, Tester.
You most likely need a size large. I'm 6'3" 190 lbs and the XL fits well.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Compelled to write a review after a season, this is the best shell I have used to date. Used this for ski mountaineering in all types of weather - winter through spring. I was looking for a way to cut a layer out of my pack. I used to carry an insulating outer jacket, softshell and hardshell. Had heard Neo Shell was super breathable and gave it a try. I don't pack my softshell now and haven't looked back. This will keep the rain or snow out, it's fully waterproof so works as my hardshell. It does breath very well (so much so that you will feel some draft from a strong cold wind through it - similar to Polartech Power Shield). I've even worn this skinning up a slope and been very comfortable which surprised me (as I used to strip off to bare bones to avoid sweating). Fit is athletic, I'm 5'11 190 and large fits great. Has held up well and looks almost new so far. I'm an Arcteryx fan, but this RAB is a keeper, definitely would buy again if i lost it. Highly recommend.
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This jacket is great for ski touring. Wore it on a warm-up 1700 ft skin today, and it vented super well. It was fairly cold (~20F) and was able to keep it on and zipped, without feeling sweaty. The sleeves faster well over the top of my gloves.
I live in Hawaii. That being said I wasn't expecting a jacket to breath as well as I need. If hiking / cycling in 75-80 degree humid weather and exert energy; no jacket can get rid of that kind of sweat.
However; this jacket blocks wind very well keeping you warm even when the inside is wet. It also doesn't "wet out" in heavy rain which makes it great because the rain would be wetter than the sweat inside.
Overall: Great jacket. Can't wait to try it for what it was made for. Quality also seems high (I beat the crap out of my gear).
This is an awesome jacket! I wore it on an expedition in Nepal and was very impressed. The best performing jacket I have ever worn. Check out my full video review of this jacket here:
Video review of the Rab NeoShell Jacket at: