Rab Scimitar Jacket
The Rab Scimitar Soft Shell Jacket is a midweight medium cut soft shell jacket that is the perfect companion to the Rab Scimitar Soft Shell Pants, which we will go into more detail about in the second half of the review. The Scimitar design is based on two tried, tested and true Rab soft shell pieces, namely the Rab Sawtooth Pants and the Rab Exodus soft shell pants which we have reviewed previously. The innovative Scimitar design combines the best attributes of both the Sawtooth and Exodus to create a soft shell combo that's ideal for summer alpine hiking or cold winter layering.
The Scimitar non-membrane, stretch, double weave soft shell fabric is wind and water resistant, like most other soft shells, thanks to its factory DWR coating. The Scimitar is constructed using two Matrix DWS fabrics: the main body (the green areas) is 182g/m while the grey panels are a tougher 275g/m weight for greater abrasion resistance when carrying a pack. The Scimitar comes complete with adjustable cuffs, hem and helmet-compatible hood with a wire brim for personal shaping. There are a total of three zippered pockets: two hand-warmer and one chest pocket. To keep the weather out there's a storm flap behind the 2-way front zip and all of the zippers have a built in zipper garage.
Fabric: Soft shell Matrix DWS in 182g/m weight, shoulders and hood are 275g/m weight
Hood: Helmet compatible hood, wired peak, kitty clip roll down closure and micro adjustments
Zipper: YKK 2-way front zip, internal storm flap, chin guard
Pockets: 2 YKK zipped A-line chest pockets, 1 YKK zipped Napoleon chest pocket
Cuffs/Hem: Velcro cuffs and double exit hem drawcord
The Rab Scimitar Soft Shell Jacket fits and feels even better than it looks. The two tone design employs additional soft shell fabric where you need it on the hood and shoulders to provide more protection and durability. The medium cut keeps the jacket close to you for an ideal mid layer that has plenty of adjustability on the cuffs (velcro) and at the hem and hood (elasticized pulls). I have been using the Rab Scimitar Soft Shell Jacket this fall on several cool day hikes and a few overnight mountaineering trips, which involved glacier travel. The Scimitar provided just enough warmth for these conditions; it cut the wind when it whipped up but did not overheat me thanks to its lighter weight soft shell fabric. Based on the success of this off-season testing and reasonable packability I am going to integrate this jacket into my ski touring insulation arsenal this winter.
Sizes: S - XXL
Weight: 580g / 20oz
Colours: Zest, Beluga, Twilight, Red
- A great feeling and fitting light soft shell with more durable soft shell fabric where required
- Plenty of zippered pockets
- Nice attention to details
- Wire brim hood allows for maximum adjustability
- Appealing two tone design
- Hood clip is not the slickest solution
Function 2 /2
Aesthetics 2 /2
Quality / Price 2/2
The Rab Scimitar Soft Shell Pants naturally follow along the same lines of the Rab Scimitar Jacket as you have likely guessed given the similar moniker. The fabrics are the same technology and weights as in the jacket but with the knees being reinforced this time. The same breathable, water resistant properties still hold true and thanks to the Beluga (grey) colour the Scimitar pants won't heat up too much in the mid day sun. The two tone soft shell fabric cranks up the aesthetics while the soft waistband, belt loops, double snap closure and zippered fly keep things fitting right. Zippered adjustability at the boot cuffs let them fit over larger high-cut boots (unfortunately not alpine touring ski boots though) while not making you feel like John Travolta. An added thigh zippered pocket provides more storage space as well as helping with venting on those warmer outings.
Adjustability: Tricot lined waistband, double snap waistband closure, belt loops and YKK fly zip
Pockets: 2 YKK zipped hip pockets and 1 YKK zipped thigh pocket
Fabric: Soft shell Matrix DWS in 182g/m weight, reinforced knees are 275g/m weight, reinforced cordura kick patches at the ankles.
Cuffs: YKK zipped leg closure with hem drawcord and reinforced kick patches
I like these pants. A lot. Similar to the Rab Scimitar soft shell jacket the pants just fit really, really well and were very comfortable to wear thanks to all of the micro adjustments mentioned above and the super-soft and stretchy soft shell fabric. The knee articulation reduced bunching when walking and the double wear fabric on the knees and the cordura at the cuffs provided some great durability on rocks and those dreaded crampon spikes. I found the thigh pocket very useful for carrying a small map while on a recent mountaineering trip in the Spearhead range around Whistler. I found that I did not over heat thanks to the beluga colour (instead of traditional black) but, nonetheless, would have liked the option of a zippered thigh vent to dump additional heat when climbing steeper terrain. The three pockets did have a mesh lining on one side to provide some venting but you can always use more in those summer and fall months. If the Rab Scimitar Pants were able to fit over my Dalbello ski touring boots then these would also be a staple for spring tours in April, May and June.
The Rab Scimitar also accompanied me on a 35 day Nepal trekking/climbing trip this fall and performed flawlessly. They even made it to the 20,000' summit of Loboche East, within spitting distance of Everest in the Khumbo Region. As it stands these will be my go to mountaineering and climbing pants as they are simply made for this stuff!
Colours: Beluga, Beluga/Black
Sizes: S - XXL
Weight: 380g / 13oz
- Fit is spot on and comfort is off the charts
- Great looking two tone fabric design
- Grey colour does not overheat like black soft shell pants
- Thigh pocket is ideal for smaller items that need to be accessible
- Cuffs don’t fit over ski touring boots
- A thigh zipper for quick venting and heat dumping would be a nice addition
Fit / Mobility 2/2
Warmth / Breathable 1.5/2
Quality / Price 2/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.