Monday, 20 June 2011

REVIEW: RAB Men’s Exodus Softshell Jacket


This item has been supplied by Adam Smith, representing Go Outdoors. The jacket being reviewed is the RAB Men’s Exodus Softshell Jacket; the Go Outdoors link is here and the RAB link is here. The Go Outdoors site is also very good if you are looking for waterproof clothing, so well worth a good scout around their site.

I was asked by Adam what I would like to have on test and I plumped for a softshell jacket, for a couple of reasons; I tend to run cold and my present softshell (a TNF Summit Series Apex Zeitgeist – try saying that after coming out of the pub…) is a little thin, even for summer use for my old bones. So, Adam sent me the RAB Exodus, which is mid-weight and so might suit my needs a little better.

First off, Go Outdoors delivered the jacket with remarkable speed; from agreeing to test it to arriving on my doorstep was less than 24 hours – which is impressive by anybody’s standards. The packaging said it had been sent on a 48 hour service – which is still good in my book.

It arrived in sturdy plastic packaging, in good order, with no damage:

Go Outdoors RAB Exodus Packaging

Out of the packaging, laying on the floor of Mission Control, the baby looks like this:

Go Outdoors Rab Exodus Softshell 2


My first impressions are that this jacket has quite a substantial feel to it; far more so than my old TNF Zeitgeist. Walking on my usual circuit from home shows that the jacket is highly breathable and weather resistant; it was a cool day of heavy showers. As it wasn’t too cold (it is summer, after all, albeit an English one) I tried the pit-zips out; they are easy to get at, with double ended zips with cord pulls to help you. It has a really great hood with a wired peak (important if you wear glasses in the rain) and adjustable closure to keep it nice and snug if it gets horrid.

The pockets are nicely positioned not to get in the way of hip belts on your rucksack, which was handy as I was walking to the supermarket with my rucksack on. There is an intriguing little pocket on the left arm – and I just cannot fathom what this is for! Lippy, perhaps, but on a Man’s jacket? Let’s call it a lip-balm pocket. All the pockets and main front fastening are made from YKK zips that have a weather protection cover built in – I wouldn’t say they were watertight, but they are pretty nearly so – but you have to remember that this is not a waterproof jacket.

The cuffs: I really like the cuffs. So you can have a special picture just of the cuffs:.


The Velcro tab seems to be made of something nice and rubbery – easy to grip in cold wet weather and the Velcro loop strip is narrow – not a bulky closure, which I would hate. I think the correct term for the cut of the sleeves is “articulated” which is supposed to give a better fit – it certainly feels comfortable.

All the “tightening cords” have captive ends, so they won’t flail about in the wind and whip you to death. There are others I can think of, who enjoy pain, who might see this as a disadvantage…

The hood can be rolled away when not in use – it has a little nylon strap that secures it in place. However I much prefer not to, as when rolled away the resulting collar becomes a bit unwieldy – slightly lumpen and heavy. Far better just to let the hood lay on your shoulders so the jacket hangs better – and we all want to look our best, don’t we, girls!


Overall, I think this is really a good jacket – its far better for me than my old Zeitgeist as its warmer. Its also more flexible as it has a full length front zip and so coupled with the pit zips you have far more control over temperature. I love the adjustable cuffs and hood, which make this a good jacket for pretty grotty weather too. It is not waterproof but it certainly coped well enough with a few heavy rain showers.

It’s cut well and so is good enough to wander about town in as well. With the price of outdoor gear that is a distinct advantage.

I will let you know how I get on with it after a bit more wear & tear to let you know how it copes with backpacking and general abuse. From what I have seen so far, I am expecting this to be a bit of kit in the “must take” pile. For its price; £90 from Go Outdoors, I think it is really good value too. It can be found a lot more expensively on other outdoor sites.

November 2011 UPDATE: You can find an updated review of this jacket after a few more months living with her HERE


  1. Mmmm, nice! Wouldn't mind one of those myself (but it's alleged that I already have far too many jackets).

    What's the gen on cleaning and reproofing - can it be tumble-dried?

  2. Too many jackets???? A boy can never have enough jackets... Good grief! Hmmm... washing & ironing, eh? never my strong suits, those. However, after a quick perusal of the tags inside the jacket it says it can be washed at 30 degrees, tumble dried on a cool setting (why???). Amazingly, if you have the inclination you can iron the devil too!

    You cannot let it loose in a Welsh Male Voice Choir though, as it's tone deaf - Can't sing a note in tune. This is good if you can't whistle in tune, I suppose, as it has feelings, you know.

    It doesn't mention reproofing, but I would imagine that a dollop of Nikwax wouldn't harm the beast, if that is your wont?

  3. A fellow can NEVER have too much kit.
    This is definitely true.

    However, it IS IMPERATIVE that this is hidden for at least 2 years from HER WOT WILL HAVE YOUR NUTS IN A VICE (some may consider this a good thing but not I.

    Always have kit delivered elsewhere or when you are the only one in.

    Never wear it on family outings for the first 12 to 18 months.
    Then pretend it is an old bit of kit (honest).
    She knows you are lying but will hopefully be too nice to crush your illusion.

    As for reproofing.
    Is that 70%, 80% or Cask strength?

    And Ironing!
    It depends on the size of the garment and the amount of loft.
    If in doubt best to go for a 6 or
    7 and make sure you use soft hands.

  4. Why tumble? A warm tumble is the "box deluxe" for properly activating the magical wash-in Nikwax potion.

    I should clarify that it's my beloved that considers my jacket collection to be excessive. My opinion counts for nowt.

  5. All this talk of ironing, tumble drying, soft hands. We'll be rubbing in Avon "skin-so-soft" next. We're chaps, for goodness sake!
    There are other blogs where the gurls have dominion, you know. Harrumph.

    *Pours another large cask strength Lagavulin and sighs* ... Oh Lord - will it be that woman doing Newsnight? Where's Jeremy?

  6. I always knew there was a gear junkie in you waiting to come out. Gear reviews on your blog as well.

    Nice jacket by the way.

  7. Gear Junkie???

    *slinks away to the corner with a another large glass of whisky...*

  8. Gear Junkie???

    How many Rucksacks?

  9. A pocket for your lippy.........sounds just right to me. Do they do a womens version??

  10. Alan Said...

    "All this talk of ironing, tumble drying, soft hands. We'll be rubbing in Avon "skin-so-soft" next. We're chaps, for goodness sake!"

    Hey, guys, I'll pass you my bottle of SsS - I'm using another brand of beauty lotion, oops, sorry, bug spray now!

    This looks like a good jacket. I'm in need - note, NEED, not wish :) for a new soft shell and this looks a likely candidate.

  11. Andrew W: "How many Rucksacks? Whilst it's true I have a few rucksacks (four at the last count) one is on loan to Dave, one is not used any more as it is knackered (used on my Lejog, so can't bare to throw it away) and the other two are different sizes - 33litre and 44 litres - so used for different purposes... That's my story and I'm sticking to it...

    KarenW: RAB do make a women's version of this jacket. :-)

    swanscot: RAB do indeed make this jacket in a women's version. Start flexing that card....

  12. Hmm, was considering a new soft shell because mine is getting bobbly and worn, but I don't like the new version. This could have been a contender, but I seem to have accidentally replaced my waterproof with a Paramo instead, so perhaps I should wait a while...

  13. "I seem to have accidentally replaced my waterproof with a Paramo instead, so perhaps I should wait a while..."

    That's a first - a wimmin waiting a while for clothes! David is indeed a lucky man!

  14. Looks like a nice, interesting jacket there. I like the look of, but this week's jacket has only just arrived, and I doubt I could sneak another one past my wife!

  15. Jules: "...but this week's jacket has only just arrived,..."

    This week's jacket?

    Wow! Worse than Louise!


  16. stumbled upon your Blog, Alan...but in actual on favourites as you haven't half covered some distance!
    Trying to decide between the Rab women's version of Exodus or the Baltoro model...any ideas? Like the idea of being able to use it casually as well as for sport...
    seems the Exodus would be a good Spring ski jacket...any ideas on Baltoro?
    Cheers from land of cheese and cuckoo clocks!

  17. Hi 'Anon' and welcome!
    (you can always sign off with who you are, you know - you don't have to stay anonymous!)

    The Baltoro looks to be a weightier bad-ass beast! Also quite a bit more expensive.. The hood looks to be quite bulky too.

    I suppose it horses for courses really. Does that help? Probably not!

  18. Nice review - I suspect the little arm pocket is for a ski pass for those ski mountaineers...

    Hope this helps!


  19. DeeBee: Welcome to the blog. You may be correct! (But I have no way of knowing, not being a ski-ist!) Perhaps others can confirm that this is in fact the case?

    And a hearty smacker to you too!

  20. Hi all,
    I've just ordered the RAB Exodus in forest green from Cotswold outdoors, they are going for £75 a pop sizes small-Xlarge.

    From reading the blurb on the RAB site the small pocket was for a ski pass, as it was originally intended for that use but they found it was a great mountain/hill walking jacket too.

    As for having too many coats, thats never the case, decent kit for different conditions is essential! I have a fair amount of kit and I am just blatant about it now, my better half finds it more amusing than anything else ha ha!

    John Emerson.


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