Finding an item of outdoor clothing that simply works is so hard. I find it almost impossible to get the right balance and find a layer that suits me perfectly. This review will be on the Rab Shadow Hoodie. Let’s check it out.
I took the Rab Shadow Hoodie with me as my ‘do everything’ mid layer and was so impressed. Its official term is a ‘hard fleece’. This is a layer that offers some wind and water resistance (but not at the levels of a true softshell) with a small amount of warmth.
I was in the Black Mountains for three days of wild camping, hiking and photography. I needed a garment to look after me in this very harsh landscape where the weather is constantly changing. The Rab Shadow Hoodie fitted this problem perfectly.
The face fabric on the Rab Shadow Hoodie is a tight weave which in conjunction with its DWR helps to shed light rain and moisture. Really helpful when faced with that annoying drizzle or mist we face on the UK hills so often. That same face fabric also helps with keeping the brunt of the wind off. Super important as it eliminates the need for a heavy fleece or having to put on a hard shell to cut the wind instead.
When on an exposed hill top the wind will take your warmth quickly. However having something like the Shadow Hoodie in your layering system will really help you out. Consequently as you need less overall layers it will lighten your overall load out.
The hood is perfect. It fits underneath my hard shell hood neatly as it does not have a peak of its own nor extra material that gets in the way either. It’s just a perfect close fitting hood that helps keep your head warm and makes wearing a hard shell hood more comfortable. I guess you could say it acts as a base layer for your head!
Pockets that sit high on the chest so don’t get in the way when wearing a harness or rucksack. They are great for keeping hands warm too. The inner fabric of the pockets are vented so if you are running hot, simply open the pockets to dump some heat.
Thumb loops on the sleeves bridge the gap between wearing gloves and bare hands. If working equipment such as a DSLR or bushcraft knife this feature is a real bonus.
Warmth is kept to a pleasant level for both moving through terrain and in static environments. Rab have got the balance right in providing just enough warmth to allow me to avoid sticking on an insulation layer as well as preventing me taking off the Hoodie when working hard due to overheating.
Overall the workmanship and construction of the garment is spot on and I can see myself incorporating the Rab Shadow Hoodie in my layering system for many trips to come. I was using this Hoodie in freezing, damp, windy and rainy weather in the Black Mountains and it stood up to all of these very different environmental conditions really well.