A stylish, recycled and recyclable rain jacket for hiking and everyday wear
If you’re looking for a versatile rain jacket that good eco-credentials then look no further than the Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket. New in autumn 2021, this super stylish jacket with pit vents and a very good hood, is an excellent option for wet and windy adventures in the hills as well as winter running, fitness and everyday wear.
Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket: The stats
|Best use:||Hill walking, we winters and everyday wear|
|Weight:||375g/13.2oz (Size 10)|
|Waterproof?:||Yes, HH 20,000|
|Eco-conscious:||100% post-consumer recycled polyester, fluorocarbon-free DWR and recyclable|
Features of the Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket
FabricSuper windproof, highly breathable (15,000 NVTR) and decently waterproof (HH 20,000), the Pertex Revolve mono material provides good protection in wet and windy conditions. It has a fluorocarbon-free DWR coating and because the 3 layers are constructed of the same materials, the jacket is recyclable as well as having a reduced carbon impact on processing. Additionally, the soft face fabric is supple and quiet when you move.
The two-way adjustment at the front and rear of the hood means you can get a snug and customised fit. It has a laminated peak for additional weather protection and a brushed neck and chin panel which is much needed as the neck comes up high over the chin. The hood is also stowable.
With no chest pockets, the two hand pockets are used for everything. They are large enough to hold a map in and high enough to be harness compatible. As with the main zip, the hand pockets feature waterproof zips which keep out the wind as well as the rain.
Pit zips are an essential feature of waterproof jackets, in my opinion. They add a huge degree of versatility. The Arc Eco pit vents have one way waterproof zips.
Arms and cuffs
The sleeves feature elbow darts with a pre-curve to increase ease of movement. Additionally, Velcro tabs cinch in the simple cuffs which are wide enough to fit over bulky gloves.
There’s extra length at the rear of the jacket hem. This length fits perfectly over my Microlight jacket and provides excellent protection over my backside! The elasticated hem has two cord lock adjustment toggles to cinch the hem right in, should you wish.
Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket review
Rab is one of my favourite outdoor clothing brands. The fit works well with my shape and frame, the style is outdoorsy but very suitable for everyday wear too, and the quality and performance are up there with the best in the business. Additionally, Rab clothing is priced appropriately and competitively.
In recent years, Rab have also been upping their commitment to sustainability, introducing recycled down and fabrics into their iconic Microlite jacket range and using recycled fabrics and PFC-free treatments where possible. The newest addition to their more environmentally conscious line is this Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket.
You can read more about Rab’s sustainability efforts in this 2021 report.
An eco comparison
The last couple of years has seen a huge surge in the creation of more sustainable clothing with brands adopting better practices and using preferred fabrics in terms of environmental impact.
As such, only 3 out of the last 10 rain jackets I’ve tested have lacked any eco-credentials. Of the other 7, the Rab Arc Eco is one of the best, competing fiercely with the Houdini Leeward Jacket (which is over twice the price) in terms of performance.
Yes, the Leeward is an entirely different style and fit, and is better suited to use for skiing than the Arc Eco. But the Arc Eco’s sustainability efforts are a little better making it the best eco-friendly rain jacket I’ve ever tested!
It’s designed for forest trails and lowland walks which has most everyday adventurers more than covered. For something more technical and suited to the alpine environment, you’ll probably have to move away from eco-conscious fabrics until the technology improves a bit more. But with brands like Rab pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, highly technical clothing that is also more eco-conscious won’t be far off.
I’m a big fan of the Rab fit. The sizing is spot on and consistent and the shape of their jackets is fitted but not over shaped. When it’s not raining I live in my Rab Microlight Summit down jacket. So I’m absolutely delighted with how well the Arc Eco fits over the top of the Microlight on the wet and cold winter days.
The windproofness is excellent. And living on the Cornish coast makes me VERY well qualified to testify to this! The waterproof zips help with this – preventing drafts from creeping in through the pockets etc, as does the high neck which cocoons the head nicely.
As with most rain jackets I’ve tried (eco-friendly or not), the waterproofness of the Arc Eco has its limits. The fluorocarbon-free DWR coating is more short-lived than its environmentally impactful counterparts. But it still fends off downpours with enough resistance to make it valid. The fabric becomes saturated after an hour or so of rain exposure, yet it doesn’t seep through like I’ve experienced with other jackets.
Stick out a few hours of hiking in heavy rain and moisture does start to seep through. Certainly not on a par with high-end jackets, but very much within the expectations of a jacket in this price-bracket.
I often find breathability a tricky thing to test and compare. A tiny change in the air temperature / gradient / exertion / thickness of base layers and your sweat levels can be highly affected. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the Arc Eco has dealt with coastal trail runs and hilly hikes during the winter. I’ve even taken to wearing it on wet and windy beach fitness sessions with very little build up of internal moisture.
What I love the most about the Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket
The fit and style are hard not to mention here. The fit is spot on and works well with my other outdoor clothing. And the style fits as well with my everyday clothing as it does with my outdoor gear.
I also really like the extra length at the back which never rides up beneath a backpack, as well as the highly windproof fabric.
What I don’t love so much about the Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket
There is little not to like about this jacket. Yes, the waterproofness could be better, but I feel like that’s a slightly unreasonable desire based on its price tag.
The only other thing I would change about it would be to have a two-way zipper. The lack of one is especially noticeable when I’m wearing it over my Microlight Jacket whose two-way zipper I use loads.
With a competitive price tag, despite its excellent eco-credentials, the Rab Arc Eco Waterproof Jacket is the best eco-friendly rain jacket I’ve tested. It’s superbly windproof and highly breathable with good waterproof protection. There are very few negatives about this stylish and versatile jacket which is as at home on the trail as it is for everyday wear.
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Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.