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Rab Kangri GTX jacket review: Waterproof, fully featured and dependable

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
280
inc VAT

Rab’s Kangri GTX is a great all-round jacket for rainy walks and inclement hikes – and it's very sensibly designed, too

Pros 
Wind- and water-proof
Highly adjustable
Great ventilation
Cons 
A bit pricey
Not as tough as Gore-Tex Pro jackets
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Born in Sheffield way back in 1981, Rab is a UK-based outdoors brand that has long since gained a worldwide reputation. In the company’s own words, the Kangri GTX jacket is “perfect for everything from winter hillwalking to showery scrambles” and, after a couple of months of testing, we’d wholeheartedly agree. If you’re looking for a top-notch Gore-Tex jacket for walks and hikes in the worst of the UK weather, this is a stylish, dependable option.

Rab Kangri GTX jacket review: What you need to know

  • Five sizes for men and women (Men: S, M, L, XL, XXL; Women: 8, 10, 12, 14, 16)
  • Three-layer Gore-Tex 70D construction
  • 3 pockets (2 large external; 1 small internal)
  • Fully adjustable hood (not helmet compatible), adjustable waist and hem
  • Two-way front zip with storm flap
  • Weight (measured): 572g (XL)

What do we love about the Rab Kangri GTX jacket?

Superb weatherproofing: We’ve trudged through biblical rain and unexpected hail showers, and the Kangri GTX has proved entirely wind- and water-proof during our testing – even when other parts of our wardrobe have failed us. It’s also great to see that the Kangri GTX uses water-repellent YKK Aquaguard zips throughout: the storm flap backing the front zip helps to keep out water in the most horrid of weather, and the zip pulls are easy to get hold of even when wearing thicker winter gloves. 

Durable and lightweight: The three-layer construction means the Gore-Tex membrane is protected by a layer of tough 70D polyester, so the jacket shrugged off brambles, scuffs and scrapes during our time with it. Weight is very reasonable, with our XL jacket weighing in at 572g.

Stylish, practical design: The simple, elegant cut looks great – this is no frumpy outdoor jacket – and it’s shot through with lots of really useful features. The ample length helps keep your nether regions dry, and the hood’s wide, mouldable peak provides superb visibility even when it’s cinched up in the worst weather. Adjustability throughout is superb, with hidden release catches for the adjustable elasticated hood; a hem drawcord that can be pulled tight and released with one hand; interior waist adjustment; and velcro wrist cuffs.

Big pockets: The capacious left and right pockets accommodate full-sized maps with no hassle at all. The waterproofed zips keep things inside impressively dry, and a further interior zipped pocket allows you to keep more delicate items out of harm’s way – this is big enough to accommodate even the largest of smartphones.

Well ventilated and breathable: This is no boil-in-the-bag jacket: the Kangri GTX is surprisingly breathable, even when the pace picks up. Open up those huge under-armpit zips, and you won’t end up having to strip off the jacket when those longer walks accelerate from a trudge to a march, or when that sedate walk turns to a steep upwards hike. The two-way front zip is a nice touch, too.

Generous fit: Available in both men’s and women’s specific sizes, we tested the Kangri GTX in a Men’s XL. The cut is definitely on the roomy side. Compared to Rab’s Kinetic Plus jacket, which is a far more figure-hugging XL, the Kangri GTX’s hillwalking and scrambling credentials leave much more room for layering. We were easily able to don a merino baselayer and fleece midlayer underneath without any bunching – and even a lightweight down jacket fitted underneath when the temperature dipped below zero. If you prefer a more streamlined fit then it may be worth sizing down or considering a jacket with a slimmer fit.

What don’t we like about the Rab Kangri GTX jacket?

Price: As with most tough Gore-Tex jackets, the Kangri GTX costs the best part of £300. For most people, that’s serious money to spend on a jacket of any type. That said, Rab’s lifetime warranty and reasonably priced repair options mean that, under normal usage, you should get many years of use for your money. And in fairness, it’s not overpriced: similarly specified jackets from rival brands often edge closer to the £400 mark.

Not as durable as Gore-Tex Pro jackets: The Kangri GTX’s 70-denier polyester shell will be plenty tough enough for most of us, but if you need a mountain-ready jacket that’s even more resistant to cuts and rips then you’d be advised to opt for a pricier jacket with a tougher Gore-Tex Pro outer layer.

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