A well cut, lightweight, packable, windproof jacket that's compromised by a couple of details
I’ve been after a lightweight jacket for those rides where it starts out cold, but you heat up as you get going and then need to stash it away. RAB’s new Women’s Cinder Borealis Jacket seems to fit the bill because it’s windproof and is designed to pack away into its own rear pocket.
To keep the wind out, the front of the jacket and the top of the sleeves are covered with a stretch nylon face fabric. This is then lined with semi-fleecy material to add warmth and help wick moisture away from your skin. On the back and underarms the fleece has a deeper pile to boost breathability further because that’s where you sweat the most.
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The Cinder Borealis isn’t fully waterproof but it does have a DWR (durable water-repellent) coating that helps water run off in a light shower. It has a nice high collar with a handy zip-gutter to stop the zip digging in your neck. There’s also a storm flap to keep the wind out. So far, I’ve not snagged the zip in this flap, which is something that I’ve had happen with other jackets.
On the rear of the jacket are two stuff pockets and the zipped nylon storage pocket. There are no front pockets, which is a bit of an issue for me because I like to carry a phone with me. My bigger issue is I can’t get the whole jacket stuffed in the rear pocket – it’s a really tight fit and I’m just not strong enough.
If you’re riding all day in this one that won’t matter but if you want pack-and-play this just doesn’t work. I think making the pocket bigger would not only make it easier to get it all in, extending the nylon further down would offer more protection against wheel spray.
Review by Alice Burwell
The best thing about the Cinder Borealis is the figure-hugging women’s specific cut. There’s no extra bulk in the body and it sits really nice over my hips. I also like the extra-long sleeves, long zip toggle and the jacket's colour. However, I’ve marked the Cinder Borealis down because I just couldn’t get it into the stuff pocket.