Rab has used Polartec Neoshell in the Nexus, which is a relatively new 3-layer fabric that boasts excellent breathability in the lab. The theoretical drawback is that the material is not as waterproof compared to some higher-priced options, but according to Polartec this is plenty waterproof enough; increasing it just reduces breathability. To date the fabric has performed superbly on the hill and my view is that the design probably plays a greater role in comfort anyway. To that end the Nexus is also superbly designed. It’s a notch longer than some other jackets we looked at, so overtrousers won’t be needed quite so readily. The sleeves allow good movement and the cuffs can be adjusted to fit inside or outside gloves. The main zip is left exposed to the elements but it is a chunkier version than most, so it should keep water out pretty well – there is an internal gutter system too. There are just three pockets, which I think is ideal, and these are all large and easily accessed. The hood is excellent thanks to good adjustment and a wired peak. Although you don’t get pit zips or additional pockets, that does help to keep the weight down to a reasonable 511g (size L) and, when combined with the price, the Rab Nexus all adds up to a very good winter mountain jacket.
Weight 511g (size men’s L)
Fabric 3-layer Polartec Neoshell
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
External pockets 3
Can hood be rolled down? yes
Side/pit vents no
In the Rab Nexus great design for mountain walking and scrambling is combined with a good price and a great fabric to create the perfect combination for most hillgoers. The jacket won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2013