Rab Shadow Hoodie
Tested: Continuously for four months
The Shadow Hoodie isn’t really a jacket for riding in, it’s what I would call a ‘live-in-jacket’. In winter it can be worn as a mid-layer over a base layer and under a waterproof shell or down jacket, and in summer it can be worn as an outer layer in the cool of the evening as you stand next to the BBQ necking IPA and poking charred meat. Saying that, if you wear a hoodie when you’re riding you could do a lot worse than this jacket.
A jacket that you’re going to want to wear year round had better be able to take the daily toil of having brake fluid, sausage roll crumbs, tea and pasta sauce splashed on it as well as standing up to general abrasion and in this respect the Shadow Hoodie survives it all. The Shadow is made from Polartec Windpro with Hardface technology, so it’ll keeps you warm, is water resistant, won’t develop holes in the elbows any time soon and can stand being covered in mud and washed repeatedly; this is a well put together garment. Be aware though, the stretchy nature of the jacket means that it will accentuate your body shape, great for slim and trim types but those of fuller figure may find it less flattering.
Features on some jackets just equal bulk but the two huge chest pockets can take an OS map, or a LifeCycle DVD case, each. Multifunctional. There’s also an internal pocket that’s surprisingly cavernous. Obviously being called the Shadow Hoodie it has a hood. I’ve never been a big fan of jackets with a hood as they add bulk and if I want to keep my head warm I’d wear a hat, but I have actually used the hood quite a lot and as this jacket is less about weight-weenie-ism and more about everyday use it kind of makes sense. The thumb loops are another nice touch and thanks to the stretchy nature of the fabric you aren’t just pulling the sleeves off your shoulders like some jackets can do.
£120 may seem pricey but it’s a garment that can be worn year round rather than for just three months of the year and then stored in a wardrobe, so it’s high on VFM.
Overall: Finish a ride, throw this jacket on and retire to the cafe. Continue to wear jacket for rest of the year. Repeat.