Review: Rab Boreas Pull-On

MG 4376













The Rab Boreas Pull-On has been my gear hit of the year so far. I checked this out after hearing several people rave about it. At my local Cotswold store the staff told me they’d had the same reaction than I had when I started looking at it. Just what is the Boreas for?

The Boreas is a simple, lightweight, soft weave garment. It is not 100% windproof but it provides most of the wind protection you need when working hard on the hill. It is not a waterproof but it copes remarkably well with drizzle and showers and with its simple hood you can rely on this until the really hard rain comes. It is more comfortable than, say, a standard wind shirt. My XL size weighs just 300 grams, which is lighter than the guide weight on the label.

On leaving the shop I put in the Boreas and cycled home from the city centre in a rain shower. Since purchase I have regularly worn this while cycling and also while walking on the hills. For a reasonably cheap jacket — £40 or below — this has been a very good value-for-money purchase.

It is not perfect of course. It is a synthetic top and really does need washing after a few days. In the hills, though, you could wash it through regularly with the confidence that it will dry quickly.

The only downside I have found with this is that it is not so comfortable worn under an eVent jacket as a mid layer. When worn on top of a merino base layer I’ve found it a bit sweaty which leads to a slight itchiness next to the skin. That being said, I have seen a number of reviews where people talk about it as being a very effective mid layer; perhaps, it works more efficiently over a synthetic base layer.

Still, these are minor gripes. For summer — even this one — this has proven to be a great piece of kit to have in my pack.

The sizing seems to be almost normal — you never quite know with Rab. I didn’t need to size up and according to the staff at Cotswold neither has anyone else they have sold it to.



  1. Alan R says

    Hi Andy,
    I bought mine about a yr or so ago and i thought it would be a perfect middle layer. But i now barely use it. It’s “an almost” piece of kit. Doesn’t do anything particularly well.
    Not windproof, not waterprooof, not warm (except if you wear it going up hill rapidly). Can be somewhat cold in fact. The hood is not great and the sleeves have a tendency to always fall down if you want them rolled up.
    It’s become the jacket i want to like but it stays in the wardrobe.
    Probably the UK climate this last year has not been beneficial to its positive attributes. But i think it’s good for the pub on a summer evening as the sun (ha) goes down.
    As for cycling use, i have no comments. Good price though if it suits you.

  2. I just got one of these, and am still looking for the right way to wear it, which is an odd thing to say about a piece of outdoor gear.

    It wasn’t entirely clear from the post, but are you wearing it as a mid layer ove something other than merino?

    • Thanks for the comments lads. I can see the point of both of them.

      It won’ deal with he rain we have had over he last few weeks! I use it as a extra layer per a merino base layer and ind I fine. Yes the hood is basic but OK in light rain. I don’t think it works under a waterproof as I said but in normal summer conditions it gives you something extra. It is particularly good for cycling so log as you realise you have to wash it!

      I like its versatility but in our extreme summer conditions the point of it could easily be missed. In general, I’m referring to use a month or so ago!

  3. Steve Jackson says

    How are you finding this top now Andy? I’m hovering over the button to buy one lol!! I’m after a thin mid layer with some wind proof capability, but for me the price point is excellent, available for £30 now if you shop about!!
    Do you have any experience with better alternatives? For me it’s this or a lightweight micro fleece.

    • Hi Steve,

      It;’s a funny garment the Boreas but in weather like the stuff we are having at the moment it is fine. It give you just bait of warmth and a bit of wind protection.

      The only thing I would say about it is that it needs regular cleaning if it is not to frighten everyone away! I don’t use it for backpacking for exactly that reason — it needs washing through at the end of the day!

Write in the box and the login details will suddenly appear!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.