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.