Chris Townsend reviews an affordable and lightweight windshell

This review is part of our windshells gear guide, and was first published in the April 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.

Rab’s new Vital Windshell is the least expensive top tested but that doesn’t mean a lesser performance or lower specifications. In fact in both cases the Vital is better than some more expensive windshells. The thin fabric is windproof and breathable and also soft and comfortable. Although 100% nylon it doesn’t have the shiny slick feel nylon often has. There are two roomy pockets but they are cut off by a pack hipbelt and would be better sited a little higher. The hood is good. It has an elasticated rim with a stiffened peak above plus a rear Velcro tab for volume adjustment. There are no front drawcords but I haven’t missed these. The jacket packs inside the zipped inner pocket.

I miss having an accessible pocket when wearing a pack but otherwise there’s nothing to fault. The weight is quite low and the Vital Windshell is a good choice for three-season use and great value for money.