Is This The Best Winter Fleece Jacket? | Rab Hoody (REVIEW)

Person walking wear Red Rab Hoody

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Are you looking for the best warm winter fleece jacket for your outdoor adventures?

I’m one of those people that gets cold quickly (ask my hiking buddies) and I am always the first to put extra layers on when I’m hiking so this winter fleece was perfect for me to try out.

If you’re the same as me, this Rab hoody might be what you’re looking for. It kept me cosy and warm on my recent Peak District walks as well as my wild camping trip in the Lake District. Here I will share my thoughts on this outdoor fleece hoody so you can decide whether it will be right for you.

I first wore the hoody on a 3-day hiking trip in the Lake District. The weather was cool and mostly dry so I was able to wear the fleece as my main jacket nearly the entire time. In fact, I only took it off a couple of times, mostly on the steep uphills as it was too warm! On my autumnal Peak District walks, it’s been a great breathable hoody, keeping me warm without feeling sweaty.

This post is sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor; however, all thoughts and options about the Rab Shearling Fleece are my own. Keep reading to find out what I liked and didn’t like about this fleece jacket.

In addition, I’ve also reviewed the Rab Firewall Pants – scroll down to read the review of them below.

And if you have any more questions about the Rab Hoody then ask me in the comments below.

Rab Shearling Hoody – Winter Fleece Review

Standing wearing hoody and backpack looking at views
Hiking up to Whin Rigg in the Lake District

About Cotswold Outdoor

Cotswold Outdoor has a range of branches around the UK (find your local one here), as well as their website. I’ve shopped in the Nottingham store numerous times and always enjoy the friendly welcome I receive.

The staff have a good knowledge of the items in the store and are able to offer guidance if you’re not sure what product is right for you. They helped me last year with my winter waterproof jacket when I explained I needed one with a good hood for my small head haha!

Cotswold Outdoor also has all its products online, plus a few extra ‘online-only’ items. This Rab Hoody is not available in all stores but can only be bought online and delivered straight to your door.

They offer a simple return policy (up to 100 days). Read the Cotswold Outdoor return policy here.

If you are shopping online they also offer FREE delivery for over £50, that’s probably not hard to do!

Becky walking in the woods
Walking through woods near Thor’s Cave, Peak District

What is the packaging like?

The Rab Hoody arrived in a reusable delivery bag, made from 100% recycled material. Make sure you don’t rip the bag open, use scissors and you can easily reuse it for future parcels (handy with Christmas approaching!)

Within the delivery bag, the Rab Hoody was in a thin plastic bag, boo! But the Rab labels were cardboard and had string (not plastic) attaching them to the fleece. A reasonable attempt at eco-friendly packaging but could be better.

Read later – Save to Pinterest here

About the Rab Hoody Fleece Jacket

Wearing Rab Hoody next to tarn
Enjoying the bright sunshine on an autumnal walk

The fleece only comes in one colour – it’s called Ruby, but I’d describe it as bright red with black trim. Check online to see if they have introduced other colours here.

It’s a warm fleece made with a Polartec 300 fleece fabric. I’ve had other fleeces but this one is a thicker jacket, designed for cooler temperatures. It is ideal as a jacket for autumn/winter walks on its own, or as a layer with a waterproof jacket in the mountains, on rainy day hikes. (Check out the Cotswold Outdoor range of waterproof jackets here).

Stood next a stone cairn
Wearing the jacket under my waterproof on Red Pike

The Rab Sherling weighs 595 grams. It is a fully zipped jacket, with a hood and two side pockets with zips. The pockets are big enough to keep your hands warm or your phone in, or both!

Go online to check availability and see the Rab Hoody jacket here.

Baslow Edge - Becky stood with handy in pockets
Baslow Edge in the Peak District – keeping my hands warm!

Rab Hoody features

You can tell this fleece a good quality product from the features and finishing touches, it is thoughtfully made for outdoor adventures. I’ve been enjoying testing it out on my walks in the Lake District and Peak District. As well as keeping me warm whilst I’m working at home (I have a cold house haha).

Cosy hood

I’ll start at the top and work down! The Rab Hoody has a lovely hood, it wasn’t too tight but fitted me comfortably and didn’t cover my eyes (small head issues!) It doesn’t work very well if you have a bobble hat on though – no surprise really. On cold days you might want a headband or beanie hat to stop the draft.

Rab Hoody with hood up
Feeling cosy and warm with the hood up

Zip + inner flap

The zip runs up and down easily without snagging. There’s also an extra piece of material inside that prevents drafts through the zip seam, I really liked this as it’s another way I can stay warm!

Hand pulling zip down on hoody
Unzipping the hoody to cool off

Double pockets

Again the zips on the pockets are easy to use, especially with gloves on. They are also deep pockets that you can fit your gloves, phone and your hands comfortably. The inner pocket is made of breathable fabric so it means you don’t get too hot.

Sleeves with trim

A small detail but the sleeves have a black (feels slightly elastic) trim, which means the fleece fits snuggly around your wrists and stops cold air blowing up your arms. 

Sleeve of Rab Hoody and view
Black trim around the sleeve for a snug fit

What are the women’s sizes like?

The Rab Shearling Hoody Fleece comes in women’s sizes from 8 to 16. You can check here to see if your size is in stock.

I am a size 10 for my hiking jackets and tops (and normal clothes). The Rab Hoody was a good fit for my size, the only part that felt slightly big was the arm length, but you could pull them over your hands and then stretchy black trim on the wrist kept them in place.

On the flip side, I did prefer longer arms over being too short. As someone that suffers from cold hands, I find that keeping my wrists warm, i.e. where my radial artery is, keeps me warmer.

The fleece is also designed to be longer at the back (see photo below). For me, this is a huge positive as there’s nothing worse than feeling a cold draft of wind where there’s a gap between your trousers and jacket. On rainy day hikes, make sure the fleece is under your waterproof to keep it dry (or tuck into your waterproof pants – that’s what I did).

Check out the Cotswold Outdoor size guide here for the hoody to get the right fit for you (click under the dropdown size box).

Sat on a rock overlooking
Overlooking Wast Water in the Lake District

What do I like about the Rab Winter Fleece?

I was a little in love with this outdoor fleece, it literally felt like a cuddly blanket when I was wearing it, my friend also said the same whilst stroking my arm haha!

Here are the main things I liked about it:

  • The colour – I know red isn’t for everyone but the warming colour fitted the style of the jacket perfectly. Plus when the sun shone the colour popped and made for some beautiful photos against the scenery.
  • It felt cosy and warm – the fit of the fleece jacket meant there were no places wind could blow up the jacket so I was happy and warm. But it also felt breathable so you’d only get too hot if really exerting yourself – ie, hiking a giant hill.
  • The hood fitted – I’m one of those women with a small head (there are a few of us) and the hood was a lovely fit.
  • Zipped pockets – a big bonus for the jacket. The pockets fitted my Samsung 10 phone in comfortably and were easy to zip up. I suffer from cold hands and keeping them close to my body (in the pockets) was a good way to keep them warm.
Standing next to tarn wearing the fleece
Tarn near Illgill Head summit

What don’t I like about the Rab Shearling Hoody?

The Rab Hoody makes a brilliant warm fleece and if you’re buying a winter walking jacket then you won’t be disappointed. I have been wearing the jacket a lot so it’s difficult to find things I don’t like, but here are a couple.

  • Too warm – A few times I did feel that the jacket was maybe too warm when hiking uphill, I have been wearing a thin long-sleeved top underneath. If you tend to be a ‘hot’ person when hiking this thick layer might be too much for you.
  • Bulky in your backpack – On those occasions, I did take the jacket off it filled the top of my backpack.
  • Cost – Initially I felt the price point was high for this item, however, as a winter piece of clothing, it’s not too bad but still a little high for a fleece! Check out the price of the fleece here.
  • It’s disappointing to see the sizes only go up to a size 16, I’d love to see more options available for ALL hikers.
  • The arms are slightly too long, it’s not a big issue for me (I’m 5’7″ with long limbs but it could be an issue for someone smaller).
Stood next to stone trig wearing backpack
Popped the fleece in my backpack for the hike up to Pillar

Overall thoughts about this Rab winter fleece jacket

I really liked the fleece, it will be a great winter jacket for me to wear on cold days. Also, I loved how it was breathable, yet keeping me warm and cosy too. On the first hike, I remember taking it out my backpack and saying it felt like a lovely fleece blanket I was putting on.

The hoody is fantastic for a dry hiking day but if the weather was raining and the temperature wasn’t too cold it would have been too warm with the fleece and waterproof jacket combination. But as a winter fleece on a cold day, I’d be happy to be wearing this jacket.

Wearing hoody with hood up
Comfy, cosy and warm – the perfect combination

I’m not sure I’d take on a long-distance winter trip as it was a little heavy/bulky for what I prefer to carry. Although, I’m guessing most of you won’t be venturing off wild camping when it’s snowing at – that’s just me haha!

As a fleece for a day hike or weekend adventure, it’s an excellent hoody. It would make a lovely thick fleece jacket to wear on my local Nottingham walks or valley walks in the Peak District.

I also find it a really cosy fleece for working from home, sitting at a laptop not moving can get chilly and I love feeling snuggly and warm when I’m working.

Would I recommend the Rab Women’s Shearling Hoody?

Totally yes, I really love this warm winter fleece jacket. I’d happily recommend you won’t be disappointed with this Rab Hoody, a perfect Christmas present for someone or treat yourself! I’d say it’s one of the best fleece jackets for women.

If you’d like Santa to buy you the present I’d recommend sending him (or her) this post (hint, hint!) Visit Cotswold Outdoor here to buy now, before your size goes out of stock!

Do you have any more questions about this Rab Hoody? Ask me in the comments below.

Rab Firewall Pants Review

About the Rab Firewall Pants

The Firewall Pants come in an option of black or black! No idea why waterproof pants are always black, I guess it doesn’t show up the dirt as easily! The trousers weigh 296 grams.

Rab Firewall Pants with drops of rain
Raindrops falling but I’m nice and dry

The pants come in a stretchy but waterproof material (Pertex Shield 3-layer stretch fabric). They are ideal for climbing over those many stiles on some walks or scrambling up and down rocky sections on hikes, handy for me as I love exploring! You can read more about in the ‘Product detail’ section.

The Pertex Shield used for the pants is a combination of 3 fabric layers to create a waterproof and windproof system against the elements but also designed with breathability to reduce you sweating on the inside, which is equally as bad because. And now that the weather is getting colder the extra layer makes a big difference when you’re up high.

What features do they have?

Grippy waist + cord

The waist is elasticated but also has a grippy section around the back to stop them slipping down as well as a toggle to tighten them. They are tighter when pulling them on but fit better and don’t slide down when you walk, as I’ve found with other trousers.

Full-length zip

The zip goes the full length of the leg and secures with a button at the bottom. It’s a 2-way zip, meaning if you get warmer during your walk you can unzip from the top or bottom (or both) to allow some air in. I’ve mostly used this when I’m hiking uphill but it’s also handy if you drop into the valley and don’t want to take them off.

It also has a really good zip runner, which doesn’t snag, as well as some material inside that overlaps the zip section, therefore reducing rain getting through the fabric.

Full length zip on Rab Firewall Pants
Full-length zip from top to bottom

Under-boot cord

At the bottom of the pants, there’s an under-boot/shoe elastic cord, I didn’t bother with this on the first trip, it seemed a faff. But I’ve since used it on every walk, including heavy rain and muddy walks. It acts similar to a gaiter keeping water (and mud) out of your boots.

You have to pull to fit it around but once done you have a good seal around the hiking boot/shoe and the bottom of the pants.

The best test was a few water crossings on my recent Peak District walk up Blackden Brook, whilst everyone else ended up with wet feet mine stayed almost completely dry even though the water level was higher than my hiking boot.

My only issue was getting it off, the first time it flicked mud all over my hand, the second time I was more careful! It’s a great idea but as it’s only a thin piece of elastic I’m curious how long it will last and if it does break, how easy is it to fix? I will let you know!

What are the sizes like?

The Rab Women’s Firewall Pants come in sizes from 8 to 16, in a regular length. Check to see if your size is in stock here.

On the Cotswold Outdoor website, below the product item, there is a handy size guide, you can check this to ensure the size is right for you.

I am mostly a size 10 regular for all hiking trousers and opted for a size 10 in these pants. They fitted well around the waist and hips, the length was also good for my height (I’m 5 ft 7 in), but they could be too long if you are shorter.

Sat on rock wearing waterproof trousers
A drizzly day but keeping dry with the Rab pants on

Other size options

It’s a shame the pants only go up to size 16. It is suggesting that people size 16+ don’t go hiking but I’ve seen plenty out in the hills and I’m sure they would want to stay warm and dry too. There is also no option for a shorter/longer length leg.

What do I like about the Rab Firewall Pants?

After my first outing testing out the pants on an autumnal 3-day trip in the Lake District, I was impressed with how they performed. There was no heavy rain to test them in (I was kind of happy about this) but as the temperatures dropped on the summits I was glad I had them as an extra layer.

Since then I’ve managed to find plenty of rain to test them and after a few soaking I’ve had no issues getting wet so impressed with their waterproofness.

Here are the things I liked about the pants:

  • Easy to get on – the full-length zip means you can get the pants on (and off) easily. I even did whilst balancing on one leg (I’m not saying everyone can do this but I was impressed).
  • Snag-free zip – another thing that stood out was the good zip, meaning you can zip up and down without it snagging on the material.
  • Kept me warm and dry – as a windproof layer the pants were brilliant, I had thin leggings on so the extra layer kept me lovely and warm.
Standing on hill overlooking lake
Hiking down from Lingmell in the rain, views of Wast Water
  • Under-boot cord – I’m really impressed with this feature, it feels similar to wearing gaiters. It even stood the test walking through water crossings, not letting the water into my boots. A big bonus!
  • No swishing when you walk – my first waterproof walking trousers were cheap and as such incredibly swishy, but I am happy to report swish-free walking with these pants!
  • Weight – at 296 grams, this is lightweight for the type of trouser, aimed to keep your warm and dry.
  • Great stretchable fabric – perfect for scrambling and climbing on rocks.
Climbing up stone cairn
Great stretch in the Rab Pants

What don’t I like about the Rab Firewall Pants?

To be honest, it’s hard to criticise the pants as I was impressed with them but here are a few niggles!

  • The waist toggle could prove uncomfortable on longer hikes, especially if you have a backpack – it didn’t bother me on the walks but it’s one thing I was conscious of. On the flip side, it’s nice for them not to fall down which is equally annoying!
  • Better for autumn/winter hiking – ultimately these pants are designed for winter trips so they might be too thick/warm for spring/summer hiking trips.
  • The price is at the upper end of the scale, however, as regards to keeping you dry, warm and happy I think these are worth the money if you go hiking regularly.
  • Lack of sizes – it’s disappointing to see the lack of sizes for hikers above a UK size 16 and also no shorter leg lengths. Why?
Hiking boot and Rab Firewall Pants
The under boot elastic strap

Overall thoughts about these waterproof walking trousers

I’m looking forward to wearing these hiking pants throughout winter. I’m going to be using these over my Berghaus Paclite ones in the colder months as I do tend to feel the cold once I’m up high in the hills. I wear lighter leggings or hiking trousers underneath so I can be comfortable hiking uphill when I tend to get a sweat on, knowing I have a lovely warm layer to put on top.

The biggest question would be, are they worth the money? They are a mid-range price for waterproof/windproof pants. As someone who hikes regularly and wants to enjoy the scenery no matter what the weather I’d recommend these would be perfect for warm and dry adventures. 

Rab’s warranty also offers a guarantee for the usable lifetime of a product, excluding damage through accident, improper use, normal wear and tear or breakdown of materials (that’s where looking after your pants is important – see tips above.)

Stood next to stone trig wearing backpack
Happy and warm on Pillar summit at 892 metres high

Would I recommend the Rab Pants?

Yes – Becky thumbs up here! I’d happily recommend these pants for happy hiking in the colder months. I’d probably still favour the Berghaus Paclite for my long-distance hikes as I prefer to go as light as possible. Although for my next winter challenge, hiking the Cumbria Way, I’ve already decided I’ll be taking the Rab Firewalls. 

Fancy treating yourself? Visit Cotswold Outdoor here and order a pair now so you have no excuse not to go on that next rainy day hike!

Do you have any more questions about the Rab Firewall Pants? Ask me in the comments below.

*This post is sponsored by Cotswold Outdoor, however, all thoughts and opinions about the product and brand are my own.

 

*Becky the Traveller participates in the Amazon Services Associates Programme, as well as other affiliate programmes. If you make a purchase through these, I earn from the qualifying links. This is at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

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