The Rab Boreas Pull On is a lightweight stretch top designed to provide a versatile mid-layer for protection from the sun and elements in the mountains. Ideal for use hiking in breezy weather or running in colder weather, the Boreas Pull On is highly breathable and provides wind protection. When the temperature drops further or the rain hits, it's great as a mid-layer under a shell. The deep chest zip combined with the drawcord hem allows the Boreas to be adjusted to the weather conditions, on warmer days loosen the hem and open the zip allowing for good air circulation.
The Boreas Pull On has Polygeine Stay Fresh treatment for odour control making it great for multi-day and high-activity use. The Matrix SWS Fabric is a polyester/spandex combination that is very stretchy and breathable.
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Came recommended by a local here in Queenstown NZ and have worn it out skiing in sunny conditions at or just below 0 Celsius. Thin (and light!) but enough to take the wind chill off and breathable enough so I'm not overheating when working hard going uphill over a thin fleece (ME Eclipse etc.) and base layer.
Fit is good, slim but not overly tight, close fitting hood (fits well but I find I have to unzip to pull it up then re-zip).
The jacket was a really good buy, I was a little dubious about the colour but I like it a lot.The fit was perfect and I was impressed by the precision and quality of the stitching.
The chest pocket seems to be not strictly necessary but may well be useful. The amount of stretch in the fabric seemed to be well judged. The garment arrived in 5 days by Royal Mail which is very fast for deliveries to Ibiza.
I use the jacket for running and short backpacking trips. The hood is close fitting and indeed the whole shirt is fairly body hugging as the fabric has a fair amount of stretch in it. It is very different to my other pertex montane wind shirt in that the Boreas is obviously heavier and takes up more room in your pack and is less windproof/showerproof. This means for longer trips it tends to be left at home. For me it excels wherever I know I'm going to be wearing it rather than carrying it. Summer breezy mountain days where a bit of air movement through the fabric is good for ventilation but where a base layer alone would be too cold are the sort of situations where it is ideal. Build quality has been good with no problems.
I have been using the Rab Boreas top now for the last couple of months. It is my top of choice for running as it provides a layer of warmth and wind resistance yet I don't get hot in it as I would wearing a polartec fleece (regardless of weight).
It is great in light rain, and if it gets heavier, I just don a waterproof jacket (these are longer runs with a pac).
I absolutely love it. The colour and styling is also really nice.
I haven' put much use on this jacket since it's still warm. But I noticed the breathability is very good. I can easily breath through this thing. And from the limited morning cycling recently (at the start, too warm to wear it all the time), it blocks wind very well and the sweat I got evaporated quickly. I have no issue with the breathability for sure. Regarding the wind resistance, I probably need to test it in colder temp to see if it can hold it. It is not wind proof, which is desired, so the point is the whether the wind that manages getting through is too much or just right. If it is ok for cycling in colder temp (0 - 15 degree), then I have no doubt it can be used in other activities (hiking etc).
I have been very impressed with my Rab Boreas and have used it running, climbing and hiking. Fit is good, I bought the small and can fit a variety of base layers under it depending on activity and weather. Plenty of room in the shoulders and the stretch of the fabric means movement is not inhibited. Long sleeves stop the top riding up when reaching. Initially I thought that having a hood would be annoying whilst running but zipping the top right up pulls it tight into the back of your neck so it doesn't flap. The fabric has a much nicer feel to it than traditional wind shirts and it breathes pretty well even when you're working hard. Wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
There have been lots of 5 star reviews praising Rab's Boreas since it first appeared a couple of years ago, but Rab haven't rested on their laurels: they've made it even better by adding Polygiene odour-resistance. This was enough of an 'upgrade' for me to buy a second Boreas (even though my first is still going strong).
It's light, super-stretchy, packs down small and is far more breathable than any pertex-type windshirts.
I've used it backpacking, running and cycling, and it excels in any weather other than rain (but if it does get a soaking it dries very quickly).
Size-wise it's typically Rab: I'm 5'7", 39 inch chest, and wear a Medium, though if I was just a tiny bit smaller I think I could go down a size.
The only negative is the sleeve length: Rab's usual long sleeves pose more of a problem on the Boreas because the cuffs are simply hemmed, and not elasticated or adjustable in any way. That said, they are very easy to roll-up and/or push past the elbows, but I have gone a stage further and shortened them by a couple of inches.
Highly recommended, and the only 'soft-shell/windshirt' that could give it a run for its money in price and performance is Rab's Zephyr jacket.
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