At a glance
The Rab Cinder Phantom is a featherlight, stash-and-forget waterproof shell, boasting a low-volume pack size with frame attachment, and stretchy Pertex® Shield fabric which breathes as well as deflecting persistent rain. Price: 220 Euro / 180 GBPBuy Jackets on
When it comes to outdoor products, the British Rab is a staple brand and can be found on the backs of many athletes, high mountain guides and alpinists. Their recycled down jackets and sleeping bags have won many awards and we were thrilled to see them jump into the cycling market with an impressive range of products this year.
The Cinder Phantom jacket is one for the minimalists out there. A jacket that packs as small as your fist and weighing in under a 100 grams is an impressive feat, you can clearly see their 40 years of outdoor clothing manufacturing experience here.
The jacket is made from a 20.000mm waterproof 7D Pertex material with a cycling specific cut. The YKK zip in the front is ergonomically curved for comfort in a bike riding position, and the under helmet peaked hood can be stowed if you prefer. The extended cuffs are shaped to have the perfect fit while riding a bike, and the dropped rear hem has silicone grip strips to keep the jacket in place when riding.
The slim cut jacket comes in sizes XS to XL in a mens and womens version. Men’s colors are black or sahara (tested) while the women's versions come in a black or red grapefruit colorway. The jacket comes with a stuff sack which has a pre tensioned elastic which makes it easy to stow and you can even attach it to your bike if you like.
Out on the trail
First impressions are best captured in the three letter word ‘wow’. And we don’t mean that about the price of the jacket, but we’re in awe of the tiny packsize and light weight of it all. You can easily stuff this in your hip pack and still have space left for snacks, gloves and spares.
The fit is as mentioned slim, but the material has some stretch to it, making it incredibly comfortable to wear. Do keep in mind that this is a very minimalist jacket, so no pockets, cuff straps or other gadgets. The cuffs do have a small elastic woven into them for perfect fit.
If we’re talking about waterproofness, the Cinder Phantom ticks the box. It’s the ultimate wind and waterproof jacket to carry with you in case it rains or if you can expect some rain showers. It does a smashing job on keeping the wind out and when it gets really nasty you can pull the zip up to the top and keep your neck nice and warm.
Breathability is always a key point when it comes to waterproof jackets, and the Cinder Phantom is as good as it gets. For prolonged climbing it is breathable enough to prevent condensation and the big zip lets you get in plenty of fresh air. As a minimalist jacket it does not come with any pit zips or back vents. If you tend to overheat easily, I suggest you have a look at their Cinder Kinetic jacket, which is made from a more breathable material and has a slightly less minimalist design.
Rab has done an outstanding job on their first bike line and the Cinder Phantom is in our opinion something that should be in everyone's pack. It’s tiny, protects from the elements and has a great cut. Yes the price point is not in everyone's budget range, but do keep in mind that a quality piece of kit lasts longer and especially with waterproof shells, top quality is key.Buy Jackets on
This review was in Issue 75 of IMB.For more information visit Rab
By Jarno HooglandJarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.