Review : The Rab Kinder Smock

6 mins read
6 mins read

We’ve all had that horrible experience of getting cold out in the mountains. I can remember my first cold the core experience while climbing Slieve Donard at the age of 11 and ever since staying warm and comfortable has been very high up my priority list. Over the years I have enjoyed a number of Rab soft-shell and ‘down’ filled jackets, that keep me comfortable and cosy all year round. Regardless of the weather conditions Rab outerwear has kept me warm in the mountains for years, consistent quality and durability it is now exciting to see a return to the original designs with the release of the Rab Kinder Smock.

The first thing you will notice on the kinder smock is a return to the original Rab logo of thirty years ago. I suspect we will see the retro look for some years to come and the high-class embroidered badge echoes the over all quality of the Kinder Smock.

The smock is true to the original design of thirty years ago with a Pertex Classic outer fabric that’s remarkable strong and resistant. I recently had to wade deep through thick brambles on a detour through the forests and despite a series of cuts on my hands the jacket returned unscathed. For the inner lining Rab have opted for the durable but lighter Pertex Quantum fabric, it’s lighter but still strong and designed to last.

The Rab Kinder Smock is remarkably comfortable and in many ways it feels like you are wrapped in a warm, soft pillow. The Fluorocarbon free Hydrophobic Down has been developed in conjunction with Nikwax® and provides the ultimate in warmth whilst also being water resistant.

Despite the warmth and thick down there is very little restriction to movement and, fear not, a large side zip opening offers ventilation if things get too warm. Size ‘large’ contains 270g grams of down which is a significant down fill given that there is no hood on the smock. It’s by no means Rab’s lightest or most packable of garments but it offers completely unrestricted movement when hiking and climbing.

Pockets & Fit

The Kinder Smock offers an internal secure pocket as well as a large, front kangaroo patch pocket. The latter is brilliant for warming up your hands but for photographers it also nicely accommodates a Fujifilm X100F camera. I use quick release strap attachments and found I able to ‘strap through’ the pocket so the camera was nicely housed in the pocket and not swinging violently as I climbed.

Fit wise, Rab describe the Kinder Smock as ‘regular fit’ as someone who normally wears a ‘medium’ I found this was the perfect sizing for the Kinder Smock even when wearing a base layer and fleece.

Rab Kinder Smock Review

Unrivalled Warmth

If you want warmth the Kinder Smock delivers in spades. The sleeves are partially elasticated with the final tightening being via high quality velcro adjustment straps and the bottom the coat can also be drawn in thanks to side hem draw-chord both eliminating the risk of any winter drafts. I have been wearing the jacket over the last few weeks and it is remarkably comfortable.

It is probably impossible for a coat to be too warm but trust me you will be using the side ventilation system regularly and that can only be a good thing. The 650FP duck down jacket doesn’t fold down like the Rab Microlight Alpine jackets but the pay off is that extra bit of insulation.


Pertex® Classic outer fabric with Pertex Quantum® lining
650FP European Duck Down (270g, 9.5oz in size L)
Rab® Fluorocarbon free Hydrophobic Down developed in conjunction with Nikwax® Stitch through construction
YKK®VISLON® front zip with insulated zip baffle, chin guard, and high down collar
Insulated front placket with metal logo snaps
YKK®VISLON® side zip opening with insulated zip baffle
Large kangaroo patch pocket with tricot lining
YKK® zipped security pocket
Part-elasticated cuffs with anti-snag velcro adjustment and 1 sided hem drawcord
Regular fit

In Conclusion

Using the classic design of 30 years ago the Rab Kinder Smock feels like it is built to last for the next 30! The smock offers the traditional Rab quality and functionality with the rich 650FP duck down bringing an unrivalled level of warmth and comfort. If you are looking for hard-wearing smock jacket that will offer years of warmth then is an essential investment.



David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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