In terms of value alone, Revolution Race are already outperforming more established brands, and with the Revolution Race Cyclone Rescue 2.0 shell they’ve created a very solid all-round outdoor jacket. It’s a comfortable, feature-laden outer layer that only really starts to show some limitations when contrasted with premium technical shells that cost twice or even three times as much.
Stretch fabric for freedom of movement
Plenty of features
PFC-free DWR finish
Not the lightest
Fit slightly boxy
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The Revolution Race Cyclone Rescue 2.0 is a great example of the brand’s mission statement in action. As we noted previously when reviewing the brand’s excellent Fusion Fleece, Revolution Race really seem to be creating a buzz in the outdoors market – despite being a relative newcomer to the industry. Formed in 2014 by a Swedish couple who were fed up with high-priced but poorly-fitting, outmoded gear, their direct-to-consumer model has enabled them to offer high-quality outdoor kit at an affordable price point.
The Cyclone Rescue 2.0 jacket is the latest example. There’s no Gore-Tex or eVent technology here. Instead the jacket utilises a proprietary three-layer Hypershell Pro fabric developed in-house. That partly accounts for the lower price tag but is no reflection of lower quality.
The jacket is designed to be waterproof, windproof and breathable, with lab testing figures of 15,000mm HH (hydrostatic head) and 20,000 MVTR (moisture vapour transmission rate). Those are the industry standard tests for assessing waterproofness and breathability, and the figures cited suggest this jacket ought to outperform most rivals in this price bracket. Membrane aside, the nylon fabric also has a high elastane content for 4-way stretch both lengthwise and crosswise, to enhance wearing comfort and overall freedom of movement.
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The jacket doesn’t skimp on features either. You get a multitude of useful pockets – six in total, including a forearm pocket for a ski pass – plus laminated, two-way pit zips for ventilation. There are velcro adjustment at the cuffs and double drawcord adjustment at the hem. The drop hood has three-way adjustment and a stiffened peak. It is described as being helmet compatible too, though we struggled to fit it over a climbing lid.
Unusually, the jacket has a stand-up collar and incorporates a front-zipped venting face-guard – a great technical feature that we’ve only ever seen on one other jacket (the Berghaus Extrem 8000 Pro, a class-leading shell when it was released back in 2016). The Revolution Race Cyclone Rescue 2.0’s laminated, reverse-coil main zip also has an inner baffle and a soft chin guard. Strangely, it is only fitted with one zipper pull, so only runs one way – a possible oversight for technical use, as we find a two-way zip invaluable when using a climbing harness. But the jacket does have a RECCO reflector for added winter safety (hence the ‘Rescue’ part of ‘Cyclone Rescue’), which could extend its effective use into full-on winter weather.
Inevitably, all those bells and whistles add some weight, so if you’re looking for a fast and light ‘just in case’ jacket, move on. But as an all-round waterproof for mixed conditions, the Revolution Cyclone Rescue 2.0 looks an enticing option.
• RRP: $189 (US)/ £159 (UK)
• Weight: Men's M 680g
• Sizes: Men’s S-2XL Women’s XS-XL
• Waterproofing: 15,000mm HH
• Breathability: 20,000g/m²/24hrs MVTR
• Fabric: 3L Hypershell Pro (Nylon 88%, Elastane 12%)
• Colors: Men’s Stargazer / Dark Olive / Black / Yellow / Olive Oil / Autumn / Sharkskin / Dark Turquoise / Fern Green Women’s Black / Yellow / Spiced Corral / Burgundy / Blackberry / Electric Purple / Spectra Green / Stargazer / Dark Turquoise
In the field
The Revolution Race Cyclone Rescue 2.0 is very comfortable thanks to that 4-way stretch, while the 3-layer fabric is supple, quiet and soft against the skin. The fit should suit most too. It offers plenty of room across the shoulders and in the arms – though personally, we’d have appreciated a couple of extra inches at the hem for a bit of additional protection for the most dynamic movements, eg, when scrambling or climbing. In fact, it is fair to say that the patterning throughout, while very good, is perhaps not quite as refined as top-end mountain shells. But when you consider that Revolution Race have only been designing outdoor kit since 2014, what they’ve put together here is still pretty impressive.
It does means that if considered as a technical jacket, the Cyclone Rescue possesses a few eccentric details, while lacking various others that might be considered essential. It has that forearm pocket for a ski pass, for example, but if used as a ski jacket you’d also really want a bigger hood to fit comfortably over a ski helmet, plus a powder skirt. Then there’s the face vent, which would be great for winter climbing and mountaineering, but the lack of a two-way main zip is a frustration in this regard, while the short hem also gives limited protection – and again, the relatively cramped hood doesn’t work too well with a helmet.
When viewed as a general all-rounder, however, this jacket becomes a much better prospect. If you spend a lot of time hiking trails and bagging summits, the Cyclone Rescue will serve you well. It certainly did a great job over the course of a very rainy testing window in Snowdonia. Most importantly, it is completely windproof and waterproof, providing good protection in the hills and mountains. The two-way pit zips also allow you to dump heat if you’re pumping hard uphill. There are plenty of pockets to stash essentials, and the hood cinches in nice and tight to fend off driving rain.
The stiffened peak protects the face well too. And you can dial in the adjustable cuffs and hem to minimise leakage. Overall, although this jacket wouldn’t be our first pick for the most technical pursuits like winter climbing or skiing, it is a compelling choice if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive all-round waterproof shell. It doesn’t perform quite as impressively as Revolution Race’s technical outdoor trousers or midlayers, but it’s still a commendable offering from the brand.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.