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Old 04-04-2022, 03:48 PM   #1
Joe C's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Kingston, NY
Posts: 13
Rab Xenon 2.0 vs. Xenon

Product Tested: Rab Men's Xenon 2.0 Synthetic Insulated Hooded Jacket for Hiking, Climbing, and Skiing - Anthracite/Graphene - Medium

The Xenon 2.0 became available summer 2021

Price paid, where purchased: Amazon, $180

Size/Weight: 387g/13.6oz (Size M)

Similar products tried: Original Rab Zenon

How long/where tested: I used the Zenon 2.0 on a hike of Burroughs Range in the Catskills in subfreezing temperatures April 2. The insulation is similar in bulkiness and warmth to the original. It performed well for last peak as sun was getting low and hike back to Parking area in early evening.

Rating 1 to 5: 4

Summary: I purchased this jacket after having to retire the original model due to a faulty main zipper. I got almost 10 years of heavy use out of the original jacket, so no complaint there. The new model now uses YKK zippers, so hopefully this issue does not present itself again.
I notice a few things different with the 2.0. First the packable chest pocket was moved to the inside. The pocket is smaller now, and packing the jacket into the pocket is much more difficult that the previous model.
On the inside of the collar, the previous model had a fleece material that was soft. The 2.0 no longer has this and has shell material on the inside of collar. Not the end of the world, especially with beard or goatee, but worth mentioning.
There are no longer 2 points for cinching the elastic cord at the waist line. This was reduced to just one side.
The hood is smaller. It fits much better without helmet. However I don't think my ski helmet will fit under the hood in the 2.0. Again not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning.
Quilted sheet insulation over torso is new for this model. It is purported by Rab for "breathability". Jury is still out on this.
Overall its a great jacket for the money, and I would recommend to a friend. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2022, 09:14 AM   #2
John H Swanson
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 207
Thanks for the review.

So often new gear is not the same as the older version and this can be so frustrating especially when it is cost cutting. Often I'll find first version to be the best. It used to be first was a prototype and second version had the bugs worked out. More often first is best and second is all about profit. Seems to me that this is also the case here. The worst for me is when manufacturers remove pockets under the guise of simplifying design. Argh!

Originally Posted by View Post
I purchased this jacket after having to retire the original model due to a faulty main zipper. I got almost 10 years of heavy use out of the original jacket, so no complaint there.

I inherited a sewing machine and I pull that thing out all the time for fixing and adapting gear.

I had a 10+ year old jacket that I really loved and the zipper broke. On the other hanger was a jacket I didn't like with a good zipper. It took a while for the light bulb goes off over my head....

After the first time, I started to dive deeper. I had a slightly too large EMS wind shell and an awkwardly cut, generic, fleece. I seam ripped off one zipper, nested the layers and sewed them together. Added two large inside pockets. It's looks a little homemade, but it is may favorate 20F to 30F around-the-town jacket. On those windy days I can put it over a cotton T shirt and be so warm. Of course I could have worn them layered, but this goes on as a single jacket.
John H Swanson is offline   Reply With Quote

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