AS soon as the RAB Wisp windtop top arrived, I knew that its real test would be an upcoming trip to the Lake District.
And boy, was I right! Wind gusting up to 50-60 mph definitely equates to test conditions. If a top can keep you cosy in wind like that, it can cope with anything. Let there be no doubt – this windtop deserves the moniker.
By the time I got the Wisp to the Lake District, I’d already worn it several times – both walking and cycling – so I knew it was going to be pretty useful. It’s elasticated cuffs, drawcord hem and well fitting collar certainly keep you snug. Made of Pertex microlight fabric, it keeps any hint of breeze out. The fabric also means it is light – seriously so. Packed into its tiny stuffsac, it weighs in at just 185gm, and happily tucks into the tiniest spot in your rucksack. It really is a wisp of a thing.
When I unpacked this top, I was immediately taken with the hood – if not the colour, the turquoise is a little too violent for my tastes. The hood tucks into the collar, keeping it out of the way – and helping make the collar nice and snug. That was where it stayed though, I just didn’t wear it. Good to know it’s to hand though for those really blustery days. The other feature that struck me from the off was the hand-warmer zip pockets. They certainly do what it says on the tin, and I made good use of them, both to warm my hands and to provide a bit of ventilation on a steep climb.
The Wisp is a pretty good fit. Pulling it on over a tee-shirt and fleece is easy and that combo fits neatly under my waterproof jacket without making me feel like a Michelin Miss. It’s a nice length too, longer than my fleece, but shorter than my jacket. The sleeves are rather long on me – maybe I’ve just got short arms…
In conclusion, the Wisp scores a firm 4 out of 5. And it’s earned itself a permanent spot in my rucksack and bicycle pannier. I will even confess to tucking it into my handbag on a night out – perfect for cycling home in later.
£50 from Cotswold Outdoor