Abstract The 85, 87Rb( 3He, d) 86, 88Sr reactions have been studied at 33.3 MeV incident energy. Angular distributions for eighteen 86Sr levels and ten 88Sr levels over an angular range 2.5° ≦ θ lab ≦ 45° were taken in the University of Colorado energy-loss spectrometer. Two recent prescriptions for ( 3He, d) DWBA calculations were compared with the data. Whichever prescription is used, qualitative results are unchanged: the 87Rb ground state has less than 0.5 f-holes and about 2 p-holes for protons, while 85Rb has about 1 p-hole and 2 f-holes, and hence is not well described as a single-proton hole. This indicates that the two g 9 2 neutron holes in 85Rb prevent good closure of the 1f proton shell, in spite of the fact that in this nucleus neutron excitations do not mix appreciably with proton excitations.