Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket
AT A GLANCE
The Good: warm, durable, hood, chest pocket, waist draw cord, cost
The Bad: bulkier than average, tad short for larger athletes
Whether bagging an Adirondack Peak, sailing the North Sea from the Lofoten's enchanted islands or skinning up Tucks in New Hampshire's whites this jacket has proved to be a jack of all trades. Warmer than your average microlite from competitors, this jacket is also on the more rugged looking side as opposed to one you might wear on a casual day to the office. The big differentiator for this jacket is the full draw storm hood with formable brim. This jacket is definitely warmer than it looks. As mentioned above it was windproof at 50 mph plus winds aboard a ferry in the North Sea and proved to be tough enough for a tour into Mount Washington's Tuckerman Ravine with the winds howling and 5 Degree F high.
The full storm hood serves not only as a wind and weather blocker but is plenty warm, as it is filled with the same insulation as the rest of the jacket. Waist drawstrings also help to keep unwanted frigid air out. The complement of features is completed with zippered hip pockets and one chest pocket.
The jacket has proven durable with repeated wear with backpacks, 35 lb ski packs and an overly excited pup clawing at it with his nails. No stitching has shown any compromise. I'm 6'2" and 220 pounds with broad shoulders and I have a size large and the way the jacket sits on me it can use some length. The only ask of the jacket is that it could be an inch longer, but for 95% if users the fit will be fine.
This was my first intro to Rab, and it has definitely peaked my interest. We were ready to pull the trigger on a competitor like Arcteryx, BD or the North Face but are glad we went this route and a very competitive price point.