Narrowed it down to a few. Need some expert help! ;-)
I'm looking for a jacket that would be useable for walking/general hiking most of the year around. I;ve narrowed it down to a couple:
1. Rab VR Trail Jacket.
2. Older model Rab Alpine windshirt.
3. Regatta Descend softshell.
I also fancy a couple of the Craghopper items:
4. Bear original shell or freedom jacket or maybe the Motion Jacket.
Has anyone got any thoughts on the above? Owned one and loved it/hated it - offer any other ideas based on a budget of around £80?
Big ask I know, but I have faith!
Sounds like you're looking at a whole load of different things there.
The Rab Alpine... by 'older model' I assume you mean the pull-on made of pertex equilibrium? I'd prefer the newer one with a full zip, but that's just me. The fabric is great stuff (I've rambled on about my Montane Dyno elsewhere on OM), showerproof (within the limits of the DWR) and fairly (but not completely) windproof. It feels nice on bare skin and isn't insulating.
The VR Trail uses the same outer but comes with a warm liner... it is far more of a cool to cold weather garment as a result, whereas a plain windshell can be used more or less year round with different underlayers. I can see the benefit in cooler weather, but I'd prefer either more versatile gear or more waterproof (eg, paramo-type) myself.
The Regatta Descend isn't a softshell. It seems to be a plain old waterproof, so it'll be much less breathable than either of the above, though properly wind and waterproof.
None of the above are stretchy, though you might not care about that. If you have a waterproof already, I'd look at the Rab Alpine (newer rather than older, but either will do) myself.
Thanks for the reply mate!
Reading it back, I guess I did mention a few very different products - I think the Alpine may be the way forward: This is the one I was considering - http://www.planetfear.com/item/Brand_RabAlpineJacket_1615_0_31590_1.html
Just a shame it's in the turquoise!? Is this actually lined at all with a pile or a membrane?
Think I may have mis-read the Regatta too. Ta!
No lining at all, no membrane.
As they sort of say 'just' a heavy windshirt But a very nice one going by its pull on ancestor. Amazingly good hood on that.
RABs website has black and blue colours on it too, so should be able to find those if you hunt.
I don't think you can really go wrong with the Alpine, assuming you already have a reasonable waterproof shell. I need to try one on for myself; if it is cut longer than the Dyno (which it claims to be) then I may just have to get one. With the helmet compatible hood and a nice bright colour, it'll do fine for things which aren't just hiking.
Anyway, I prefer my Dyno to my Featherlight when I need a windshell, but if you're a weight-weenie you might not.
Thanks loads for the posts guys - much appreciated.
It's looking more and more like the Alpine to be honest, and I had even made up my mind to get a Dyno last night!
VR and Montane Krypton are both out of the equation now as I need functionality all year round really with layering - but the only thing stopping me going with the Alpine is the lack of colours. There's a few Turquoises about at the £60.00 mark but no-where selling the red or black in a large! Not sure I'm feeling the turquoise!? Maybe I should stick with the Dyno in grey?! Lol!
Is the DWR rating similar on both the above jackets?
Almost certainly very similar - its nearly the same fabric and definetly the same producer. The dyno is a bit thicker so maybe a little bit more weather protection from that, although actually I think a little less windproof.
I'm sure that sundry people would be able to order an alpine for you in whatever colour you want. Well so long as RAB have current production/stock etc of course.
Really the only thing with the dyno is that its notably heavier (390 vs 260) which, even if weight isn't contextually critical, is going to count against it if you're planning to use it all year round. (as you'll be carrying it plenty in summer.).
My principle complaints about the Dyno:
The Alpine fixes the first, might fix the second, fixes the third, no idea about the last, though.
On the flip side, the Dyno looks reasonably understated and non-technical so you can be seen in public with it, if you don't need helmet compatibility the hood is just fine and it seems that most people don't seem to want to be seen when they're out and about.
If you can find one within your budget, the Haglöfs Flexable own-brand soft shell stuff is another option.
I'd also take a look at the Rab Vapour-Rise Tour Lite - it's a hooded VR Lite with all mod cons and seems to be going for less the 80 quid on line at the moment. I've used VR Lite and like it though I've not used the hooded version, but based on having used a fair bit of Rab stuff, I'd definitely consider it as an option.
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Once again - thanks for the posts people - especially since I'm probably covering old ground that's already been covered n the forum somewhere?!
The Sabretooth looks good - but has no stock on Go Outdoors - I've already called them up on a load of stuff that might have been an option. Nice and helpful how they leave the gear on the website languishing though eh!?
VR Lite is anything but Lite weighing in at 540g and looks like it might be too warm for what I'm after maybe? I don't think I'd get much use out of it during spring/summer.
Re: the Dyno - helmet compatability isn't an issue, and I'm pretty sure the Alpine is cut lower. It's still looking good for the Alpine. I'll call up Rab tomorrow and find out what the availability is like in other colours I think.
Thanks once again thus far.
Yo Raker, I am a huge huge fan of my Alpine, and it's available for £67, free postage, in any combo of size and colour you like right here mate - http://shop.beyondextreme.co.uk/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=11&products_id=112
Best item of outdoor clothing I own (although mine is the pull-on).
I've got a Rab VR Tour Lite hooded top, and, for me, it's got to be pretty cold to not get too hot in it, even in winter, it's a really great jacket though, I do use it a lot, just not a great deal for walking!
I have also got a Montane Dyno jacket, which I tend to use more as it's more flexible than the Rab VR, normally I would use a Patty R1 hoody with the Dyno and be fine even in colder weather.
As for the Rab Alpine Jacket, I had the pull-on version, and it really was a great top, but I sold it as I dont really like pull-on tops, much prefer jackets, so I may splash out on the jacket version soon in blue or red as most of my jackets are boring old black!
Hope that helps.
Ordered up the Rab Alpine in Royal blue in the end. Sweet.
Thanks for all the advice guys - well-appreciated indeed!
Now all I need is a tidy base layer to go under it - I find my Lifa a bit smelly you know?!
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