Rab's versatile Vapour-rise gets a warmer version for winter - 21st century pile-Pertex anyone?
Posted: 15 March 2011
Just back from a day with the folk at Rab looking at the new spring 2011 kit that's in the shops now along with the latest from Podsacs, but we also had a peek at what's new later this year and one bit of kit in particular really stood out for us.
The Vapour-rise Guide Jacket, it's called, and it's a winterised version of Rab's versatile Vapour-rise soft shell-ish kit, which uses weather-resistant, very breathable and high-wicking Pertex Equilibrium fabric on the outside and a micro-velour, wicking liner on the inside.
The Guide takes things into lower temperatures. Outside it's still Pertex Equilibrium, but in the inside, there's a lining made from gridded Hi Loft Polartec Thermal Pro fleece. The gridded texture reduces weight and bulk and increases the warmth to weight insulation ratio. The fleece covers most of the interior of the jacket, but the middle of the back, where a pack sits, uses standard VR liner to reduce weight and there's a strip of the same fabric running down either sleeve, which makes putting it on easier.
If it works like a warmer version of normal Vapour-rise it should make a brilliant UK winter jacket - just wear it over a base layer top and carry a lightweight waterproof in your pack for wetter conditions - and there's a proper fixed mountain hood with a wired peak, you get pit-zips to cope with any excess heat generation in the warmer format.
Whisper it quietly, but it might just be the 21st Century take on the pile-Pertex concept that we've been banging on about since the Millenium, with a more breathable outer fabric, more sophisticated cut and less than hideous looks.
And it's not even that expensive. The Guide will retail for £140 when it arrives in the shops this September 2011, which looks like a bit of a bargain given that a standard Vapour-rise Jacket with a zip-off hood is £115... Oh, and there's an interesting-looking Vapour-rise Guide Pant too, it uses the stock VR liner rather than Thermal Pro like the jacket, but features crampon kick patches, thigh vents and stretch articulated knees - should work well in proper UK winter conditions.
Rab's current range and info at www.rab.uk.com.