We've had a quick sneak preview of the kit from Rab that's appearing in the shops right now including a very light eVENT jacket, a neat new PowerShield top and at last, VR for women :-)
We've just been over to see the nice people at Rab for a look at
their spring/summer 2006 range.
Crazily enough, even thought there's snow all over the place,
spring is officially now in gear world, so the kit featured below is
either in the shops right now or will be as of next week.
We'd also like to apologise for our undoubted ability to make
Rab's Neil Mcadie look like a convict whenever we photograph him,
still at least this time the backdrop isn't a poster featuring
celebrity climber, erm, Neil Mcadie...
Hello Neil. Right, introductions over, here's the new Rab kit :-)
Drillium Jacket - £160
Named after some obscure sub-atomic particle, the new Drillium is
part of Rab's Neutrino range and aimed squarely at lightweight freaks
regardless of whether they're climbers, walkers or lightpackers.
It's a waterproof eVENT jacket that claims to weigh in at an
impressively light 350 grammes, right slap bang in the middle
of the Paclite ballpark and priced competitively as well.
It uses three-layer fabric, with a neat, grid-patterned face
fabric, modish waterproof zips over the twin OS Map-friendly pockets
and a roll-away hood with wired peak. Rab say that the three-ply
fabric should make it more durable than Paclite and it's a
neat-looking jacket all right that should be way up in the
Once neat touch we liked were the bias-cut cuffs. The cuff is cut
on a slant so it's shorter on the inside on the inside of the wrist
than on the top with the result being less bunching when things are
cinched down, which should make for a neater fit with gloves. Nice...
It folds into its own inner pocket too.
Keepy Uppy Things
One other nice touch that most of the Rab waterproofs get this
season is what they jokingly refer to as 'keepy uppy things'. The
Driilium doesn't get one cos it's dedicated to saving weight, but
most of the others do. So what are they? Simply a hook and loop
fastened anchor point for hem cords designed to keep them out of the
way. And if you don't like them, you don't have to use them...
Baltoro Lite Jacket - £100
Another neat newcomer is the Baltoro Lite. It's made from
Polartec PowerShield Lite, one of our favourite so-called soft
shell fabrics. It's pretty much windproof, 98 per-cent in fact, but
the extra 2 per-cent makes for greatly enhanced breathability.
What makes the Baltoro Lite interesting is that it also
incorporates panels of WindPro Stretch with Hardface
Technology, a densely woven fleece that's reasonably wind resistant,
but also breathes very well - they're the darker curvey panels you
can see running from waist to shoulder and should again up the
useability of the garment in warmer conditions.
Other touches include map-friendly pockets and slant-cut cuffs
like the Drillium. It's designed to be as unrestrictive as possible
so should suit both walkers and climbers.
Weight is a creditably light claimed 400 grammes and you get two
outer pockets, adjustable hem, cuffs and neck too at a price of
£100, which is good for PowerShield, an expensive fabric.
Women's Vapour-Rise Jacket - £100
The Vapour-Rise range has been around for a while and the use of a
Pertex Equilibrium outer with a micro wicking innner helps make it
more vapour-permeable than similar jackets using standard Pertex or
The good news is that it's now available for cut specifically for
women and designed by Helen - below. It should make an ideal mountain
garment complete with full-length two-way zip, three zipped outer
pockets and a fold-away wired hood for when things get gnarly.
The outer fabric also gets Shield water-resistant treatment for,
erm, water resistance. It's available in 10, 12, 14 and 16 and we'll
have one on test soon. Weight is claimed to be 400 grammes.
More information at www.rab.uk.com