The second part of our look at what's new from Rab for this winter, 2009.
of our preview of Rab's Autumn/winter 2009
range covered mostly down and Primaloft-filled kit, but there's lots
more besides including our new favourite hooded fleece jacket and some
neat soft shell clothing.
Latok Tour Jacket -
The Latok and Latok alpine eVent jackets have been around
for a while now, but for this winter, there's a new eVent shell aimed
squarely at ski mountaineers and ski tourers. It's waterproof eVent
shell with a full, helmet-compatible hood, reinforced high-abrasion
zones, chest pockets, an integral snow-skirt and - unusually for an
eVent shell - pit-zips.
Looks like a gnarl, tough sort of animal, weighs in at 750g and you
could always cut the snow-skirt out if you wanted to, then again at
that point you might as well buy a Latok... Also new are matching pants
complete with fixed snow gaiters, reinforcements, braces and
full-length side zips.
Baltoro Alpine Jacket -
The new Baltoro
is a lighter version of the Baltoro Guide soft
shell. It uses a medium-wewight, micro-velour-backed version of
Polartec's excellent Powershield fabric as compared to the warmer,
thicker version on the Guide. At 690g it's around 100 grammes lighter
and, say Rab, ideal for summer alpine or spring/autumn UK mountain wear.
You get stretch panels backed in Power Dry for added breathability and
reduced weight, a full, helmet-compatible hood and gurt big chest
pockets. Should do a similar job to Mountain Equipment's excellent
Astron Hoody. Also new are the Baltoro
made from Powerdry-backed Power Shield and with
thigh vents and Cordura kick patches. Priced at £100
Fusion Jacket -
Rab has dabbled with Fusion clothing before, but this is a
new jacket made from a mix of Pertex Equilibrium Stretch and eVent
three-layer waterproof fabric. The shoulders, hood and tail are eVent
for weather protection, the high wicking and very breathable
Equilibrium Stretch ups breathability.
We reckon it should be fantastic for activities like ice climbing where
you want to be water resistant, but aren't going to be properly rained
on as well as on / off general mountain use and alpine climbing. It
weighs a very reasonable 475 grammes and there are new matching Fusion
pants as well. Interesting, particularly if you run hot and are
prepared to trade some protection for a lot of breathability.
Oooh, can we have one to test please?
Wind Bloc Jacket
Big, sturdy, massively tough feeling Polartec Wind Bloc windproof
fleece that feels like you could drag it across gritstone without
causing more than the odd scuff. Simple buty bombproof. And quite
weighty at 990 grammes. Would be great for outdoor instructors who
spend a lot of time motionless.
Shadow Hoodie and Women's
Shadow Hoodie - £120
Meet our new favourite fleece. The brand spanking new
Shadow is a stretch fleece made from wind-resistant - think 21st
Century ultrafleece - with a tough Hardface outer. It's cut snug, close
and technical with a hood that fits under a helmet and low-bulk
There are two big chest pockets and an internal zipped mesh pocket for
valuables. We love the fabric, it feels tough and protective without
being overly heavy - 640g for men, 580g for women - and the fit is
There are thumbloops as well. We reckon we're going to get a lot of use
out of this over the winter and we have one on test right now, so watch
out for an early set of impressions.
Boulder Pull-On -
One for fluffy fleece lovers, uses Polartec Thermal Pro in
a high loft style for a simple, light - 380g- pull on with minimal
features keeping weight down. Looks nice, great warmth to weight ratio.
Other new fleece includes a
Power Stretch Hoodie in both men's and women's versions, great
mid-layer fabric, a Power Stretch bib that should work well layered
under shell trousers or bibs and a women's Power Stretch zip-top.
Finally in the fleece department, there's the Women's Micro Jacket
- £50 - which is a neat, 100-weight Polartec microfleece in
nice colours. Seams are flatlocked to save bulk and it should be good
for winter active layering use.
Finally on the clothing front, there's a long-sleeved version of Rab's
excellent, high-wicking Aeon Tee, should work well and priced at a very
To top things off, there are also three new Rab gloves.
The Modular Mitts
at a scary £85
which use a taped eVent shell mitten with a goat leather palm over a
soft shell inner glove for a very serious combination.
Just as specialist in its
own way is the M14 glove
which is aimed primarily at ice and mixed climbers. You get a Polartec
Power Shield fabric for a close fit with weather protection along with
palms made from Pittards incredibly grippy Oiltack leather palms for
grip on ice tool handles and rock. Cost £30 and smell faintly
of bicycle lube. Interesting.
That's pretty much it. All
the kit featured should be appearing in the shops from early September
You can find more information about Rab at www.rab.uk.com
See Part One of our Rab autumn 2009