I'm more than a bit sceptical about this one.
It looks like Rab just took a stitch-through down jacket (which one could argue was a copy of someone else's design) and slung a lightweight eVent shell over the top. To my mind, that's less useful than having the two separate items and makes few savings in weight (only obvious one being that there's only one set of zips, hood drawcord etc).
If you take a look at the Crux Plasma for comparison, the Rab ceases to look like a good option (unless the Crux doesn't fit or won't work with your helmet of course)...
Side by side: + / -
Crux : Box Wall / Rab : Stitch Through
Crux : eVent bonded to baffles so no interior face fabric and better breathability / Rab : stitch through jacket with another layer thrown over the top.
Crux : 165g of down (750EU) / Rab 140g of down (750... used to say 650EU/750US so I can only suppose this is the ??? US measurement??)
Crux : Total weight 525g / Rab 600g (i.e. functionally 100g heavier as there's less down in the Rab).
Crux : riri Aquazip / Rab storm flaps and water resistant zips
Rab : Helmet compatible wired hood / Crux : wired visor but not specified to be helmet compatible
Rab : rrp £250 / Crux rrp £275
I'll freely admit that I'm a fan of Crux. But I was also a great fan of Rab up until recently. It just seems to me that they've lost their edge and are playing copycat games often with design or material shortcuts. OK - the RRP is a guide and Rab is often sold for less than that... whereas the Crux counterexample is generally harder to find on sale. But even so the £25 difference gets you a massively better specced jacket IMO and I know which I'd rather have.
Still... there's a job going in the design department so perhaps someone would like to pick up the gauntlet and put them back where they should be!!!
Posted: 04/11/2009 at 16:16