Tuesday, 9 November 2010

rab microlight alpine jacket – first look

I popped into Cotswolds for a quick browse of their winter kit and spotted this. I just had to get one of these. And with my birthday looming I had every reason to treat myself.

The jacket weighs 366g (large size) and has three pockets; two large hand warmer pockets and a small napoleon pocket on the left that doubles as a stuff pocket. The construction is a simple stitch through in narrow channels. The material used is Pertex Microlight, which is extremely lightweight downproof, wind and water resistant, with a soft silky handle. The cuffs and hem are elasticated and there is a drawn cord on the hood, which has a wired peak.

I struggled to stuff the jacket into it’s pocket but as with all my insulation layers I use a oversized dry bag that I loosely pack the layer in, and pack it in the top of my rucksack. I would prefer a hem draw cord so that I can cinch in the hem to keep the drafts out. I’ll be taking a look at the hem to see if I can add one.

The jacket has been used mostly around town where I’ve appreciated the warmth that a down garment brings at this time of year. But it’s inclusion on my last trip, particularly on the Sunday morning around the camp, that I really appreciated having a down jacket with a hood.

At under 400g it’s not going to be as warm as other jackets on the market. But as part of a layering or sleep system it has a place.

12 comments:

Alan Sloman said...

Looks snug, Baz. A very fetching powder blue too Sir, if I might add...

Word = "coffer" - you seem to be raiding that quite a bit lately!

GeoffC said...

We bought Microlights last year and have been very pleased with them. Ours didn't have hoods though and weighed 320g. Very warm for the weight.
We find them superb for Spring and Autumn camps on chilly mornings, also they can extend the season usage of the sleeping bags when worn at night.

baz carter said...

@Alan - they do one in Limon that would compliment that Velez you bought :)

@Geoff - that was my thinking behind the purchase... Ok I'll stop the justifications :) It also makes great urban wear too. But will I be the only dog walker in Richmond Park in a Microlite for long, I wonder?

Alan Sloman said...

Baz: "@Alan - they do one in Limon that would compliment that Velez you bought :)".... Touche!

baz carter said...

@alan Now you have no excuse to get one :P

Anonymous said...

Hello Baz.
How tall are you?
I cant find a store here in Denmark where I can try the jacket on. Dont know if I should go for the medium or large - I'm 186cm/82kg.
Cheers Steffen

baz carter said...

Hi Steffen, We're the same height/weight, I have a positive ape index but the large is the best fit for me. And will go over a baselayer plus a 100 weight fleece top, which is how I will wear it, when cold.

Anonymous said...

Perfect, I'll go for the large.
Thanks a lot Baz!

Maz said...

At that level, meaning a jacket that I would probably use on the move as well as in camp during 3-season use, I am fast coming to the conclusion that primaloft is safer than down as I am less likely to be concerned about using it in rougher conditions. Would love to know how warm it is in comparison to the heavier Montane Prism 2.0 (414g) which I can basically abuse as much as I want, or the much lighter Nano Puff (265g) which is a little more fragile but primaloft again and still pretty warm. What do you think Baz?

Just bought a Yukon, which is down, from PHD but that is for camp and sleeping only, in winter.

baz carter said...

I have been wearing it on the move these last few weeks and I've been trying it out with various combinations of midlayer. Which I will summarise in a post later. I dont have the other items to compare how warm it is.

I have an old Berghaus Infinity lite smock that's filled wit Primaloft, and that's been my mainstay insulation wise. Because as you state it can take more abuse. Stylistically it's fashion suicide so I wouldnt wear it when out and about in town.

Maz said...

My Prism is bright red - what more can I say about fashion suicide than that...

baz carter said...

Nuff said :)