Rab Belay Jacket

This insulated jacket is filled with Primaloft Sport, the currently popular fast-drying, lightweight and efficient synthetic insulator. A water-resistant Pertex Endurance outer fends off the damp. Weighing in at just 642g (including a16g stuffsack) for a size large, this is the sort of garment that you won’t mind carrying from autumn through winter and into spring, which is essential as to be honest these garments spend most of their lives packed in your rucksack. But when they are needed you want them to perform well. The Belay Jacket gets two chest and two above-the-hip map-sized zipped pockets plus an internal mesh pocket. This means you can wear it on the hill, with places to store gloves, compass and food bars, and have access too. You can also access all those pockets even when wearing your rucksack, a rare feature among insulated jackets. There is a hood too , which also of course means there are no cold draughts around the neck. The hood gets a volume adjuster for a great fit, and it even gets a wired peak, which is probably overkill to be honest. Better still, the hood can be neatly rolled to the collar. The cuffs are elasticated and fit quite well, while a hem drawcord prevents draughts from getting inside the jacket. All that performance is yours for only £130 – which is excellent value. But there is no cuff adjustment other than elastication, so make sure those cuffs fit reasonably snugly before relying on them to keep draughts out. There is no adjustment at the collar either, so again you need to make sure that this area fits closely to prevent draughts down the neck. Like most similar garments there are no reinforced areas, so don’t expect to be able to brush this against rocks and ropes too aggressively without it tearing. Not everyone will want a hood, even one rolled into the collar, and as you cannot zip it off this may be enough to deter a purchase. The hood’s wired peak and movement are not ideal, and the jacket is also a notch heavier than some, so if weight is your priority then this won’t be the best for you. Finally – shamefully – it doesn’t come  in a women‘s fit.

 

Outer: Pertex Endurance
Inner: Pertex
Insulation: 133g Primaloft Sport (body); 100g Primaloft Sport (sleeves); 60g Primaloft Sport (hood)
Colours: black
Sizes: S-XXL
Weight: 642g inc16g stuffsack (size L)
Made in China
Stores in UK: England 32; Wales 4; Scotland 7: Ireland 0

Verdict: Buy it if you want a hooded insulating layer with great pockets and reasonable warmth.