Rab Aeon Long Sleeve (2014)

Features
Designed to be very light – it’s 94g for a size M – and comfortable, you’d expect features to be lean. But the Rab Aeon Long Sleeve doesn’t do badly: you get flatlocked seams and reflective decals on the back and sleeves, handy for running and cycling as well as night walking. Treated with Polygiene to control odour, it’s also UPF 30-rated. 4/5

Fabric
The fabric is extraordinary. It’s like a cross between latex and silk, with a decent bit of stretch. It feels like it should rip – but when pulled hard it was plenty strong enough for normal use, though did overstretch a little. While it looked like it would feel clammy, moisture control is good and it dries fast. 5/5  

Fit
The cut suits runners; close sleeves, looser body, shorter hem. It’s fine for walkers, though a bit more sleeve and hem length would help movement and prevent riding up. 4/5

In use
Because of the way it feels the Rab Aeon Long Sleeve is going to be a ‘Marmite’ base layer: some will love it, some will hate it. I didn’t like it at first but in use I warmed to it as it became clear how comfy it was. It creates a bit of a microclimate: it’s surprisingly warm in the cool, but is great for hot weather, with the UPF rating a reassuring addition. The stretch enabled good movement, though I’d have welcomed longer sleeves and hem. And while Polygiene treatment stops bacteria multiplying, it did still smell a little of residual sweat. 4/5

Value
Rab is a premium British brand and the Aeon Long Sleeve is a thoughtful, technical product. It won’t be for everyone, but at £32 it’s a winner. 5/5

Verdict
Great price and brand power, very comfortable; an extremely light walking layer. 4.4/5

www.rab.uk.com

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2014