The Rab Ascent is a very popular jacket that provides a similar performance to the Mountain Equipment Lightline but with some valuable additions. Firstly the hood gets a volume adjuster so it can be made to fit well, both over a helmet and on a bare head. It is packed with a little more down than the Lightline, and it does feel a notch warmer. The drawback is that it is a notch heavier and carries a slightly higher price tag. The outer fabric is Pertex Endurance, which is water-resistant to 1000mm of hydrostatic head, which means the down is protected from melting snow and tent condensation. The Rab Ascent’s outside pockets are very large and as they are above the waist you can access them when wearing a rucksack waistbelt. The hood is removable and has a wired peak, and the cuffs are Velcro-adjusted at the wrist. Inside you get a large pocket and there is a soft polyester area at the top of the zip to protect the chin. There is little between the Rab Ascent and the Lightline, but the Ascent justifies its higher price with a better hood.
Outer Pertex Endurance
Insulation 330g of 650+ fill power down
Weight 877g (size L)
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
The Rab Ascent is a superb jacket for mountaineers and those heading to colder conditions; but the drawback is a higher price tag and more weight, and many hillwalkers may not need its extra benefits.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2013