Rab Baltora Guide 2008

Like a number of jackets here this soft shell is made from Polartec Power Shield fabric, which offers very high levels of wind and water resistance, while maintaining a higher level of breathability than more waterproof fabrics. This top has a little more insulation built in than most, making it ideal for winter action. The jacket is relatively long too, which is great for climbers and scramblers as well as hill-walkers. There are two cavernous chest pockets that are perfect for stuffing hands, gloves or maps into. Plus you get two extra huge pockets inside the jacket. The hood is particularly impressive, with a microfleece lining, wired peak and volume adjuster that all add up to an impressive fit over a helmet or head. It also allows excellent movement. Use this jacket when climbing or mountaineering in winter while wearing a harness and it will be the best option. It’s a great price for what you are getting too. But at 784g this is heavier than some other options, so it’s not ideal unless you need the extra features it provides. As with some other garments there are more wind- and water-resistant options. While the hood can be rolled to the collar, some might prefer no hood or a removable option.

Materials Polartec Power Shield
Sizes S-XL (men’s)
Weight 784g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 40

Verdict
An ideal soft shell for winter climbers and Alpine mountaineers, but for year-round use the lighter jackets provide all that most hill-walkers and backpackers will need.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2008