Rab Baltoro Alpine (2013)

As the name suggests the Rab Baltoro Alpine is designed for Alpine climbing, so it should also be ideal for winter scrambles and mountaineering in the UK. It is made from a heavier weight of Polartec Powershield than the Montane Sabretooth for example, and is generally a very strong construction with triple seams throughout and an incredibly robust feel. The jacket has fewer features than many other jackets with no pit zips and just two main (chest) pockets, but those pockets are cavernous and very easily accessed while wearing a rucksack waistbelt or climbing harness. The hood is also very tough with a stiff, wired peak along with drawcords around the face and at the rear to control volume, with the effect being that this hood really feels protective and is ideal for wearing in a howling gale. The hood is also large enough to wear over a helmet if needed, although it cannot be rolled down and secured at the collar like some others. The robustness of this jacket means it is heavier than most despite having fewer features, while its price is slightly lower than its competitors, making it good value. When used for the conditions it is designed for the Rab Baltoro Alpine is a winner, but for general hill and mountain trips in the UK I feel it is probably overly warm and sturdy.

Material Polartec Powershield
Weight 791g (size L)
External pockets 2
Internal pockets 1
Pit zips no
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
Website
www.rab.uk.com

Verdict
The Rab Baltoro Alpine is an excellent soft shell for the extremes of winter and Alpine use, and a great price too, but its weight and warmth are drawbacks for more general UK users.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2013