Rab Generator Alpine 2010

With an emphasis on the Alpine user, as the name suggests, the Rab Generator Alpine is intended to be ideal for use at rest stops, belays and overnight camps, and it has an insulated helmet-compatible hood for when the temperature drops. The Endurance outer protects against light rain and snow. All these features should also make it ideal for backpacking and hill-walking.

Design
The Primaloft insulation is sandwiched between two layers of Pertex, but the outer layer is waterproof. The use of waterproof fabric transforms the functionality of the Rab Generator Alpine as it means that if it does get wet it will have a better chance of keeping the insulation dry, and therefore keeping the user warm. A hood is provided too, which again enhances the performance by trapping warm air around the head for greater comfort in the cold. Those two features aside, this is a relatively conventional design with a full-length front zip that has a windflap on the inside plus a drawcord hem to keep draughts at bay. The cuffs are adjustable though so a snug fit can be achieved at the wrists. There is also a very deep chinguard and a pair of pockets at waist level plus a very large chest pocket.

On the hill
Not having to worry about keeping the Rab Generator Alpine dry was a real bonus, although as the seams are not sealed I did still of course need to take some care. The cut was also slightly closer in the arms and more generous in the body than some other tops, with noticeably better freedom of movement in the sleeves. The body was slightly longer than some too. However the main drawback was that access to the two hip pockets was obscured while wearing a rucksack with a hipbelt. The huge chest pocket is very useful though. As the cuffs have Velcro adjusters I found them a little more comfy than some, as I could either leave them loose to allow cooling, or cinch them in for maximum warmth. The hood is helmet-compatible with a good wired peak and good movement.

In the lab
The Rab Generator Alpine provided 2.9 TOGs of insulation, but note that we measure this on the chest and that it is this area that has the heavier grade of Primaloft, so the sleeves will not be quite so warm. But as this garment has a hood it will feel warmer than jackets with similar TOG values that are unhooded.

Fabric outer: Pertex Endurance; inner: Pertex Quantum
Insulation body: Primaloft One 100g/m2; arms Primaloft One 60g/m2
Sizes S-XXL
Weight 548g (size L)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 50
Stockist details – tel. (01773) 601870; www.rab.uk.com

Verdict
The Rab Generator Alpine has a water-resistant outer; hood provided; superb hood fit
and movement. But the pockets cannot be accessed while wearing a harness or
rucksack hipbelt. The Rab Generator Alpine is ideal for colder and wetter conditions, but pocket access lets it down. It won the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine March 2010