Rab Torque (2015)

Features

Matrix Double Weave Stretch (Matrix DWS) fabric is used to make the Rab Torque very breathable as there is no membrane; also it’s very durable, with hood and elbow reinforcement. The hood is helmet-compatible and has a wired peak. The weight of 488g (size L) is great, but you only get two Napoleon chest pockets. Rab’s Sawtooth jacket (£100) has more pockets. 4/5

Fit

There is no women’s version of this jacket, but Rab’s Sawtooth (men’s and women’s) is the nearest equivalent in this material. The Torque men’s sizes are S-XXL, and the fit was relaxed enough to wear over a thin fleece without being too baggy. The sleeve fit, hood fit and movement were outstanding. It has a longer body than average too. 4/5

Comfort

The low weight plus the softness of the fabric make the Rab Torque very comfortable over a base layer or a thin fleece. It can be worn under waterproofs too as it is so breathable. It keeps off the wind and the worst of the rain but isn’t very well-insulated. Think of it as a stretchy, durable windshirt to be worn with other layers, and it’s great! 5/5

In use

I love the fabric as it can be used in so many situations, from summer to winter, in fine weather or wet weather when combined with other layers. The hood is outstandingly good, thanks to a super fit and a wired peak. The two chest pockets are great, but you aren’t getting any handwarmer pockets, which are available in the men’s and women’s Sawtooth. 4/5

Value

The cost is acceptable, but for a similar price you can get the Sawtooth (more hand-friendly pockets, less abrasion resistance). 4/5

Verdict

The Rab Torque  is an ideal windshirt for mountaineering, but walkers may prefer Rab’s Sawtooth jacket in the same material with its better pockets. 4.2/5

Review by Graham Thompson

First published in Trail magazine September 2015

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