Rab Vapour Rise Guide Jacket (2014)

Exceptionally comfortable and billed as the ‘original’ soft shell, Rab’s insulated Vapour Rise garments aim to be very warm yet extremely breathable. As such they are well-suited – and well-proven as such – to excelling in the British hills in seasons when you really don’t know what’s likely to be thrown at you. The Vapour Rise Guide Jacket is very impressive: it uses windproof and water-resistant Pertex Equilibrium, while the insulation comes via fluffy, high-loft Polartec Thermal Pro fleece. This is extremely luxurious-feeling, and combined with the thin-but-durable outer and the generous cut, the freedom of movement in this jacket is exceptional. In terms of other features, you get everything you could want along with a lot you might not need: pit zips to aid venting; five pockets (two zipped internal, two handwarmers and an OS map-sized chest pocket); a fleece-lined, helmet-compatible hood with a wired peak that rolls away; a decent scooped tail; double front zip; adjustable cuffs. The Rab Vapour Rise Guide Jacket is far from waterproof and gets heavy when soaked, so it’s worth keeping that DWR (durable water repellent) performing: however as the name suggests this is a product an outdoor professional would invest in given its ability to weather every season. But this is born to be warm and given active use in cold weather, and as such it’s difficult to imagine it being packed for every trip throughout the year.

Specifications:
Outer fabric Pertex Equilibrium
Weight 787g (size M)
External pockets 3
Internal pockets 2
Hood? yes
Pit zips? yes
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes 8-16
Website www.rab.uk.com

Verdict

The Rab Vapour Rise Guide Jacket is incredibly comfortable, well-featured and warm with good breathability. For heavy winter use this is the best.

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine September 2014