The Rab Vapour-rise Guide Jacket is a new winter version of Rab’s popular Vapour-rise range. The Pertex Equilibrium fabric doesn’t have a membrane sandwiched between its layers, meaning it’s more breathable than many soft shell fabrics so you’re less likely to get condensation while wearing it.
This Guide version is also warmer than the standard Vapour-rise jackets, thanks to a layer of Polartec Hi-Lift fleece in the sleeves, hood and chest. It does feel very warm; for me it was almost too warm. I’d certainly prefer the flexibility of wearing a thin layer under a less well-insulated soft shell, which would also be lighter. This of course depends on where you walk and how much you feel the cold, but for me that extra insulation just means the jacket can’t be used in such a wide range of conditions.
The Rab Vapour-rise Guide Jacket’s features are excellent, though, as you get pit zips to help cool off and two handwarmer chest pockets. There’s a third Napoleon chest pocket that is great for guidebooks, too. The hood is also pretty decent, thanks to a wired peak and an excellent fit. A nice touch is that the hood can be rolled down and secured in place with a Velcro panel.
Material Pertex Equilibrium
Weight 826g (size men’s L)
External pockets 3
Internal pockets 2
Pit zips yes
Men’s sizes S-XXL
Women’s sizes none
The Rab Vapour-rise Guide Jacket is a superb winter jacket, but the extra warmth and weight mean it is less of an all-rounder.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2011