Many are running around with one of these cool, light down jacket and are testifying that it’s great. Curious to finding out the limits of the Rab Microlight Alpine down jacket, I soon found the perfect opportunity to do so. If you are unsure whether to buy such a jacket, read on.
The Pertex Microlight is actually to be blamed for making this jacket so ultra light. With just 350g, it is compressible into a small pack where you could easily stow in your rucksack. The filling has 750+ fill of 14og power goose down, and the narrow chambers prevents down migration. The jacket comes with 2 huge front pockets in front and a chest pocket with a zipper. The newer models offers pockets overall with zippers to prevent losing your stuff easily. There are models with or without hoods. I found it great that the padded hood has a small wire in front, keeping the hood stabile and in place. There are 2 little lines at each side of the hood to pull it together to fit. Its windproof too, thus making the jacket a real friend while you are active on the mountain. The cutting has more of a lose fit with longer arms. The cuffs are bounded with Lycra.
Well, everything sounded good so far and it looks really cool too. The big question is, is this microlight Rab Microlight Alpine down jacket going to keep me warm? It depends. If you are going to be actively moving around like going on a skiing tour, alpine mountaineering or trekking, you ll be fine when the conditions are DRY and cold. Like any down jacket, they all hate WET conditions and when it ever gets wet, from inside or outside you’ll probably be better off with a PrimaLoft synthetic jacket. Moreover, the jacket is not waterproof. If it gets wet, there’s quite a big chance that the insulation isn’t guaranteed anymore. The next question could be if this works for the ever freezing belay bunnies while rock climbing. (But face it, belay bunnies climb pretty hard and well these days too! ;-)) If they are going to stand around most of the day, they would be better off with the standard heavier down jacket. The jacket works perfect on seasons like spring or autumn, and milder winter days. If you add a warm fleece pullover below for colder days, you should be doing fine.
Every down is generally vulnerable to dampness and water. Once wet, (from rain or sweat) its insulation deteriorates. Remember before you purchase any such jackets not to buy a size too big for yourself. The jacket should fit snugly over your body and with what you’d normally wear. (With enough space for movement) If the jacket is too loose, there’ll be lots of air within the jacket which minimises the insulation.
|You get great warmth for little weight, it’s compressible to a tiny package
in the stow pocket. The hood keeps your head warm too. Windproof, great to bring
along on the go.
|The arms are really long for the size. Front pockets had no zippers, but the
manufacturers fixed that in the newer models. Not very breatheable.
It depends on your sport. Use it to warm you up in an active sport (e.g. ski tour, trekking, campground evenings on “warmer” days, etc). The manufacturers had a concept while creating such a product. They invented this for those of you who are needs a warming insulation while still being active, avoiding really thick, heavy bulk in the mountains. Bulk prevents movement and freedom, weight is also always a problem on a long tour. If you want to have something really ultra warm for a passive activity in extra cold conditions, look for the thicker, standard down jackets.
As long as you obey by the rules of using a down jacket, you’ll find this to be a great lightweight companion to bring along.
Test reviews of similiar down jackets coming up next: Mammut Broad Peak II thermo jacket.