Here you go, I've added a spot on days in the field. Please let me know
if you need anything else! And I agree, ice climbing is how everyone should
spend Valentine's Day!
*Rab Vapour-Rise Trail Jacket*
Name: Tim Earley
Height: 6' 0"/ 1.80 m
Weight: 185 lb/ 84 kg
Email address: timothy.earley@...
City, State, Country: Yonkers, New Yor, USA
My first exposure to backpacking was about seven years ago in the Army where
I learned everything I needed to learn about being comfortable in the
wilderness with little to no �comfort gear.� I primarily do day hikes now,
with the occasional overnight jaunt thrown in whenever possible. I consider
myself a lightweight packer, though not a minimalist. My favorite hikes are
those that have significant elevation change as these provide the best
views, most challenge and best reward. I am most comfortable in cool to
cold weather as I tend to overheat in other seasons.
Model: Vapour-Rise Trail Jacket
Sizes: S-XXL available, XLarge reviewed
Color: Royal Blue and Black; available in dark shark (gray) and orange
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Listed weight: 15.52 oz (450 g)
Measured weight:16.2 oz (459 g) for an extra large
Fabric Content: Shell: 100% Polyamide; Lining 100% Polyester
Country of Manufacture: China
The Vapour-rise jacket is described by Rab as a year round mountain walking
jacket with fully protective features and the perfect balance of
windproofing and breathability. The shell is made of Pertex Equilibrium
fabric. This fabric is designed to be highly windproof yet breathable,
maintaining an ideal microclimate around the user. Not surprising
considering the name Equilibrium! The inner liner is a soft fleecy material
that is designed to pull moisture away from the skin and/or off your
baselayer and through the outer shell. It also has a very comfortable and
warm feeling when used against your skin. This layer seems to move
independently of the outer fabric. This can be a problem when putting your
arms through the sleeves with a baselayer on as the inner fabric will tend
to stick to the baselayer and you�ll have a bit of it sticking out through
the cuffs. This is solved by using one hand to hold the �armpit� of the
inner material as you push the other hand through the sleeve.
There are two zippered hand pocket and one zippered chest pocket. They all
have a piece of 1 1/2 inch cord attached to the zippers to make them usable
with gloves on. The chest pocket is sized for a standard sized trail map
folded in half. The hand pockets are good for warming your digits and
stashing lip balm, snacks, etc.
The front of the jacket has a single non-weatherproof zipper that zips on
the left side. I didn�t realize this until I put it on for the second time
on an ice climbing trip and thought �Oh no, I bought a girl�s jacket!� but
then thought maybe the left side zipper was a European custom as Rab is a
Jacket hem is cut right below my hips so it�s a perfect length for a
softshell layer, allowing plenty of mobility. The only problem is that the
hem can be a bit �loose� and so I almost always tighten the two shockcorded
pulls and tighten down the waist whenever I�m hitting the trails. The
collar of the jacket comes up nice and high to protect your chin and neck
and also folds back nicely if you don�t zip it up all the way (I rarely
do). The hood rolls into the collar and is help in place by hook and loop
fasteners. An interesting fact about the hood (and all Rab hoods, I
believe) is that there is a wire brim in it. This allows you to bend the
brim of the hood however you see fit and it will stay that way. This is a
huge advantage over lots of jackets where the hood comes down over your eyes
when you tighten it. The hood can also be tightened by classic shockcorded
toggles on either side.
My first experience with the Vapour-rise jacket, and with Rab as a whole,
was in a gear shop right before my girlfriend and I headed out on an ice
climbing trip on February 14th, 2009. Yes, that�s right, we went ice
climbing for Valentine�s Day! I was looking for a good softshell option and
this jacket was recommended by one of the folks. His exact words were �This
is the greatest jacket ever. You will never need another jacket.� So far,
I was immediately impressed with the fit of the jacket. When I put it on I
was thrilled with how it fit my body. I�m a medium build person and this
just fit me perfectly. With that said, it was obvious to me that no more
than a heavy base layer would fit under the jacket (this actually turned out
to be incorrect, as you�ll read later on). It also might not be appropriate
for larger folks.
I did notice a few loose threads, especially around the cuffs. They
appeared to be of the inner fabric, not the Pertex shell. I figured these
were just from the manufacturing process and pulled them out with no issue.
I also noticed that there were no pit zips and this concerned me a bit
though the breathability of the garment has proven them unneccesary.
I have used this jacket ice climbing, skiing, hiking, backpacking and for
everyday around town use. Temperatures have ranged from 5 degrees
Fahrenheit to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It has seen approximately 18
full days and nights in the field as well as literally every day around town
when temperatures are appropriate. Every day in the field was with a pack
on so it has stood up to pack abrasion well.
This jacket has seen rain, snow, and sleet and shed it well for a
softshell. It also sheds all but the worst wind well.
This is my go-to jacket any time I go outdoors for any activity. If it�s
too warm to wear while working, it�s a great layer to have around camp at
night. If it�s too cold to wear it in camp, it�s the perfect outer layer
while moving. This versatility has earned it a permanent spot in my pack.
Overall I am thrilled with the performance of this jacket. I had high
expectations after the words of that gear shop employee but it has lived up
to them. The combination of warmth, windproofing, weather resistance and
breathability seems impossible. This jacket will block all but the coldest
winds, shed all rain short of a downpour (or a consistent rain as it is
still a softshell), and breathe well enough that you�ll almost never
The versatility of this jacket is another area that shines. The inner
fabric wicks well enough that you can wear this jacket by itself against the
skin in early spring weather or during high output activities in the fall
and early winter. You can also fit a surprising amount of insultation under
it in bitter cold. To this end, I�ve worn this jacket by itself against the
skin, as an insulating layer, and as an outer layer. You don�t get much
more versatile than that!
There are only two jackets you will need in addition to this. A basic
hardshell for really nasty weather, and an insulated parka for when it�s
extremely cold or winter camping in camp. This jacket fills every other
I was looking for a durable and versatile softshell jacket that would be
useful in as many conditions as possible. This jacket hit the bullseye. I
am very pleased with the weather resistance, wind resistance, warmth, and
breathability. I will continue to use this jacket on all my outdoor
3. Wind Resistance
4. Great price for such a high quality and versatile garment
1. The inner layer snags every time I put this jacket on. Very annoying.
2. The jacket can ride up in front when you have your pack belt tightened.
3. The front zipper can be very stubborn to get started.
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