Just In - Rab Continuum Hoodie: £250 / 334g (medium)
New this winter, Rab's Continnum Hoodie is the lightest 'proper' down jacket the brand has made with a mix of ultra-light Pertex Quantum GL fabric and 850 fill power water-resistant goose down fill housed in quilted mini-baffles. It's light - our medium, weighs just 334g - but it's also properly warm in a way that a lot of really lightweight down jackets aren't.
- Pertex Quantum GL fabric inside and out
- 850 fill power Nikwax water-resistant goose down
- Helmet-compatible adjustable hood with bendy plastic peak
- Two zipped hand-warmer and one chest pocket
- Adjustable hem cord
- Micro-baffled, quilted, stitch-through construction
It's relatively straightforward to make a very light down jacket and also quite easy to make a very warm one, what's a little more tricky is producing a decently light jacket that's also warm enough to make it worth carrying, but that's pretty much what Rab has managed with the new Continuum Hoodie.
It's feathery light and has that lovely 'floaty' top-quality down feel to it, but when you pull it on - the fit is slim and neat - you get an immediate hit of warmth, which is after all, why you carry a down jacket in the first place.
The spec is pretty comprehensive: there's a helmet-compatible hood with an interesting 'bendy plastic', mouldable peak to allow for layered climbing and alpine use, two hand-warmer pockets and a chest pocket. The latter also works as a stuff pocket with a harness loop.
So yes, you can wear it as an alpine climbing stand-by when weight saving is crucial, but it would also make a cracking lightweight trekking insulation piece when you're carrying your own kit.
The quilted construction, which is to prevent down from migrating within the baffles of the jacket, also looks good in a slightly retro way.
Last but not least on the functionality front, the down, like all Rab's down this season, is benefits from a Nikwax water-repellent treatment that should last the life of the garment and is reckoned to improve performance if the down does get wet as well as speeding up drying times.
So far we're thinking the Continuum Hoodie is a close to optimum balance of warmth, weight and bulk. The combination of lightweight fabric, super high lofting down and a lovely fit means it really does punch above its weight. The helmet hood adds versatility if you're technically inclined and the icing on the cake is that it looks good too.
It's not been cold enough yet this winter to use the jacket in earnest, but we'll be doing so once it is and paying particular attention to how that Nikwax water-repellent down works as well.
The jacket's also available in a women's hooded version and there's also a hoodless option for men only. If you want gnarlier, the new Infinity Endurance is both warmer and has a tougher, water-resistant, Pertex Endurance outer fabric.
Details of the full range of Rab clothing and equipment at www.rab.uk.com