Down jackets are nice and all, but when you live in a climate that tends to be quite damp, they’re not exactly the most practical option for insulation. That’s where synthetic insulated jackets come in. Find the right one and it’ll basically bring all the same qualities as down with the extra advantage that it won’t let you down when a bit of rain arrives. Case in point: the Rab Generator Alpine.
Here at Outdoors Magic, we’ve seen impressively warm synthetic insulated jackets in the past, but none have been quite as good as this. It absolutely nails the whole warmth-to-weight ratio thing. This is a super warm jacket that, at 540g, is satisfyingly light and satisfyingly compressible and low-bulk.
So what’s the secret then? How have Rab got this so right? The answer must surely lie in the clever application of aerogel fibres within the fill. Dubbed the ‘lightest solid material’ known to man, aerogel seems to be the next big thing when it comes to insulation. It’s 95% air after all and it’s already been blasted off into outer space to help NASA insulate electric cables on their space shuttles.
These aerogel fibres are mixed together with PrimaLoft Gold synthetic fill here, an impressive enough insulation in itself and one we’ve long-rated here at Outdoors Magic. Light, highly insulating, long-lasting and made from 90% recycled content, there’s a lot to like about PrimaLoft Gold. And it turns out it’s even better when paired with aerogel.
The Outer Fabric
Then there’s the outer fabric which is made from Pertex’s specially developed Quantum Pro Diamond Fuse. And there’s plenty to say about this too. I’ve gone through this in some detail in the video above, but the gist of it is that it’s a lightweight fabric that’s surprisingly tough. As you can see in the pictures throughout this review of our tester Eilir using this in Snowdonia and the Highlands, it makes this jacket something you can chuck through a fair bit of rough stuff without having to worry too much about it scuffing or snagging.