What's It For?
The new for 2009 Momentum is Rab's lightest eVent waterproof jacket and one of the lightest eVent jackets out there full stop and Rab says it can be used for anything from fast and light alpine trips through to activities where lightweight and packability are crucial like adventure racing.
The Techy Bits
There's nothing overly radical about the Momentum, but there are some neat minimalist touches. The fabric itself is a lightweight three-ply eVent with a micro-grid rip-stop pattern for added strength and Rab has also saved weight by using narrow tape on what it classes as 'non-critical seams', though the narrow tape still isn't quite as minimalist as that used by Gore.
As usual, the eVent fabric scores by its direct venting technology which means it's genuinely vapour permeable unlike some competitors.
How It Performed
Over the past few months we've used the Momentum for running, mountain walking and mountain biking and it's never let us down. We still reckon that eVent is appreciably more breathable than any other waterproof fabric out there and that pays off during higher tempo activities when you stay comfortable longer and dry out faster when the sweat does get too much.
At a real 330 grammes it's not as light as the really silly sub-200g shells, but for most people, it's light enough and packs down small enough to be virtually stow away and forget. When the skies open and you do need it, you'll find the Momentum's cut tapered and snug with a short front and a pronounced drop-tail.
That does mean you lose a little crotch protection, but the pay-off is ease of movement, when biking, running, climbing and scrambling. Talking of climbing, the Momentum sports Rab's classically long sleeves which won't rise up when you reach out. Velcro-fastened cuffs are neat and easy to use with extra Velcro anchoring the strap when the cuff's fully open. The sleeves are also neatly shaped so you can roll them up to your elbows for extra cooling.
The wired hood cinches up and grips the top of your head to move with - think cap-like - and will also happily accommodate a helmet while still offering facial protection, so all good there. Hem drawcord with its single side adjuster works well too.
The Momentum's really hard to fault. It's light, compact, waterproof so far and breathes brilliantly. All the features and details work well too - you can even fit an OS map in the pockets if you want to. It's probably best as a lightweight mountain jacket, but will cope as an all-rounder for biking and running at a pinch and is light enough for adventure racing too, where the fixed hood is mandatory.
The only point we'd make is that the lightweight fabric and short cut isn't really aimed at traditional heavy pack use and the snug cut means you'll need to be similarly svelte. Other than that, we think the Momentum's an exceptionally capable lightweight jacket and there's very little out there that's lighter and breathes anything like as well. And while £160 isn't cheap, we actually think it represents good value for money.
Buy if.. you want a highy breathable, nicely designed and cut lightweight jacket and don't feel the need for extra length or are contemplating heavy pack use.
Lightweight mountain jacket constructed from lightweight three-ply eVent waterproof and breathable fabric. Narrow seam tape on non-critical seams, helmet compatible hood with wired peak, two outer pockets with water-resistant zips, water-resistant YKK main zip with inner storm flap, adjustable Velcro cuffs and single exit hem drawcord, retro-reflective detailing.
- Pros: Cut design, breathability and features that work in a fuss-free way. Just right.
- Cons: We're not sure how the lightweight fabric will cope with really heavy extended pack use and abuse.
- Price: £160.00
- Year: 2009
- Weight: 330
- Website: www.rab.uk.com