Rab Mythic Ultra Jacket | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Down and Insulated Jackets

Rab Mythic Ultra Jacket | Review

A lofty down jacket from Rab that’s picked up a number of big outdoor awards this year

Why we chose it: Sustainably made, innovative, highly functional

Boasting the highest warmth-to-weight ratio in the entire Rab collection, the Rab Mythic Ultra is one seriously well-made jacket that’s designed to insulate in some very cold conditions. All the design details are there for those who want something to back them up on any alpine missions above the snowline, there are some admirable efforts around sustainability and, well, it just looks pretty smart too.

What is the Rab Mythic Ultra Best Suited To?

Rab themselves describe the Mythic Ultra as a ‘gamechanger for fast-moving alpinists’ and this thing’s certainly warm enough, light enough, packable enough and technical enough for alpine mountaineering missions. We’d say it also serves really well as a belay jacket and it would suit those who like to wild camp through all four seasons.

Eco Credentials

You can expect a bunch of recycled materials here, including Pertex’s 100% recycled fabrics on the inside and outside. The down all meets the Responsible Down Standard, meaning all of the feathers come from responsible farms that respect animal welfare, and the water resistant treatment they’ve used is completely free from chemicals. Nikwax’s Hydrophobic Down treatment is applied here to help the fill repel moisture. It’s a solution that’s completely water-based and earth kind.

OM editor Will using the Mythic Ultra on a trek along the Cumbria Way. Photos: Joe Whitmore

Rab have a good environmental track record. The company has been climate neutral for 3 years running, 63% of the fabrics they use are recycled and, perhaps most importantly, they focus on making kit to last, not just by making it tough but also by focussing on making the kit repairable, whether that’s by the consumer or through the Rab service centre.

Construction and Performance

That impressive warmth-to-weight ratio – it’s all mainly down to the clever baffle construction. With baffles, you tend to get two different types: box wall and stitched-through. Box wall tends to result in a thick, heavier baffle that’s very thermally efficient while stitched-through baffles are a little less puffy but also less efficient at trapping in warm air. What Rab have done is they’ve deployed both types in the places where they’re best suited. That means stitched-through baffles on the arms where more articulation and dynamic movement is required and box wall baffles on the body where maximum loft and warmth is wanted. It’s clever stuff and it works excellently. What’s more, the box wall baffles are all offset and what this means is that all the down fill is distributed evenly around the core, further reducing the chance of any cold spots.

Buy the Rab Mythic Ultra: £420 at Ellis-Brigham

Our testers Becky and Will using the Mythic in the Lake District's mountains. Photo: Joe Whitmore

Then there’s the Thermo Ionic Lining (or TILT, as Rab call it). This is a scrim lining within the jacket’s baffles that’s made from a lightweight fabric which is coated with aluminum and what this does it it reflects heat radiating from your body back to you. It works in the same way as one of those thermal blankets you see runners with at the end of marathons – Rab say that’s actually what inspired the design here. Unsurprisingly, you’ll also find this in Rab’s Mythic Sleeping bag, which, like this jacket, picked up a bunch of awards when it was first released.

Forming the jacket’s outer fabric and liner there’s Pertex Quantum. It’s light, it’s durable and it’s good at trapping down fill inside while still facilitating loft, and for those reasons it’s often the choice material by leading down jacket brands.

Will with the Mythic Ultra at camp on the Cumbria Way. Photo: Joe Whitmore

As you’d expect from Rab, there are a number of features that makes this particularly suited to climbers. You’ve got a two-way zip so it can be worn while belaying, it comes with a little stuff sack that can be clipped onto a harness, the hood’s large and adjustable and can be worn over a helmet (or under one) and the arms are articulated so that you can reach up without the hem lifting up over your waist.

The down fill is sourced from geese – responsibly, we should add – and it has a 900 fill power. It also comes treated with a special Nikwax hydrophobic treatment and this gives the jacket a really impressive threshold in wet weather. You can wear this in some fairly heavy and prolonged rain without the down losing its loft. In fact, Nikwax say that their tests have shown that Nikwax treated down can withstand seven days of constant exposure to moisture. We can vouch for it here at Outdoors Magic. It’s good stuff – and it’s eco-friendly too.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

This is one of the cosiest down jackets I’ve come across. Super lofty and super warm, it’s the kind of thing that’s going to see you through some very cold days and nights on the hill. I’ve actually found it’s surprisingly breathable too – I’ve never felt clammy while wearing it.

I’m five foot 10 and wearing a size Medium here and I’d say it’s pretty generously sized with plenty of space underneath for other layers. It’s a little bit too thick and lofty to be worn underneath anything, but you wouldn’t really need a layer over it, given how warm and water resistant it is.

Buy the Rab Mythic Ultra: £420 at Ellis-Brigham

Rab Mythic Ultra

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023

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