Waterproof Jackets

Rab Generator Smock | Review

Weight: 330 grammes
Lightweight insulated smock with Primaloft 1fill. Pertex
Quantum inner and outer fabrics, 60g Primaloft 1 insulation,
single chest pocket, overlapping kangaroo pocket, Lycra
cuffs and hem, long half-zip neck opening, packs into chest
pocket. Available in black and denim.

What’s It For? The new Generator is part of Rab’s
ultra-lightweight Quantum range and aimed pretty much at anyone who
wants very light, very packable insulation that’s also damp friendly
– unlike down – and windproof. Climbers, runners, trekkers,
lightweight backpackers could all use it.

The Techy Bits There’s nothing particularly magical about the
design; the key to the Generator’s weight and pack size is the use of
top quality materials, in particular the ultra-lightweight Pertex
Quantum fabric that’s used both inside and out and the Primaloft 1
synthetic insulation.

How It Performs Traditionally the warmth without weight thing
has been done using down – Rab has its own take on that with the 400g
Neutrino jacket – but down has one major disadvantage for UK
conditions; it really doesn’t like dampness.

Rab’s Neil McAdie has the Generator on his
Christmas list

Sythetic insulation like Primaloft, is far more robust – get it
wet and it will retain far more of its insulating properties than
down, which turns into sludgey porridge when mixed with water…
Generally though, synthetics have usually weighed quite a bit more
and lacked that soft, luxurious down feel.

All that stops with the Generator. Its genuine 330-gramme weight
is in microfleece territory, but it’s as warm as a mid-weight fleece
plus the windproofness of the Quantum fabric makes it much more
useable in anything other than still conditions.

As a bonus, the silky Pertex Quantum fabric and soft Primaloft
insulation gives it a great, soft, luxurious feel good factor. It’s
not quite as pub-friendly as a traditional fleece, but everywhere
else it blows its fabric cousin into the weeds thanks to a smaller
pack size and windproofing.

Conveniently it compresses into its own chest pocket, though it
will go smaller if forced producing a pack size, oh, about the same
as a small pineapple or maybe a very large grapefruit.

At any rate, it doesn’t take up much room in your pack and sits
there unobtrusively ’til you need instant insulation. You get a loop
to hang it from your harness as well making it an option for climbers
moving light on multi-pitch routes.

Cut is snug – this isn’t a belay-type garment – and long enough to
feel protective. You get a single zipped chest pocket that will take
an OS map or guidebook without protesting, plus a non-zipped
‘kangaroo’ handwarmer pocket with a central divider so although you
get the full width of the pocket on either side, your hands don’t
actually touch. Great for keeping cold fingers warm on chilly

The deep chest zip works well for venting and easy donning and
removal and people with normal-sized forearms will be able to roll
sleeves up as well.

The Generator’s not particularly water resistant per se, but you
will get a sort of soggy warmth even when it’s damp and there are no
care issues with getting it wet.


If you’re looking for all-condition warmth with minimal weight
and a dose of windproofing thrown in, Rab’s Generator will be
bouncing up and down shouting ‘Me! Me! Me!’

It doesn’t weigh much, travels small and packs a bigger insulation
punch than you’d expect with added wind resistance over traditional
fleeces. It’s happy with damp and, as a bonus, it feels lovely and

If you were being really picky, you might ask for a hood as well
and a full-length zip, but that’d weigh more and minimal weight,
maximum warmth is the name of the game here.

Very, very nice and very effective.

Light, small-packing, warm, soft and windproof.
Nothing really.


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