I bought this after trying one my mate Pete had picked up from Go Outdoors, during a 20% off promotion. I missed the promotion and they only had the Maya (blue) colourway in stock. I was actually really surprised Rab did more colours than just blue, because everyone who owns Rab clothing seems to buy blue. The same goes for Berghaus.
I wouldn’t say Rab is one of my favourite outdoors brands. It’s rare I’d think “I wonder what Rab’s take on this is?” when I’m considering apparel. It comes down to superficial branding at the end of the day. Rab is safe, stoic and unsexy. More fool me, though, because on the strength of this jacket, I’ve been a victim of the marketing of other brands.
I went with the apple green colourway as can be seen from the pics, which reminded me a bit of a ski jacket I had at school in the 80s (so I really must show my friend Anthony, as he’ll remember it).
Because I knew my size in the jacket from trying on Pete’s jacket, I went with medium and ordered from Outside.
Delivery was adequate, but doesn’t really compete with my preferred online outdoors retailer Facewest.
I ordered before 2pm, but the jacket wasn’t dispatched until the next day. Then it turned out the free delivery service was a two day event. My fault for not reading the small print, but there you go. The price was good, anyway.
The next thing that sort of went wrong was the jacket wasn’t double bagged. It was just folded and wrapped in the outer packaging. So it’s a good job it didn’t meet anything sharp on the way.
Anyway, I love the Vapour Rise Lite Alpine (VR). If you want to know why the concept of Pertex over a lining is so great and why the VR is a ‘true softshell’, read this awesome article by the mighty Andy Kirkpatrick.
The article made so much sense to me and persuaded me to buy a Buffalo Special 6 Shirt – which is my winter and foul weather go to. The Special 6 informed the VR purchase – because I knew the concept was sound. So, the VR is like the S6 – but in lite mode and more stylish.
The VR jacket is composed of a Pertex Equilibrium shell, backed by a tricot lining. It’s light, fairly wind proof, dries quickly when wet – without the wearer getting very wet – and wicks awesomely.
Fit is close and athletic because you’re meant to wear this next to skin or with just a technical base or T shirt. None of that merino stuff either – because merino dries too slowly.
The outer fabric has a grid pattern, which I’m assuming is rip stop, but I could be wrong. The jacket is light.
The hood is a great fit and it features a functioning rain bill.
Cuffs exhibit Velcro fastenings. Zips are smooth.
The only downer is the chest pockets. Put anything in them and you have saggy breasts.