Rab Microlight Alpine Jackets


An Overview of the Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket

The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket is part of the Microlight range from British outdoor apparel brand Rab. Founded in 1981 by climber Rab Carrington, Rab specialises in technical mountain apparel built to excel in harsh alpine environments. All Rab Microlight jackets including the Alpine model feature an ultralight construction with premium European goose down insulation. But the Alpine version differs with its slimmer athletic fit, helmet-compatible hood, and reinforced shoulders ideal for mountaineering and climbing.

 

The main characteristics and benefits of the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket include:

  • Ultralightweight and highly packable design
  • Premium 850 fill power European goose down insulation
  • Pertex Quantum outer fabric with durable water-repellent (DWR) finish
  • Athletic slim fit allowing freedom of movement
  • Helmet-compatible hood with wired peak
  • Elasticated cuffs and adjustable hem seal in warmth
  • Recycled and PFC-free fabric and insulation options are available
  • Responsible Down Standard (RDS) certified down
  • Designed and developed in the UK

The Microlight Alpine balances impressive warmth and weather resistance with minimal weight and pack size. This makes it a versatile 3-season piece ideal as a stand-alone jacket or as a mid-layer under a shell.

 

Lightweight Yet Durable Construction

Two of the hallmarks of Rab apparel are impressive warmth-to-weight ratios and durability. The Microlight Alpine delivers on both fronts with its premium goose down and Pertex Quantum outer fabric.

 

Premium 850 Fill Power Goose Down

At the core of its impressive warmth is the use of premium 850 fill power goose down sourced from Europe. This top-tier down provides the utmost in thermal efficiency and loft for its weight. Fill power denotes the quality of down insulation with higher numbers indicating better performance and warmth for less material used. 850 fill goose down sits at the top of the scale, outpacing lower-quality duck down in the 600-650 fill range. The premium 850-fill European goose down enables the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket to achieve remarkable warmth with minimal weight. When paired with the zoned micro baffle construction that stabilises the down, it unlocks the full potential of the 850-fill goose down's thermal capacity. Rab also ensures responsible sourcing by only using goose down certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). This rigorous standard verifies the humane treatment and ethical processing of geese throughout the supply chain. With the combination of premium 850 fill power goose down responsibly sourced from Europe and innovative construction tailored to maximize its insulating properties, the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket achieves industry-leading warmth for its extraordinarily low weight and pack size.

 

Pertex Quantum Fabric

The outer shell of the Microlight Alpine is made of Pertex Quantum. Developed specifically for lightweight hiking and mountaineering apparel, Pertex Quantum is a high-tenacity nylon fabric with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish. The dense construction gives it impressive strength and tear resistance while remaining extremely light and breathable. The DWR treatment causes water to bead up and roll off the surface of the jacket. It enhances weather protection without relying on a laminate like Gore-Tex. Pertex Quantum is also bluesign® approved, meaning it meets stringent standards for sustainable production. Overall, it provides the ideal balance of durability, weather resistance and packability.

 

Innovative Construction for Versatile Warmth

The Rab Microlight Alpine uses an advanced baffle construction engineered to provide versatile warmth for aerobic mountain activities.

 

Zoned Micro Baffle System

The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket utilises an innovative zoned micro baffle construction specifically engineered to provide versatile warmth for dynamic mountain activities. Rather than traditional sewn-through baffles that can create cold spots, the Alpine jacket employs smaller micro baffles on targeted zones. The side panels and sleeves feature these micro baffles to maximise breathability and maintain a full range of motion without restraint. The armpits and upper sleeves allow excess heat and moisture to escape when working hard on ascents. At the same time, larger baffles are strategically mapped on the front core to insulate the vital organs and trap body heat where it is needed most. This zoned micro baffle system with varied baffle sizes keeps the premium 850 fill goose-down insulation in place for uniform warmth rather than shifting around. The innovative stitch-through baffles also eliminate cold zones so you stay warmer as conditions become more frigid. For further durability on such a lightweight jacket, the shoulders are reinforced with an extra outer fabric that prevents wear and abrasion from backpacks and climbing harnesses rubbing against the technical shell material. The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket's ingenious micro baffle construction truly unlocks the insulating potential of the premium goose down by keeping it stabilised in key zones.

 

Elasticated Hem and Cuffs

Aiding in its impressive versatility for dynamic mountain activities, the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket incorporates both elasticated cuffs and an adjustable dual-cord hem seal. The pre-shaped elasticated cuffs deliver a secure seal around the wrists to lock in warmth while allowing just enough room to stretch over the top of gloves or mittens. This ensures no snow or cold air sneaks in at the sleeves while maintaining the critical dexterity required for activities like climbing and skiing. At the same time, the innovative dual-cord adjustable hem provides the ability to tailor the fit and seal in the lower torso. You can cinch it down with the dual cord locks for a highly secure fit and seal when hunkering down in frigid and wet conditions. Or loosen the cords to vent excess heat and moisture when working hard to ascend or hiking at lower elevations. This customised seal makes the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket equally adept at keeping winter storms at bay when belaying exposed routes as it is at venting perspiration on high-output climbs. The adjustable hem is truly a standout feature allowing you to adapt the same jacket for either descending into arctic conditions or moving fast and light through the shoulder seasons. Combined with the elasticated cuffs, it delivers unrivalled fit versatility.

 

Helmet-Compatible Hood

The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket features an ingeniously designed helmet-compatible hood with both a wired peak and high collar to adapt coverage and warmth for varied mountain activities. The wired peak allows adjusting the hood to securely fit over a climbing helmet and harnessing the hood around a helmet when wearing one is critical. You can also remove the hood or push the peak back to wear the jacket with no hood impairment around a bare head and maximise visibility. The trim profile fits sleekly under or over helmets without limiting peripheral vision which is vital when climbing or skiing technical lines. For additional warmth, the hood incorporates a high-insulating collar that seals in heat around the neck and chin when hunkering down without a helmet. Between the wired peak, slimmed design and high collar, the helmet-ready hood provides optimal adjustability, coverage and visibility whether wearing a helmet and moving fast or seeking maximum warmth stopped at a frigid, exposed belay. No longer do you need separate hood designs to optimise coverage with or without a helmet. The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket has a true 4-season hood ready for everything from over the top on stormy winter summits to staring up shaded crack systems in the shoulder seasons.

 

Slim Technical Fit Allows Freedom of Movement

Unlike traditional puffy jackets, the Rab Microlight Alpine uses an athletic slim fit tailored specifically for mountain sports. The slimmer cut allows greater freedom of movement in the shoulders and arms critical for activities like climbing, mountaineering and backcountry skiing. There is still enough room to layer underneath a base layer and a thin fleece or softshell jacket. The slim fit also enhances thermal efficiency. By cutting down on dead air space, it improves the ability of the premium down to trap heat. Less material is also used overall, reducing weight and pack size. The Rab Microlight Alpine runs true to size but fits slimmer than casual jackets. Consider sizing up if you need more room for layering multiple mid-layers underneath. It allows a full range of motion without impeding movement or technical mountain activities.

 

Ultra-Packable and Lightweight

Two final characteristics that make the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket so versatile are its packability and lightweight design.

 

Packs Down Small to Travel Anywhere

One of the most impressive and useful characteristics of the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket is its incredible packability. This lightweight technical jacket stuffs down incredibly small into its integrated stuff sack. When compressed into the sack, it reduces down to about the size of a typical 1-liter water bottle making it easy to stash in the top or side pocket of any alpine pack. And it weighs a mere 14 ounces even for a size large according to specs. This combination of minimal packed size and ultralight weight means you can easily bring it along on any mountain adventure just in case. It adds negligible weight and bulk to your overall load. The Rab Microlight Alpine jacket truly excels as insurance against deteriorating weather or unexpected drops in temperature at altitude. When not needed, you'll forget it's clipped to your harness or stashed in your pack taking up barely any room. And if frigid conditions do strike or you need an extra layer to wait out a storm, you'll be glad to have its impressive warmth at your disposal weighed against its minuscule packed size. This packability also makes the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket more versatile for travel, everyday use and urban adventures when you need technical performance but don't have room for a full-size jacket stuffed in your daypack or luggage.

 

Ultralight Construction

Living up to Rab's reputation for impressively lightweight and minimalist yet durable designs, the Microlight Alpine jacket utilises an ingeniously ultralight construction to pare down weight while retaining technical performance. Even in a men's size large, it tips the scales at around 14 ounces or 400 grams according to specs. This qualifies the Rab Microlight Alpine jacket as a true ultralight insulation piece designed specifically with lightweight alpinism and fast-and-light missions in mind. The premium 850-fill European goose down can achieve an industry-leading warmth-to-weight ratio by maximising loft in a minimalist package. The trim athletic fit also uses fewer materials compared to bulky casual puffy jackets without compromising weather protection. The Pertex Quantum outer fabric was engineered to remain rugged and highly weather resistant at remarkably low weight by utilising advanced lightweight nylon textiles. Despite its barely-there weight, the Rab Microlight Alpine retains the technical durability required for activities like winter ice climbing and mountaineering. This combination of premium ultralight materials means the jacket adds negligible weight to your total load. You'll forget it's stuffed in your pack or clipped to your harness until the weather deteriorates and you need its incredible warmth weighed against its featherlight packed weight.

 

Responsible and Sustainable Construction

Along with outstanding performance, Rab also stands out with its commitment to responsible and sustainable production. The Microlight Alpine utilises recycled and animal welfare-approved materials.

  • Recycled Pertex Quantum Fabric → The Pertex Quantum outer shell fabric is available in a recycled polyester and nylon blend. Rather than virgin polyester, a recycled fabric made from post-consumer plastic is used. This reduces waste and the environmental impact of producing new textiles. All without compromising the performance or durability of the Pertex Quantum fabric.
  • PFC-Free DWR Treatment → The durable water-repellent (DWR) finish applied to the Pertex Quantum shell is now PFC-free. PFCs (per and polyfluorinated chemicals) are coming under scrutiny for potential environmental and health impacts. Rab has transitioned to using a more environmentally friendly PFC-free DWR finish. It still beads water effectively to enhance weather protection.
  • Responsible Down Standard Certification → All the down used in Rab jackets including the Microlight Alpine is certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS). To earn RDS certification, down and feathers must come from ducks and geese raised humanely with access to clean water, food and space. This verification ensures good welfare for the birds from hatching to processing. With both recycled fabrics and responsible down, the Rab Microlight Alpine is a more eco-friendly technical jacket option.

The Rab Microlight Alpine: Technical Insulation for Alpinists

After breaking down all its key features and construction, it’s clear why the Rab Microlight Alpine is such a popular jacket for mountaineering, climbing and backcountry skiing. The combination of premium European goose down and Pertex Quantum fabric makes it incredibly warm, weather-resistant and rugged while remaining minimalist. Zoned micro baffle mapping, a helmet-compatible hood and elasticated cuffs and hem seal in warmth allow freedom of movement for aerobic mountain activities. The slim athletic cut provides a trim layering piece that moves with you unrestricted. The jacket compresses down incredibly small to stash in your pack until needed. Add in responsible construction with recycled and animal welfare-approved materials, and the Microlight Alpine is a compelling overall package. It may cost more than basic down puffy coats, but the Rab Microlight Alpine provides speciality performance perfect for mountaineers, climbers and backcountry skiers who need reliable insulation and weather protection without excess bulk. If you want one ultralight jacket for everything from winter ice climbing to shoulder season hiking that combines packability, versatility and responsible construction, the Rab Microlight Alpine belongs in your gear closet.

 

Versatile 3-Season Insulation for All Mountain Activities

The Rab Microlight Alpine provides versatile lightweight warmth making it one of the most popular jackets among alpinists, climbers and backcountry skiers. Here we break down how its premium construction and technical fit make it versatile for everything from winter mountaineering to shoulder season hiking.

 

Winter Mountaineering and Ice Climbing

The Rab Microlight Alpine excels as a mid-layer insulating piece for cold-weather mountaineering and ice climbing. The slim hood layers comfortably under a climbing helmet. It also helps seal out spindrift when paired with goggles. The elasticated cuffs and adjustable hem seal in warmth and keep out snow. The athletic fit layers smoothly under a hard shell without restricting movement. It provides vital core insulation when belaying in frigid conditions. The zoned micro baffle construction prevents cold spots so you stay warmer longer. The premium 850 fill-down maintains loft and insulating power even when damp. Overall, the Microlight Alpine is rugged enough to handle even the harshest winter ascents.

 

Backcountry and Alpine Touring Skiing

The Rab Microlight Alpine is also a popular mid-layer for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. The slim fit allows complete freedom of movement for skinning and skiing downhill. You can keep your arms moving freely without the jacket riding up. It provides just enough core insulation when working hard uphill then seals out the cold during descents and breaks. The longer length also protects the hips and upper thighs when skinning. The helmet-compatible hood layers over ski helmets and the wired brim fits close around goggles and faces. For wet snow, the DWR-treated Pertex Quantum fabric keeps you dry. Overall, the Rab Microlight Alpine is perfect for staying warm but not overheating on backcountry ski tours.

 

Cool Weather Hiking and Climbing

In shoulder seasons, the Rab Microlight Alpine works well as a stand-alone jacket for hiking and climbing. The premium down provides plenty of warmth when temps drop in the mountains or at higher elevations. The Pertex Quantum shell withstands light rain and wind. Venting heat is easy by unzipping the front zipper and loosening the hem cord. The elasticated cuffs also seal out cold air when worn over bare hands or thin gloves. It provides versatile insulation without overheating on the trail. Then it compresses down to pack away when you warm up or temps rise. For rock climbing, the slim athletic fit allows total freedom of movement on the rock. Reinforced shoulders hold up to abrasion from harnesses and backpacks.



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