The Rab Micro-light Alpine Jacket is the lightest down jacket manufactured by Rab. The micro-light alpine jacket weights only 12 ounces and is manufactured with a water resistant Pertex micro-light shell and baffled 750-fill down. This Rab jacket comes with a hood, two hand pockets and one zippered chest pocket and a lifetime warranty. Rab manufactured this jacket for use when a giant puffy jacket is too much and a fleece is just not enough. The Rab micro-light alpine jacket is a ultra light insulating layer, that is lighter and warmer than the standard fleece and works well as a standalone piece or as a layering piece.
Upon receiving the Rab micro-light alpine jacket, I was immediately impressed with the ultra light weight feel. At 12 ounces, this jacket is extremely light and I was also happy to see that Rab outfitted this jacket with the same hood as its other products. I have always liked the hood on Rab clothing, due to the easy to use and ultra comfortable hood, that contains a wire insert around the edge of the hood, allowing the user to adjust accordingly. My only concern had to due with the amount of warmth that this type of ultra light jacket could provide.
I then began utilizing the Rab micro-light alpine jacket in the mountains of Southwest Missouri and Northern Arkansas. As I began to use the Rab jacket, I quickly began to realize that despite the light weight, this 750-fill down jacket was much warmer than I had anticipated. The water resistant Pertex shell also proved to repel water and light snow very well and allow me to utilize the jacket is a variety of weather conditions. I also found the zippered chest pocket to be very useful to store a variety of things from a small camera, to snacks or a GPS device.
As I continued to use the Rab Micro-light alpine jacket, I liked the light weight and warmth so much I began utilizing it in place of a standard fleece. I found that on warmer days, the Rab jacket was warm enough to wear as a standalone insulation piece and during very cold temperatures the Rab jacket worked well as a layering piece, as it fit well under a heavier down jacket. As with other Rab down jackets, the hood on the micro-light alpine jacket was very comfortable and easy to personalize due to the wire insert around the edge of the hood.
I then utilized this jacket on the Patagonia Expedition for 2010. While on the expedition, I utilized the Rab micro-light alpine jacket as my down insulation piece while at lower elevations and as a layering piece in higher elevations. The Rab jacket is so light, packs up very small and is so warm, it once again allowed me to substitute it for a standard fleece. I was able to pack the Rab jacket into any corner of my backpack, therefore saving me space and the light weight helped me control the overall weight of my backpack.
The Rab jacket performed well in the unpredictable Patagonia weather, due to its versatility and water resistance Pertex shell. This combination, allowed me to utilize the jacket in the ever changing Patagonia weather and use it at various elevations. The Rab jacket provided plenty of warmth at lower and mid elevations and was very comfortable. I found the jacket equally comfortable and warm around camp, ascending a mountain or utilizing during travel.
While at higher elevations, I used the Rab jacket as a layering piece under a windstopper soft shell jacket to help protect me from the unending wind and at other times under a heavier down jacket on the glaciers and near the summit of the Paine Massif. I found that these combinations worked very effectively and allowed me to stay warm and protected from the cold wind and snow. I do wish that the Rab micro-light alpine jacket had a hem cord around the waist allowing one to tighten the jacket around the waist. I t seems like this would help keep the heat in the jacket and the cold and wind from blowing inside the jacket.
After a few months of utilizing the Rab micro-light alpine jacket, I was impressed with the durability of such a light weight jacket. While testing, I used the jacket often, stored and carried it in my backpack for hundreds of miles on 2 continents and subjected it to travel and various weather conditions. After all this, the jacket showed no real signs or wear or damage, minus a few stray down feathers poking out from time to time. This however is just part of the process with down garments and just like I care for my down sleeping bags, I simply pushed the individual feathers back inside the jacket and rubbed my finger over the area to seal any hole in the shell.
I found the Rab micro-light alpine jacket easy to clean by using a clean damp cloth to lightly rub the dirt and debris off the outer shell. To date this has been all the cleaning that has been required. When not in use, I store the Rab jacket in my gear closet with my other outdoor clothing.
I was very impressed with the Rab Micro-light Alpine Jacket. I found this jacket to be ultra light weight, very comfortable and really warm, especially for such a light weight jacket. The outer shell really repels a light rain or snow, not allowing the down to get wet, thus allowing the jacket to keep you warm. The front zippered chest pocket is great for storage and the front hand pockets are great for warming up your hands. The hood is warm and comfortable and the inserted wire around the edge allowed one to shape the hood for their personal liking is great. The Rab jacket packs small, is light weight and versatile enough, that it allowed me to discontinue using my standard fleece. If you like the light weight and warmth of down, you really should give this jacket a try.