Rab Microlight Alpine $399.95
Used by: Editor Alistair Hall
Used for: Three months
Wearing a down insulated jacket is one of my favourite things about winter. There’s nothing quite like sinking into its warm embrace on a cold evening in the mountains.
I’ve been using a Rab Microlight for the past few years, but that jacket has one major flaw: it’s hoodless. In more recent times, I’ve come to appreciate the extra warmth and versatility a hood offers.
Mainly for that reason, this year I opted for the Microlight Alpine (466g).
But my reason for upgrading wasn’t only about the hood. The latest iteration of the jacket has 700-fill power hydrophobic goose down, meaning it can handle wet and damp conditions much better than my old jacket.
This jacket is also made from recycled materials – that’s recycled down, inner and outer fabric.
I use the jacket every chance I get and it kept me super warm for three freezing days in Wanaka in late June. I like that it packs down into a stuff sack (which I am always concerned I will lose) and doesn’t take up too much space in my pack.
The down hasn’t become wet yet – during rain, water beads off the fabric – but I’ve seen a demonstration of hydrophobic down and if it works as it does in test-tube trials, then I have no doubt it should offer brilliant warm-when-wet performance.
Verdict: A warm, environmentally-friendly jacket for all your winter activities.