At a glance
Plusses: Warmth to weight ratio, hydrophobic down, great design, storm-ready hood, active fit
Minuses: Hood drawcords have to be tucked away, expensive, taller people may prefer a longer torso
Features: This is a technical midweight down jacket built for the rigours of winter mountaineering. With 148g of 850 fill-power hydrophobic goose down, the Continuum is warm and plush. It weighs just 355g (310g – w), is compressible and packs down to the size of a melon.
Its over-helmet hood is one of its highlights, with three adjustment points for a perfect fit and seal against the elements, while its stiff visor provides protection from rain or sleet. The only downside of the hood design is that the cinch cords need to be tucked away, otherwise they float around the edge of your vision in a distracting way.
Two zippered hand pockets, a chest pocket and a hem drawcord complete the jacket’s features.
Fit: The Continuum has a semi-slim, athletic cut that allows for unrestricted mobility. That said, there’s plenty of room for mid-layers. The sleeves were the longest of all the jackets reviewed, but the torso length was shorter than some models. The fit was perfect for me, but people with long torsos would do well to try before they buy.
Comfort: It’s a delight to wear. It’s warm enough for virtually all winter conditions in New Zealand and it only weighs 355g.
It really stands out in strong winds and in the rain, where the hood design, water-resistant Pertex shell and hydrophobic down repel the elements better than most jackets. The only downside of the design is the annoying cinch cords, which need to be tucked under the hood.
In use: The jacket ticks all the boxes for a high-quality winter down jacket. It’s exceptionally warm and the hood design and hem drawcord eliminate drafts. It’s also largely windproof and water-resistant, which means it performs well in windy and damp conditions as well as on frosty nights. The luxurious 850 fill-power down delivers all these virtues for minimal weight and bulk.
Value: Down jackets are never cheap, but even so, at $600 the Continuum is at the high end for winter down jackets. That said, it delivers all of the bells and whistles you could expect from a top-shelf downie.
Verdict: The Continuum is another well-designed and well-executed jacket from Rab. This is an excellent choice for those looking for a serious companion for winter exploration.