Chris Townsend reviews an excellent down jacket for cold-weather backpacking.

This review is part of our down jackets gear guide, and was first published in the January 2019 issue of The Great Outdoors.

The latest addition to Rab’s Microlight range has an innovative seamless construction that Rab says reduces weight and increases weather resistance. It does looks neat! The down has a PFC-free Nikwax hydrophobic treatment and is ethically sourced from Europe. I’ve used the jacket in drizzle and damp mist and it hasn’t absorbed any moisture.

Aimed at alpine climbers, its hood is helmet-compatible. This has stretch seams and fits a bare head well. With a stiffened peak, internal stretch seal plus front and rear drawcords it is the best hood in this test. The pockets are roomy and just usable with a hipbelt – the bottoms are cut off.

The Summit is slightly longer than many down jackets, which is good, and easily covers my backside. The fit is described as Slim. The Large size isn’t as small as some other Large jackets reviewed though. I can comfortably wear it over a midweight fleece.

The Summit is quite light for the warmth provided. I think it’s an excellent choice for cold-weather backpacking.

Further reading: Chris’s Column on the Rab Microlight Summit

rab.equipment/uk

Overview

  • Overall: 4-5 out of 5

Pros: hood, seamless construction, pockets, length, ethically sourced down, hydrophobic down, PFC-free

Cons: nothing

  • Price: £230
  • Weight: 440g (L)
  • Fill: 143g 750 fill power hydrophobic down
  • Shell: Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave
  • Hood: stiff peak, adjustable front drawcords, volume adjuster
  • Cuffs: stretch
  • Hem: adjustable drawcord
  • Pockets: 2 handwarmer, 1 inner
  • Sizes: men S-XXL, women 8-16
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