Tuesday, 1 October 2013

New Rab Clothing

Me abseiling into Kilt Rock (Photo: Nadir Khan)

Usual protocol has been called upon which has found me guiding and exploring through mountainous terrain in Scotland, rain or shine.  This summer; mainly shine.  Over the last wee while I have been testing out some of the RAB range of clothing.  3 items in specific.  The Torque Pant, The Aeon Tee and The Vapour-rise Jacket.  Although the summer has been generally good, we had some classic Scottish weather on the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye.  In my eye's, if gear can stand up to Scottish weather on a daily basis then it gets my vote.  With long walk-in's on Skye followed by technical terrain I always need something that is comfortable, hard-wearing and for me personally, it needs to be light.  The Torque Pant has delivered on all my prerequisites for a good mountain pant.  On top of this it is an interesting colour, something out of the ordinary in the British mountains and I think we need more colour on the cloudy days.  With stretchy fabrics in abundance on these pants, it allows complete freedom of movement from short strides along the path to huge rock overs on steep rock climbs.  Reinforced fabric on the crucial areas protect the knees and in-step from quick wear and tear from the daily use I put clothing through.  I am also convinced that these trousers, combined with a pair of thermal trousers would be ideal for mountaineering in Scotland and I wish I had them at the time I did a 12 hour winter traverse of the Cuillin Ridge.  Very excited about trying them out this winter.  A great product!

Perfect for rock climbing (Photo: Nadir Khan)


Works in the worst weather (Photo: Malcolm Simpkin)

The Aeon Tee was a great addition to the kit for Skye this season.  As many of the walk-in's are quite long, I do find myself working up a wee bit of a sweat and usually having to change my base layer.  Now I'm not saying this t-shirt stopped me sweating but it did draw the moisture away from my body very quickly and dried out in the light breeze we had.  When I threw my rucksack back on I didn't shudder from the usual freezing feeling I get from other wet t-shirts.  Whether I was in the thick fog in the mountains or on the sea cliffs, I found this t-shirt to be very comfortable, light weight and versatile.  After doing a single day 10 hour traverse, we decided to run down from the mountains and I concluded that this item would be ideal for running whether it be through the hills or on a trail as its so comfortable and not abrasive.  Finally it has no stitching directly on the top of your shoulder where my rucksack really pushes in so no discomfort there. Also for me, it doesn't create a unsociable odour that some of the 'old school' products do.

Comfortable after long days out (photo: Nadir Khan)
Rain or shine, the kit works (Photo: Nadir Khan)
When in Scotland we have to wear jackets quite frequently.  To keep the rain off, the wind or just the cold temperatures from biting but finding a jacket that covers several bases can be tricky.  Having not used Vaporie-rise before I was keen to see how it works.  Fortunately we had some classic Scottish weather: wind, rain, cloud and low temperatures.  Now when it rained hard I put my water proof shell on but in the passing light showers I just kept the Vapour-rise exposed.  I found when moving over the technical terrain of the Cuillin, the jacket was comfortable in all aspects from sticking my hands on my pockets to hand jamming up steep cracks.  As the wind picked up, my face got cold but my torso stayed nice and toasty in this jacket, visibility wasn't impaired as I moulded the stiff wire peak over my helmet to block out the wind and rain.  No wind found its way up my sleeves as I sealed the cuffs over my gloves using the Velcro straps.  I found on some of the long ascent, where body temperature was increasing, I was able to regulate this with the easy to reach pit-zips.  When I stopped, I'd simply do them up and keep the heat in.  Again, another functional product that works well in the ever changing mountain environment in Scotland.  Really keen to test all this kit out in the Alps next week on some North Face's and long ridges.

Its good to be spotted in bad weather!  Climbing the In Pinn with Lee Fleming and a Bumble bee


2 comments:

Henry Hall said...

Thanks for this. I was thinking about buying The Torque Pants and think I will now. Where did you buy it from?

Henry Hall said...

..and how did they and the jacket perform in the Alps? Thanks :-)