“Practical and hardworking, our range of outdoor clothing is defined by decades of experience in the mountains. Clear innovation, integrity and functionality are at the heart of everything we produce. Whether you’re searching for the ultimate outdoor jacket for winter or something more lightweight and breathable like our Merino baselayers, Rab® has you covered.” -Rab®
For those of you who are new or don't know much about the outdoor industry, it pays to lend an ear towards each brand’s specialty. Learning about each brand’s vision for performance and durability in their product lines helps to equip yourself as best you can for your next adventure. So today we're going to focus on Rab®.
Rab® was founded in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1981 by leading Scottish climber Rab Carrington. It is a British brand that specializes in making clothing and equipment for climbing and mountaineering. These two sports in the outdoor world demand the most durable and functional pieces to ensure the climbers optimal performance in the toughest conditions nature and mountains can produce.
Rab Carrington (born 1947 in Glasgow) began climbing while studying at the University of Glasgow and became a leading British rock climber and mountaineer in the late 1960s and 1970s, taking on expeditions in the Alps and Himalayas. Carrington was also a climbing partner of the distinguished mountaineer Alan Rouse. In 1973, Carrington took part in an expedition to Patagonia, Argentina, but when his group arrived in Buenos Aires, they found that their climbing equipment had not been shipped from Liverpool due to a dock strike. Unable to start the expedition without his equipment, Carrington instead stayed in Argentina for six months, where he learned how to make sleeping bags himself.
On his return, Carrington moved to Sheffield due to its proximity to the Peak District, which became "a hotbed for climbing talent" in the late 1970s. In 1980, Carrington began hand stitching and selling his own sleeping bags from the attic of his house. However, fast-growing demand soon meant he needed bigger premises and the following year Carrington founded Rab® and moved production to a factory in Sheffield. Drawing on his climbing experience, Carrington's clothes focused on lightweight, durable, and high-quality products.
"Nothing fancy or over-engineered – just honest, hard-working pieces that you’d rather repair than replace. By climbers for climbers." -Rab Carrington
Rab Carrington on Cerro Torre in Patagonia, late 1970s. Photo Credit: Rab®
Following Carrington’s own experience on numerous expeditions Rab® partners with some of the best mountain athletes, each pushing the limits of their chosen discipline. This provides Rab® with first hand experience and feedback on the performance of their products to keep its edge in a fast moving outdoor industry.
Rab® makes sure to follow the principles stated above not just in their product development but also in the brands they source their materials from. Rab's® down jackets, sleeping bags and expedition wear uses ethically-sourced European goose and duck down that is Responsible Down Standard-certified. A fluorocarbon-free water repellent treatment called Nikwax® is also applied in the down used in clothing and sleeping bags to prevent them from being weighed down by water. In addition to this, high-quality synthetics are also used for insulation. Rab's® clothes have become "synonymous with high-quality down and shell products".
If you are looking for a new and versatile outdoor insulation piece or shell, here are a two great options we carry here at Appalachian outfitters.
The Proton Jacket
Lightweight and packable, the Proton Jacket is a super light down-filled jacket ideal for multi-day adventures where weight is at a premium.
Whether you’re planning a spring ski tour or travelling hut to hut, the versatile Proton Jacket is warm and extremely packable. The lightweight Atmos™ outer and inner fabric has been chosen to allow the 800 fill power ethically-sourced hydrophobic down to loft to quickly giving instant warmth at a minimal weight.
Designed with the mountains in mind, the Proton Jacket features zoned stitch-through construction for mobility during active use, while a wind resistant outer and front zip provides extra protection from the elements. In addition to this, the jacket includes two zipped hand pockets, low profile elasticated cuffs, and stuff sack for convenient storage when on the move.
The Men's Downpour Jacket is a lightweight waterproof outer layer, ideal for general everyday use. Made with Pertex Shield® 2.5 layer fabric with Dry Touch, this Jacket comes with all the essential features for comfort and practicality, including pit zips, adjustable hood and cuffs as well as zippered pockets with storm flaps. The Downpour packs down into its own left-hand pocket, making it the perfect lightweight protection layer to carry with you in case of unexpected rain.
Stop by Appalachian Outfitters to check out all the products we carry by Rab® for men and women.