Although Rab’s Microlight Jackets have earned well deserved fame in the outdoor world as a warm jacket that can be worn almost anywhere. The Microlight Summit it primarily designed to be worn as a static or low activity jacket in Alpine conditions. It is excellent as a warm layer in camp, belaying or when resting between climbs. It can be used as a mid-layer in slower moving winter walks, down does have breathability but it is not the most efficient.
The fabric of the jacket is Pertex quantum Infinity Weave, this is a single fabric which weaves in the baffles containing the 750FP Hydrophobic down. There is no stitching, gluing or heat treatment used to create the baffles. This gives the Summit Jacket a better wind and water resistance.
The Microlight Summit is insulated with high quality 750 FP Ethically Sourced European Goose Down that is treated with a Flourocarbon free hydophobic Nikwax product. The jacket is not waterproof but the down will not loose its thermal value if it gets wet from rain or body moisture.
Slightly longer than the standard microlight jacket the Summit is an Alpine fit that can be stuffed into its own stuff sack taking up little room in a back pack. The hood is helmet compatible and the front zip can be opened from the bottom so that it can be worn when belaying.
Wearing the Microlight Summit Jacket
The Summit jacket I wore was a medium, underneath I wore a base layer, the hard shell I was wearing was a large size. I have a 41″ chest and my height is about 5’10”
The Summit is a slim fit which suited me well (honest) it felt close, warm and snug without being restrictive. I really appreciated the extra length which ensured my lower back regions stayed covered when bending over or sitting down, something many thermal jackets do not do. It is incredibly light to wear and thoroughly windproof, it is also quite water resistant. I wore the Summit on a chilly windy day on top of a hill and was impressed by its impermeability, the Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave eliminates all those little holes created by stitching which can be a little drafty.
I have had some problems getting a good fit with the hood, it is very spacious for a helmet, but if you do not wear a helmet there is an awful lot of fabric which needs to be drawn in around your head. I have yet to achieve a really comfortable working fit. When moving my head I found the hood a bit restrictive especially when looking up, which you would obviously want to do when belaying. Hopefully with a helmet on it works better.
On a gentler walk I have used the Summit as a mid- layer. It worked well under a hard shell not feeling bulky and did not restrict any movement. Down is not one of the better insulation’s for breathability and when pushing hard can get pretty hot and sweaty unless you are in really freezing conditions. Which I must confess I have not experienced.
The hand pockets are a good size in a comfortable position that worked well when my hands needed thawing out. I do not like to bulk out pockets with lots of stuff when walking, but when I needed to stuff things like gloves in them they were deep enough to keep items secure.
I have often carried the Summit in my backpack ready to wear when I have stopped for a break. I am really impressed with it’s compact-ability and lightness.
In temperatures around the zero mark the summit is a good warm weatherproof jacket that can be worn in static or slow moving activities. Ideal to slip on when taking a break climbing or hill walking or, as a warm layer in camp. A close fit works best so choosing the right size is important.
For a full list of the Microlight Summit Jacket details go to Rab Men’s Microlight Summit Jacket