Monday, 10 September 2012

Rab Pinnacle Jacket Review

4 out of 5 stars.
I bought this jacket at the beginning of 2010. I had been looking for a dedicated hill and fell walking jacket that could handle the British weather.
On various hikes I often looked at other hiker's jackets, one manufacturer that had taken my eye was Rab. They have produced some great jackets over the years which always seem to pick up good reviews, and the design of the jackets that Rab manufacture are particularly impressive too. But being Rab you have to be prepared to pay that little bit more for their gear, with the Pinnacle jacket retailing at around the £100 mark.
The first thing I liked about the Rab Pinnacle jacket was the look of it, part of the Rab 'Active' range the jacket combines a stylish modern cut that is great for hiking or climbing, with a smart look that has a more mature edge to it. Rab have used 2 layer eVent as an outer fabric, which means the jacket is extremely waterproof, very light weight - but can take a bit of abuse from rucksacks straps, and of course the odd scrapes against a cliff side. Also this particular jacket comes with an inner mesh and taffeta lining - which to me is a nice touch giving added comfort to the jacket, this in my view is missing in so many outdoor jackets on the market today.
The jacket has what I describe as a 'proper mountain hood' allowing you to adjust the front of it via a wired peak, the hood also employs three drawcords - including one at the rear of the hood - to adjust to any size you require, and to allow you to get the hood to grip your head to stop it blowing down in strong mountain winds. For me however, the drawcord hem inside the hood is not designed particularly well as it hangs down inside the hood across your forehead.
An interesting feature is the collar, it needs to be buttoned together in my view, simply because if you don't then it hangs around across your shoulders looking like you've forgotten to button it up! The collar and hood are one combined unit, almost like Rab built a fairly ordinary jacket, then decided to put a quality mountain hood and collar onto it!
The jacket has two outer pockets that are almost at chest height - so can't really be classed as hand warmer pockets, but they still do the job. They are big too, allowing for easy stashing of maps, phones, GPS's and the like. You do also get one map pocket, and an inside pocket too.
Interestingly the jacket has a two way zip, and unlike on some jackets the zip is free and easy to operate giving a sense it will last a long time. The zip is also tucked away behind a front storm baffle that attaches securely over the zip with Velcro attachments and a button at the bottom of the jacket.
I bought my Rab Pinnacle jacket in a small size giving a close fit, with the jacket being part of the Rab Active range - it is a closer fit anyway, so I probably could have gone for a medium, but for me I prefer the closer fit for less impact from wind on the hill.

Lastly, the cuffs use good old Velcro attachments here again...
So how has the jacket preformed over the last 2 years? Well in one word fantastically. It has been a companion in my rucksack even on hot days in the hills - just in case of a sudden downpour. It has taken some real punishment on some climbs against rocky surfaces, and has endured many hours of rain, and I have never once had the rain leak through.
The jacket also packs down really well, and weighing in at around 550g's you don't notice it in your rucksack.
I still use the jacket every now and then, but when rain lands on the surface of the jacket these days it starts out beading, but then begins to look as if it's soaking into the material leaving dark looking patches on the surface. But this could probably be sorted out with some kind of waterproofing agent.
So overall a good hill walking jacket that won't let you down in any weather. It breaths very well thanks to the fabric, and it looks professional as well as casual. A fantastic jacket for the price.

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