5 out of 5 stars.
The Ascent down jacket from Rab has been one of those items of clothing that I can't imagine being without on a cold winters hike. It is a well made and light weight down jacket that, is able to pack away into a stuffsac that is supplied with it, making getting it into your rucksack nice and easy. The filling is 330 grams of European duck down giving you 650 fill power - meaning this is a particularly warm down jacket, ideal for winter hiking, taking in the views on a cold mountain summit, or just for putting on when going into town on cold days.
The cut of the jacket is quite long. I bought mine in a medium and in all honesty I probably could have got away with a small, but I was concerned I wouldn't be able to get winter clothing underneath it when backpacking.
The jacket has a fleece lined collar, with a chin protector over the end of the zip for comfort. The hood unit is down filled and is completely detachable from the jacket, and the cuffs have Velcro attachments as you would expect from a mountain jacket...
The hood unit has a wired peak, hem drawcords and is really warm. Not the most stylish in looks - probably not one for putting up when your in town, but out on the hill this is fantastic...
The fleece lined hand warmer pockets are situated at a nice height and have zips. There is also one internal pocket that I use to put the stuff sac in for ease of find, but you can get a GPS or a regular size camera inside it quite easily too.
Another good thing about this down jacket is the outer material, Pertex Endurance 50 Denier Shell - a highly water resistant material, that can also take abuse from rucksack straps, or the odd scrape on rocks or trees, giving you reassurance when hiking in harsh conditions.
The only part to this jacket that I can be critical of is the zip, this can be a bit tricky to operate sometimes, however it does have a baffle preventing the elements entering the jacket.
The Rab Ascent is a good choice of down jacket that will allow you to enjoy the hills and mountains that little bit more. I have used it on many winter walks and it has become something I couldn't possibly leave at home when taking on that mountain or camping overnight.
Overall an all round quality down jacket that wont let you down.
Available now at E-Outdoor http://www.e-outdoor.co.uk/450/rab_insulated_jackets_and_vests.aspx
You can also view their full Rab range here http://www.e-outdoor.co.uk/brands/rab.aspx