The Rab Vapour-Rise Lite Alpine Jacket features a Pertex® Equilibrium fabric and lightweight tricot lining, our first impressions were a very lightweight jacket that felt like it might not be up for much, a month later it turned out to be the best in test, here’s why…
Comfort & Fit
The Vapour-Rise jacket is very lightweight and soft, you barely notice you’re wearing it. With a soft lining and relaxed fit this was probably the most comfortable jacket we tested.
This jacket breathes extremely well, it’s become my go-to running jacket in cold/wet conditions because of this. You can do quite high intensity exercise and the Vapour-Rise (as the name suggests) wicks away any moisture veryr well.
Usually when a jacket breathes well, it suffers slightly in windy conditions, but not in this case. It was very surprising to what extent it blocked out the wind and scored very well in this area.
Bearing in mind this isn’t a waterproof jacket, it faired very well in wet conditions holding off persistent rain for about 20 minutes, after which the rain did start to soak through, although when it did, the jacket dried out very quickly when given the chance.
Although the jacket isn’t very insulated (having only a very thin fleece-like lining), it was reasonably warm in cooler conditions, whilst at the same time letting moisture wick away and keeping the wind out (not sure what sorcery Rab have done here, it’s really impressive).
Unlike the Sawtooth jacket, the Vapour-Rise doesn’t have very much stretch to the material, however it does have quite a relaxed fit so you can move quite freely in it, we didn’t have any issues when running or climbing.
The jacket has some useful and well-placed breast pockets, plus an internal zipper pocket, all of which are a good size and useful. We did try the jacket with a standard sized helmet and would say that it isn’t really helmet compatible as movement was restricted, however this isn’t something that Rab specifically claim the jacket does although in emergencies it will fit around a helmet (just about).
While not quite a nice looking as the Baltoro, you won’t look out of place taking Vapour-Rise around the bars after a day in the mountains, it’s relaxed fit has a casual look it and the jacket generally has a nice cut to it.
Out of everything we’ve tested, nothing has been quite as versatile as the Vapour-Rise jacket, it performs so well in such a variety of situations we think it’s fantastic value.
Well Rab say “a versatile single layer for mountaineers, walkers, runners and mountain bikers that has become respected by all that have used it” and we’ll go with that, it’s certainly got our respect. If you’re after a Softshell that performs in a variety of situations and different temperatures the Vapour-Rise won’t disappoint.