By Greg Chapman
In many ways a true softshell, yet equally an entirely different and unique beast, the Rab Vapour-Rise Alpine is a brilliant jacket for mountaineering, climbing and hill walking and a real favourite here at Rock + Run.
If you’re after a lightweight, athletic fitting outer layer, for fast paced usage in a range of arenas this jacket cuts the mustard like no other. Superbly breathable and with just enough water, snow and wind resistance to make it viable as a stand alone piece, whilst also working well in conjunction with an insulated jacket or shell, it is hugely versatile. The tactile warmth of the internal micro-fleece drop liner combines perfectly with the soft breathable Pertex Equilibrium outer, making for instant off the peg appeal. Whilst the Rab Vapour-Rise Alpine jacket has been on sale for a number of years, in many ways it was the forerunner to the recent and now widely acclaimed Alpha Direct series of jackets (designed for colder conditions), and is well worth a look as a lighter weight alternative if you’ve already been won over by the virtues of the warmer Alpha.
Our favourite features include the immensely breathable nature of the jacket, a wired helmet compatible hood, substantial chest pockets and really adjustable cuffs- perfect for everything from gloveless rock climbing to use with ski touring or fell walking gloves. The fit is also great; offering a full range of movement, no matter how bundled up you are. It is however, very much an athletic cut and those with a larger frame may need to upsize from their higher volume waterproof walking jacket.
At just under 350g the Rab Vapour-Rise Alpine is just about as light as it gets for such a fully featured jacket; so when you combine this with its versatility, a stack of features and a highly competitive price tag it's easy to see why it has been and continues to be such a winner.