Summer is winding down, and maybe it’s already over in your neck of the woods. That may mean the end of barbecues and other warm-weather activities, but it certainly doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor expeditions; Fall and Winter are prime time for alpine excursions, and we’re just getting geared up for another cold-weather season. So is Rab, who just released the Microlight Summit – a rugged and ever lighter version of their trusty MicroLight Alpine down Jacket.
And by lighter, we mean by about 15 grams – the Summit weighs a mere 455g to the Alpine Jacket’s 470. That may not seem like much (okay, it isn’t), but is a sign of the jacket’s overall improved packability and weight efficiency. For this jacket, Rab used an improved Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave fabric, which eliminates the need for stitching and baffles. As a result, it’s slightly lighter, more packable and even more durable against the elements. Less stitches means more flexibility and better wind resistance. It’s then filled with 750 Fill European Goose Down, free of Flourocarbons and coated with Nikwak hydrophobic coating – repelling water and keeping you warm, even when it does get wet.
Warm down and stitch-less fabric aren’t the only thing the MicroLight Summit has going for it, however; Rab knows everything there is to know about life in the mountains and built this jacket to reflect that. The body is slightly longer than most mid-layer jackets, providing more coverage when moving around, reaching above your head, etc. Stretch nylon cuffs allow you to roll the sleeves up (that’s rare) and wear gloves, and the hood is designed for serious climbers; it’s helmet compatible, with a laminated brim, polymer peak to stand up, and internal stretch, so it’s small enough to wear without a helmet and large enough to wear with one. The front pockets are also helmet-compatible.
Lastly, Rab seals the deal with a 2-way YKK VISLON front zipper, with an insulated zip baffle and a chinguard, keeping you warm and cozy in even the most tempestuous of alpine weather.
At $325, the MicroLight Summit isn’t cheap insulation, and not meant for budget backpackers. For those summiting icy peaks this coming Fall and Winter, however, it’ll provide all the warmth and weather-resistance they need.