Rab Clothing & Sleeping Bags
Rab clothing and sleeping bags are suitable for extreme cold environments and high altitude mountaineering. Indeed Rab down sleeping bags are some of the finest in the world, and the Rab synthetic bags definitely utilise the expertise. The Rab range of clothing and waterproofs use the event membrane for optimum breathability.
There's a Rab waterproof jacket for all activities & Rab down jackets are award winners in many publications. There is a Rab sleeping bag & Rab waterproof clothing for everyone.
Rab Clothing and Sleeping Bags – An Overview - Rab Jackets, sleeping bags and waterproofs
Always an innovative figure in the world of climbing and mountaineering, Rab Carrington is one of a select group of Brits to make an impact in both methods of climbing, and the gear used to do it.
In the Dolomites during the late 1960s Rab started climbing many routes in rock shoes, rather than the stiffer, heavier mountaineering boots that were the usual at this time. This example of a new approach to fast-and-light alpine climbing is a great example of how Rab looked at routes and the quickest possible way of climbing them, which is of course, important for safety.
The real story of Rab as a manufacturing brand began during an expedition to Patagonia over 30 years ago, during which a delay in getting his gear through customs ended up seeing Rab making sleeping bags to pass the time and earn some money.
Born in Sheffield
Eventually Rab returned home to Sheffield, and in 1981 started to manufacture down Rab sleeping bags and Rab clothing in true cottage industry style. Utilising his years of experience on peaks around the world, his innovative mind, and the construction skills learned in Patagonia, he was able to look at what was needed for kit to achieve its function, and therefore design it to be truly functional…by climbers for climbers if you will.
Since then Rab has not only continued to be one of the world’s most respected experts on Rab down clothing and Rab sleeping bags, but has also branched into Rab waterproof jackets, outdoor clothing, gaiters and the like. Of course in some brands this dilution of range could lead to dilution of the core values, but Rab has always held its values and every bit of Rab gear is supremely designed for what it’s supposed to achieve in use; from the lightweight Rab Bergen jacket which is ideal for fast and light ascents, to the Rab Baltoro Guide for a highly breathable mountain softshell, to the Rab Summit jacket for alpine ascents and cold weather belay.
Rab’s history is not limited to just design features though; they’re also forward thinking when it comes to fabric choice. Rab’s always used the best quality down for its products because you need those higher ratios for performance. Nowadays Rab’s down is European sourced for better quality, and they’re one of the few manufacturers to state that it’s free-range and that they don’t use live-plucked down for any products. View our guide to down to find out more.
In the mid 1980s Rab became the first brand to use Pertex for down sleeping bags and clothing; Pertex is now industry standard and a household name (amongst climbers anyway).
They were also quick on the softshell revolution and a large part of their current range is dedicated to them, being that they’re an ideal blend of form and function in themselves for a large amount of low altitude mountain activities.
Even now, Rab show support to new fabric innovations and their take-up of the highly breathable eVENT waterproof fabric in a world dominated by Gore-Tex has been shown to be a sound choice in terms of performance, and the fact that invigorating progress in both camps has made both fabrics up their game in a waterproof arms race!
The latest fabric to enter the Rab fold is Neo Shell, Polartec’s first waterproof offering. Used on the Rab Stretch Neo jacket (pictured right), Polartec Neo Shell has been designed to provide near softshell levels of breathability, with full waterproofing. We’ve tested it and we can confirm that it works very well and hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot more of it on hills and mountains the world over soon.
At Gear Zone we’ve been proud stockists of Rab clothing and Rab Sleeping bags since we first launched in 2001 and we’re always terribly excited to see the new designs, fabrics and other shiny objects of gear-lust whenever it’s time to pick next season’s styles; truly Rab are one of the Great British outdoor brands of all time.