Review: Rab Microlight Summit Jacket

The perfect insulated jacket for active adventures where functionality is as important as lightweight warmth.

The Rab Microlight Summit Jacket is the reinvention of a true classic. Wear as a standalone outer layer that is robust, weather resistant and provides good levels of warmth. Or as a midlayer that is lightweight, slim fitting and provides supremely cosy warmth. It also looks fabulous and lets your body move so freely that you barely notice you’re wearing it. What’s not to love about it? I can’t find a single thing!

Rab Microlight Summit Jacket: The stats

Insulation:Rab Fluorocarbon free Hydrophobic Down
Weight:420g/14.8oz (UK size 12)
Down fill weight:135g/4.7oz (UK size 12)
Down fill power:750
Outer fabric:Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave
Pack down size:20 x 15 x 15cm

Features of the Rab Microlight Summit Jacket

Hood

Jacket hoodThe hood is huge and very cosy! It fits a helmet underneath and has a flexible polymer peak. But it also has a stretchy front edging that fits flush to your forehead to prevent a draft from getting in. There is a velcro tab at the back of the hood for a customised fit.

Neck detail

Chin guard on jacketThe hood can be cinched in with drawcords that sit within the fabric at the chin area. These are easily adjustable, even with gloves on. There is also a very soft panel inside the jacket at the top of the zip to prevent it rubbing on your chin.

Outer fabric

Fabric of jacketThe Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave fabric is highly durable, water repellent and surprisingly windproof. The construction of the jacket also features underarm panels (rather than seams) for greater range of movement and comfort.

Cuffs

Sleeve cuffThe stretch nylon cuffs are a really simple but effective addition to this jacket. They enable you to roll your sleeves up without them falling down, and they’re soft and comfortable on the skin.

Internal chest pocket

Inside jacket pocketThere is a zippered pocket on the inside of the jacket. It has a streamlined, lightweight zip pull, and the pocket is big enough to hold a large phone or device, or a small map.

Hand pockets

Jacket pocketsThe hand pockets are zippered. The zip pulls are lightweight but substantial enough to be easily gripped when wearing gloves. The zips are laminated with a polyurethane tape to make them water resistant, and the pockets can still be accessed when wearing a harness.

Long back and hem drawcord

Back of jacketThe extra length at the back makes wearing a harness or a backpack very comfortable — no riding up. And it keeps your backside nice and warm! There is also a drawcord that runs the length of the bottom hem of the jacket. This can be cinched in to stop a draft coming up through the jacket, and also helps keep the jacket in place during high levels of movement.

Two way zip

Two way jacket zipLike the pocket zips, the front zip is also water resistant. It has a two-way zip which is incredibly useful in many ways in which you may not realise! (Toilet stops, getting changed, putting waterproof pants on, belaying etc).

Stuff sack

Packed Rab jacektThere is a stuff sack that lives in the chest pocket. The whole jacket fits inside this when not in use, and it has a useful handle on to clip to things or to carry.


Rab Microlight Summit Jacket review

Believe it or not, 2018 is the 10 year anniversary of the creation of the original and classic Rab Microlight jacket. Technology has come on leaps and bounds since then and the new Summit features some superb improvements that I’ve been loving.

Insulation and warmth

A couple of things about the down insulation of the jacket: it is filled with responsibly sourced down, and the down is hydrophobic and fluorocarbon free, created in conjunction with Nikwax.

To add to that, the jacket is constructed with Pertex Quantum Infinity Weave fabric. Fancy hey?! This means that it is mega durable and that the baffles are seamlessly woven into the fabric, rather than stitched. This reduces the weight and, combined with the properties of the down, makes the jacket more weather resistant than ever.

So how warm is it?! Well, during my most recent outing in the Microlight I was hiking in winds gusting 55mph and in 4ºC temperatures (not accounting for windchill). Underneath the jacket I wore a merino base layer and a microfleece. I was walking as quickly as the wind would allow and I was warm. Nowhere near sweating, and on the cool side of comfortable (I’m a pretty cold person at the best of times). The next day, when the wind had dropped a little but the temperature remained the same, I was very much on the warm side of comfortable.

It’s not the kind of jacket to sit around in at camp during winter conditions. For that, opt for the Rab Neutrino Endurance. But if you need on the go warmth when adventuring in cold conditions then it totally rocks.

Woman packing bag in hills

Movement

The long back means that there is zero risk of unwanted midriff exposure when reaching up or bending down. In fact, the jacket moves so well with your body that I don’t even notice that I have a puffy jacket on. I’ve yet to wear it when actually climbing, but I very much enjoy belaying in it. The two-way zip means you can chuck the jacket on over your harness and unzip the bottom slightly.

Aside from being active in the Microlight, I thoroughly enjoy the weightless feel of the cosy down-filled baffles when wearing it to snuggle up inside my sleeping bag. Hood up, draw cords cinched in, hands in pockets. It adds a good few degrees of comfortable warmth to my sleeping set up. By comfortable, I mean that I’m not actually cold at all AND I don’t feel any kind of restriction from wearing a jacket to bed!

Weather resistance

On my recent cold and VERY windy hike, it was a given that I’d be warm enough. But what impressed me most was the wind resistance of the jacket. I was expecting to put a shell over the top for this very purpose, but it just wasn’t necessary.

The jacket beads water very effectively too, and I find myself not worrying about a waterproof layer when it’s lightly drizzling.

Walking in the hills

What I love the most about the Microlight

I can’t pick just one thing. Sorry. So, aside from how comfortable, free moving and warm the jacket is (which obviously I love!), here are a couple of features that are worth a mention:

The two way zip. Very useful when getting changed in the confines of your tent. Or when going for a wilderness pee! Also great for belaying.

The cuffs. They are soft on the skin, seal in the warmth, and are stretchy enough to pull over gloves easily but without being baggy. You can also roll your sleeves up and they stay up.

The style. It’s a beauty of a jacket that I feel really stylish wearing, whatever the occasion. I wear it with jeans and outdoor gear in equal measure and neither combo doesn’t work. The colour and slim fit certainly help with this.

What I don’t love so much about the Microlight

Honestly, there is nothing to fault in this exceptionally well designed jacket. I mean, it’s taken them 10 years to get it this good!


Verdict

The Rab Microlight Summit Jacket may be out of the price range of many adventurers, but it offers supreme quality, technology and function that truly is hard to beat. Even if it takes you a year to save up for, you won’t regret it. It is worth every penny, you will absolutely love wearing it, and it will last you for years of adventures.

Find the latest price at:
Rab | Cotswold Outdoor | Backcountry | Amazon

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About Joey

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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