Rab Infinity Down Jacket Review

I’ve been looking for a solution to replace my Berghaus Down Vest for quite some time. While the vest is an excellent piece of kit, I thought its warmth to weight ratio could be bettered and since it’s lacking arms and hood I still tended to feel cold when I was wearing it. My original plan was to get a synthetic filled long-sleeved jacket as it’s hard not to get panicky about how badly down performs compared to primaloft filling when it gets properly wet. However, down fill is much warmer than a synthetic so in the end I threw moisture caution to the wind and decided to stick with down and see what happened.

There are plenty of jackets to choose from a variety of manufacturers that all sit around the same price. After trying a few on I eventually settled on the Rab Infinity as it was comfortable to wear, super light and I’ve always heard good things about their brand. The Pertex outer layer did feel very flimsy in the shop but I was willing to accept that this is the price you pay if you want ultralight. After getting some club based discount from Cotswold Outdoor I was able to take it home for £127.50 down from £150 with online prices varying from £130-230.

Rab Infinity Down Jacket

Rab Infinity Down Jacket

Technical Specs
The Rab Infinity medium that fits me weighs 441g including the ultralight (but not waterproof) stuff sack. The mens large is 510g, womens size 12 410g. It has 850 fill power expedition quality down and a 10 denier Pertex Quantum shell which is claimed to be as light as silk but still strong. There is also a comparably priced Rab Infinity Endurance model which is the same jacket with a heavier Pertex shell which is also waterproof.

I was due for a night in a forest over the new year but at the last minute decided it wasn’t the time to be testing new gear, especially since the jacket didn’t look like it would easily stick the pace of a night blundering through trees, the open side of a mountain seemed a more suitable spot as the pertex outer shell really does feel flimsy. It was only a few weeks before we had a hike of the Mourne Way planned so the down vest was shelved in favour of the shiny new Rab Infinity. On the hike I didn’t need it through the day as it was warm enough even in January for a fleece to suffice but as soon as we stopped in the evening it proved its worth. Once I had it on beneath the fleece and Mountain Equipment Ogre waterproof jacket I was cosy.

All in it was a mixed experience. The hood felt a shade big for my head and Rab hadn’t included any way to tighten it up so I did end up with it up and down repeatedly, if only it had been removable or had a system to slightly change the shape it would have been great, however I definitely wouldn’t call this a deal breaker. Another issue was that the hood being quite bulky had a tendency to poke out from under the waterproof hood of the Ogre jacket meaning in the rain it was certainly going to get wet. The same goes for having the Infinity zipped right to the top as the zip finished below the nose meaning again, it’s nice and cosy but probably going to get wet in the rain.

Verdict
I love it, it’s soft, warm and very light. The downside of the bulky hood I can live with, the only problem will be if it can’t be kept dry in the rain. Wet down can’t be reliably dried in the outdoors except in the best of weather so once properly wet it would be close to useless as down is a famous non-performer once soaked. It’s also a question as to how the light Pertex outer would stick the pace of hiking life – it really does feel like the slightest abrasion might tear it, however, Rab do claim it is extremely tough – only time will tell! One other thing worth mentioning is unusually for Rab it’s not a terribly stylish jacket. I know it’s not aimed at the high street but incase someone was after something to keep them toasty warm while browsing the January sales, toasty warm it will do but hood up or hood down, you’ll probably have small children pointing at you.

This entry was posted in Gear Reviews.

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