Rab Microlight Vest Review
Rab Microlight Vest Review
This Rab Microlight Vest Review comes after nearly two months of rigorous testing in the Yorkshire countryside during an English winter. I like to review products that will work anywhere in the world and be a valued asset in any backpack and the Rab Microlight Vest certainly ticks those boxes. Not only is the Rab Microlight Vest warm and comfortable, it is also stylish and useful to wear any
To see how the Rab Microlight Vest stands up to other down body warmers, check out our Top 10 Down Vests for Backpacking.
- Weight: 310g (large)
- Pertex® Microlight outer fabric
- 100% Nylon ripstop inner
- 750FP European Goose Down (110g/4oz in size L) Rab® fluorocarbon free Hydrophobic Down developed in conjunction with Nikwax®
- Mini stitch-through construction
- YKK front zip, internal insulated zip baffle and chin guard
- 2 YKK zipped hand pockets
- 1 YKK zipped chest pocket, doubles as an integrated stuff sack
- Lycra® bound armholes
- Hem drawcord
My first impression before writing this Rab Microlight Vest review was very positive with the weight, warmth, comfort, and, fit all being superb. I really like the green color as well as the lime colored lining which makes this down gilet look great whether you are wearing it to the shops or off backpacking around the world. It weighs next to nothing and the down fill is super lofty to give it a very plush feel. Upon zipping it up you feel the warmth through your whole torso and up to your neck which is just what you want from a down bodywarmer.
Weighing just 310 grams for the large, the warmth to weight ratio is very impressive and you would be hard stretched to find anything warmer at the same weight. Down is unbelievably lightweight and for the warmth it provides, it is unbeatable by almost any other material in the world. Apart from being so light, the packable nature of down also makes it incredibly portable. If you are trying to keep your gear as light as possible while hiking or backpacking then down insulation is definitely the way to go. Lighter than a down jacket but warmer than your other layers, a down vest is the perfect middle ground for layering up without the bulk and weight of carrying too many clothes.
I have yet to find any kind of down insulated vest or jacket that is not comfortable but the Rab Microlight Vest is pure luxury. The nylon ripstop fabric is super soft like silk and comfortable like a sleeping bag so that you can wear it over a t-shirt or right next to your skin if that’s what you are into. The hand warmer pockets are great on chilly days when you don’t have your gloves and the lined chin guard is a lovely touch.
The fit is fairly generous and works well over other layers but is easily adjustable at the hem if you just want to wear it over a t-shirt. The neck insulation is just right with three sewn threw baffles that feel very snug and are much-appreciated on blustery days. The arm holes aren’t too tight which means you can easily fit multiple layers underneath without it feeling restricted or packed in.
As you might imagine from 750 FP down vest, you can feel the warm air being trapped after just a few seconds of putting it on. To get the most warmth you need to zip the vest all the way up but even when you wear it loose or open you still benefit from the heat retention. I like to wear a hoodie under this down vest on cold days which provides all the warmth I need without ever overheating. I do feel like that with a slightly smaller armhole it would be more insulative with thinner layers underneath but with a hoodie or softshell underneath you will appreciate the wider opening.
While I have worn this bodywarmer a lot, I cannot say I have truly put it through its paces in terms of a rugged test for this Rab Microlight Vest Review. All I mean by this is that I like it so much that I didn’t want to damage it by dragging it through some brambles or getting too close to the fire. I have however tested in the rain a few times by accident and have been very impressed with the Pertex outer fabric providing decent protection and drying out very quickly. The down is hydrophobic and developed in conjunction with Nikwax which means that it is less affected by moisture than in traditional down gilets.
Overall, I rate the Rab Microlight Vest very highly and enjoy wearing it pretty much all the time. It is comfortable and warm, but not too warm, and is easily adjustable to regulate your temperature as much as you like. Three pockets are enough to keep your valuables safe and your hands warm and it packs down very small for convenience. I think down vests are an excellent addition to any backpack because they are so small and lightweight but incredibly warm and comfortable. For me, the best way to wear the Rab Microlight Vest is over one or two other layers just to cover your arms a bit.
Rab Microlight Vest Review 2018 field testing results