The Rab Ascent Jacket is a long-length, heavily-insulated down parka designed for what its British creators would call “mountain walking,” as well as everyday use in the wintertime.
The formidable warmth of the Ascent Jacket comes courtesy of 330 grams (12oz) of 650-fill European duck down, which Rab fills into the jacket at their own factory in Derbyshire, UK. Most people will find that this fill weight provides enough warmth for winter pursuits throughout New England and the Lower 48, as well as South American climbs like Cotopaxi. For Denali, Aconcagua, and beyond, you might want to consider an “expedition weight” parka with 350+ grams of 800+ fill power down and fully-baffled construction (the Ascent is sewn-through). You’ll pay a lot more for those than you will for an Ascent, however; the excellent value of the Ascent is the chief reason it has remained a staple of the Rab line for years.
The outer shell fabric of the Ascent is 50 denier Pertex Endurance, which puts it in the middle of the Rab range in terms of fabric weight – lighter weight Rab down jackets use fabrics from 10 to 30 denier for greater compressibility, and some other Rab parkas have heavier 70 denier reinforcements in the arms and shoulders for greater durability. So, the choice of 50 denier fabric for the Ascent strikes a solid middle-of-the-road balance; enough durability for years of everyday use, and enough compressibility to fit inside its included 12-liter compression sack. Pertex Endurance is also highly water-resistant, so it offers additional protection from messy mixed precipitation, spilling tea from your unscrewed thermos, or whatever other moisture your environment throws at you. Remember: down doesn’t like to get wet!
The Bottom Line: Offering a lot of warmth for its price, the Rab Ascent performs in town and in the mountains.
- Pertex ® Endurance 50D shell
- Stitch through baffle construction
- 330g down fill power 650
- Detachable wired peak hood
- 2 zipped, fleece lined handwarmer pockets
- 1 Internal pocket
- Double exit hem drawcord
- Narrow baffles stabilise down in crucial shoulder area
- Velcro touch and close cuffs
- Supplied with stuff sac
In 1981, British mountaineer Robert “Rab” Carrington started making down jackets and sleeping bags in Sheffield, England. Inspired by the new style of lightweight alpine climbing which he helped pioneer, Rab made it his mission to make equipment that would withstand “the most extreme conditions in the world.”
Rab’s product line has expanded dramatically since then, but Rab’s commitment to functionality, durability, and value remains as strong as ever. At GearX.com, we are continually impressed by Rab’s superb knowledge of technical fabrics (they were the originators of Pertex) and attention to small yet crucial details like high-quality zippers. No matter which Rab product you choose, you can be sure that it will be a faithful companion in the mountains.