James from Taunton tested the Rab Alpine Jacket and the Rab Nebula Jacket while on a walking and camping trip to Sweden. He is one of our Outdoors Achievers and has completed numerous Ten Tors events, Three Peak challenges and has been presented the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. In summary, he found the Alpine is a good all round jacket for being active in changing weather conditions while the Nebula is good for warmth. See his full review below.
I used this jacket as my main mid layer while on a five-day trek in Northern Sweden in September 2017 and was surprised at how well this jacket managed my body temperature while I was walking and stationary. When I was walking, the jacket managed to allow my heat and sweat to escape quickly but occasionally could see water sitting on the inside of the jackets fabric. This would be the jacket not being able to let water pass through it faster than I was sweating.
One of the things I liked about the jacket was that I didn’t need to put on extra layers once I had stopped walking. The jacket was also very water resistant and because of this I was able to carry on walking in just the jacket and a merino wool base layer while there was a large and heavy shower in process. The jacket is able to roll away into its right hand pocket and form a very comfortable pillow, which I used as much as the jacket itself.
One minor negative, was that the hood could not be reduced in size so it fit my head but there is a hoodless option. Overall, this is a very comfortable jacket and is best suited to fast moving activities during uncertain weather. Mainly due to its capacity to deal with wind and rain well.
Rab Nebula Jacket
I used this jacket as a warm mid\outlayer in the evenings after walking on the trip to Sweden.
While this jacket was warm to wear and relatively comfortable I found that it wasn’t the best fit for me. I wore the jacket during the evenings after I had been walking for the day. The warmth and windproof properties worked very well and I was never cold. It was also very water resistant (down to the Pertex Endurance) which meant I did not need to wear it under a shell jacket, and that made it feel a lot more comfortable.
The fit of the jacket seemed to have a tight chest but was long on the body and on the arms which didn’t change when I tried on a bigger size. The jacket hood was also quite large and cannot be reduced down in size.
In summary the jacket was comfortable to wear as an outer layer. It was warm and had a good level of water resistance but I would advise on checking the fit and the hood is right for you before you buy.