The Rab Strata Guide Jacket is a highly breathable, active insulation jacket that can be worn as a mid-layer underneath a hard-shell, or as an outer layer depending on the weather. the revolutionary Polartec Alpha Insulation is micro thin but oh so warm. Although their website says nothing about waterproofing, I have worn this jacket for long walks in light rain without any absorbing of water and I was completely dry underneath, very impressive for a breathable jacket. The subtly quilted Pertex Microlight outer fabric is lightweight, windproof and breathable, and the liner is zone woven nylon with polyester mesh and a fleece chin guard. Insulated with breathable, Polartec Alpha synthetics, Rab’s Strata Guide dries quick and keeps the wind at bay, making it one of the most comfortable jackets I have worn. Built and tested by professional athletes and outdoorsmen from the Arctic Norway to Scottish winter, it is designed to help reduce the need for multiple garment layering. Whether in the car, on a chairlift, skin track or mountainside you’re body temperature can be easily regulated to keep you comfortable.
This well cut mid/outer layer is comfortable and looks great. It is available in three different colours.
YKK zippers with sleek pull-tabs are found throughout this jacket from the main front duel zipper (complete with inner storm flap and a zipper garage at the chin) to the napoleon chest and hand warmer pockets. The hand warmer pockets also have duel zippers that run up the better part of the torso to the armpit to aid in venting. The napoleon zippers are quite sizeable and easily accessible when wearing a pack, and the abrasion resistant traction pattern on the shoulders and forearms will keep wear and tear down.
Easily pull the cinch cords around the collar to tighten your hood around your head or helmet. All pull-tabs, including those on zippers are also easy to find. Look closely and you can see the traction pattern on the shoulders to help protect abrasion from your backpack.
- Helmet compatible hood with wire brim
- Anti-snag roll down hood with Velcro tab.
- 2 Napoleon pockets
- 2 large, duel zip hand-warmer pockets double as vents
- Abrasion resistant Bemis material on forearms and shoulder blades
- YKK Vislon Zipper with internal storm flap
- Micro fleece chin guard
- Hem draw cord
- Three hood cinch cords
- Adjustable Velcro cuffs
- Reflective trim
The helmet compatible hood is big, comfortable and stylish with a wire brimmed beak. Two low-profile draw cords located on the pectorals cinch the hood tightly around your face, keeping foreign materials out during a wind climb or tour. Another draw cord on the back of the hood cinches around the crown. If you want to hide the hood you may roll or fold it down into a collar, held securely with an anti-snag Velcro tab. The loop Velcro behind the hood is an off centred Rab logo, a nice touch keeping style closely knit with function. Velcro at the cuff has an extra long loop section to keep a tight seal on the tiniest of wrists. Finally a hem draw cord around the waist ensures this jacket can be fully tightened and sealed from outside elements.
The hand warmer pockets are extra large and double as vents to help regulate body temperature.
The hood rolls down and can be secured with Velcro to form a collar.
The napoleon pocket is common in many jackets. It is named for Napoleon Bonaparte who was often posing with his hand in his chest pocket. The Strata Guide jacket has two of these and is easily accessed when wearing a pack.
Twice the warmth to weight ratio than previous models. The Strata series by RAB includes a vest, flex jacket, and hoodie available in both men’s and women’s. Unfortunately the Guide Jacket doesn’t come in a women’s specific model, but is available in three colours: orange, blue and black with green trim.
Pertex Microlight Material
Polartec Alpha insulation (4oz @ 120g/m2)
As I mentioned before this jacket is one of the most comfortable I have worn. It is warm and has vents available for shedding heat during fast paced activity in cold temperatures. Doubling both as a mid and outer layer this jacket allows you to choose your complimenting garments easily depending on expected (and unexpected) weather conditions. Although it is not very compressible, it doesn’t really need to be as it is the core of what you need in any layering situation. The Strata Guide Jacket is both functional and stylish and has all the features expected of a go-to jacket. It has easily accessible pockets and cinching systems to keep the elements where they belong. The abrasion resistant material in high friction areas will ensure a long lasting life. This is a well-designed, well-made product from a reputable company. I would recommend this product to anyone looking for a warm active insulation piece.
Price: $325 CAN
Weight: 710g/25oz (Large) 635g/22oz (Medium)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Colours: Blue / Orange / Black
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.
We built this backcountry skiing community for you, the passionate skier, and hope you enjoy the hard work we put into all the reviews, routes, videos and posts we create. It’s been free from day one but that doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable resource. If you enjoy this web site and value the content we create for you, then please support Backountry Skiing Canada by donating today. Thank you!