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Rab Microfleece Pull-On

Rab Microfleece 100 Sweater
Mt Canon, White Mountains

Rab is a English outdoor gear company, well known in Europe, that has just started selling gear here in the US. I already own a fantastic eVent shell made by them (Rab Momentum), and I bought this 100 Weight Microfleece pull-on at the end of the TGO Challenge, as they’re one of the event’s long time sponsors.

At the time, I didn’t think I’d actually use this fleece that much, but as the weather’s turned cool, I find myself bringing it along more and more on my hikes. Actually, I got the idea from Chris Townsend who included a fleece like this on his gear list for the Pacific Northwest Trail Thru-hike, he’s doing right now.

Warmth-wise, I’m finding that the Rab fleece is good to wear in the morning over a techwick short sleeve shirt when it’s still cool, while the central zipper and deep, mesh-lined pocket zip, vent the fleece as I warm up. The same holds at night, when I want a warm, yet mobile layer, while cooking diner after my body’s cooled off from hiking all day.

At 9.9 oz for an XL, the weight and bulk are acceptable for shoulder season and winter use. Be forewarned however, that the torso is snug-fitting and may be a little confining if you are carrying a few extra pounds.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

9 comments

  1. We got their eVent rain jackets for out thru-hike of the AT. We really like them except for the pockets which are located in a bizarre location. Rab just bough Integral Designs recently, that might help them break into the North American market a little more too.

    I'm not much for fleece, I just bring my Montbell EX lite which weighs next to nothing and works well.

  2. This is just for cooler weather. Also makes a better pillow.

    Are you talking about their Napolean pockets – side by side in front, just above the tummy? Those are a must have feature on an hiking rain jacket (IMHO) Side pockets that are covered by your hip belt are a dead give-away that a jacket is not designed for backpackers.

  3. Fleece is not dead. I got a RAB Power Stretch zip top a few weeks back. Love it. I know how good it is on the hills as a friend uses one. In wet weather he has been warm and dry while my merino top was damp. Fleece moves moisture away well and insulates great damp. A synthetic top has another shell layer between you and the waterproof layer in wet/cold conditions. I find a combination of synthetic insulating top insulating top with a waterproof over it in the rain not as good as a fleece top. Fleece is back in my pack and going to stay. So a light base layer, the Power stretch top and a light down Jacket is all I would take on any non full winter walk in the UK.

  4. Philip, I really like this fleece, too. I think it's an excellent, excellent piece, despite — or maybe because of — the fact that it doesn't look or feel "technical." It's a handy weight, stuffs well, scrunches down small, and I like that nice breast pocket, which I use all the time for small items. An exceptional "camp" top that's fine on the trail in chilly temps. I'm definitely carrying a few extra pounds, but my M doesn't feel snug.

  5. I have to admit, I was a little "sheepish" about publishing this post, since a fleece like this has been left out of my pack for so long. Martin makes an excellent point about layering with one. I get very chilled in cold rain when I wearing a thin base later shirt under a wet shell, but an added fleece layer works nicely for wicking and warmth.

  6. One thing about fleeces is that they dry so quickly. That said, I'm a primaloft convert now but in UK weather, when it's raining, there's a lot to be said for a 100 weight fleece. Mine is a Craghoppers from Costco – £12.50…!

  7. My EMS fleece vest & my LL Bean down vest are both very important parts of my layers and sleep systems.

    The fleece vest is the wind-pro type fleece so it is not as warm as regular fleece or, of course, the down vest. But it excels in windy conditions.

    The down vest works under or over over layers and is so light that I bring it on every hike; on overnights it also does second duty in my stuff sack/pillow.

  8. Heyup there Philip. Rab is based England, not Scotland. And, as you know, we take these sorts of things seriously both sides of the border! I've always understood that Rab started in Sheffield, a city famous for its climbing heritage as well as its steel-making. Rab is now part of a larger outdoor group called Equip Outdoor Technologies, based in Derbyshire, England, with Rab Carrington now a consultant. BTW, I like that fleece you're wearing :-)

  9. Graham – gosh – I am embarrassed! I'll fix that.

    I was just thinking of you today in regard to the Pyrenees. You planted a seed….Hope you are well and getting out some.

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