Sporting an athletic fit and offering an excellent range of motion, the Rab Electron Pro is a great insulating layer for climbers, skiers, and hikers. Considering the high level of warmth it provides, this relatively lightweight jacket compresses into a small package, making it an easy choice when there is limited pack space and cold temps. Whether you’re in for a long cold belay or chilly nights in the backcountry, the 800 fill hi-loft goose down used in this coat will keep you warm. When paired with a base layer and a midweight fleece, you’ll be ready for the coldest days in the mountains and on the slopes. While this jacket is quite warm, the bulkiness of the down makes putting a waterproof layer on top difficult.Editor's Note: We purchased and retested the Electron Pro, publishing this review on August 21, 2022.
Rab Electron Pro Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Harness friendly pockets, excellent warmth to weight ratio, highly packable, elastic wrist cuffs
Cons: Difficult to layer over
Manufacturer: Rab Equipment
Compare to Similar Products
Rab Electron Pro
|Price||$329.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Check Price at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
$359.00 at Amazon
|$209 List||$119 List|
$119.00 at REI
|Pros||Harness friendly pockets, excellent warmth to weight ratio, highly packable, elastic wrist cuffs||Incredibly light, compact, warm for its size and weight, effective hydrophobic down||Lightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratio||Inexpensive, fully featured adjustability||Lightweight, inexpensive, excellent for layering|
|Cons||Difficult to layer over||No hood cinch, no chest pocket||Expensive, not super durable||Moderate warmth, noisy material, no internal zip pockets||No hood cinch, no hem cinch, loses feathers|
|Bottom Line||Packs down small and brings a ton of warmth, making it a great layer for climbing and other mountain pursuits||This high scorer offers high versatility, warmth, comfort, accommodation of movement, and light weight||If you are looking for a warm, light layer for a trip where ounces count, this is a great selection||This down offers the warmth and quality of more premium choices at an approachable price point||A good basic and affordable lightweight down jacket for moderately cold temperatures|
|Rating Categories||Rab Electron Pro||Mountain Hardwear G...||Arc'teryx Cerium SL...||MontBell Superior Down||REI Co-op 650 Down...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Rab Electron Pro||Mountain Hardwear G...||Arc'teryx Cerium SL...||MontBell Superior Down||REI Co-op 650 Down...|
|Down Fill||800-fill goose down||800-fill goose down||850-fill goose down||800-fill goose down||650-fill goose down|
|Total Weight||17.3 oz||8.5 oz||7.6 oz||8.7 oz||10.4 oz|
|Baffle Construction||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles|
|Main Fabric||20D ripstop nylon||10D ripstop nylon||100% nylon||10D nylon||100% nylon|
|Compression Method||Stuff sack||Zips into pocket||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||Zips into pocket|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hands, 1 internal||2 zippered hands, 1 internal|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Electron Pro is a warm and feature-heavy option designed to combat the cold and wind. While it’s not necessarily a jacket we’d want to clip to our harness and climb with, it’s the coat we’d throw in our packs when we knew we were in for long cold belays or wearing around camp while backpacking.
The Electron Pro is one of the warmest jackets we tested. Purpose-built for wintertime activities like alpine climbing and skiing, it's also comfortable and warm for use around town, or on a cold-weather hike. The 800 fill down used in this medium bordering on heavyweight coat accomplishes its goal of trapping heat inside the garment. Constructed with zoned midi and micro baffle stitching, this jacket is less bulky than other comparable down jackets and has fewer cold spots due to the stitching.
While the surplus of warmth is ideal for truly cold days or putting on between activities, this coat might be too much for summer and spring missions in the mountains.
With a size medium weighing in at 17.25 ounces, this jacket was the second heaviest in our test group. That being said, it was also one of the warmest. When you consider the warmth provided by this jacket, our testers felt it was surprisingly lightweight, comfortable, and surprisingly toasty. This jacket makes an excellent belay coat, given its weight to warmth-ratio. It’s not too heavy to schlep out to the crag, but it is plenty warm when standing still for long interrupted periods. By the same token, this jacket is great for layering up while ski touring. The weight of this jacket didn’t discourage our testers from packing this coat along for just about any adventure, as long as weight wasn’t an absolutely critical factor.
The Electron is perhaps a little too heavy for ultralight backpacking missions or multi-pitch rock climbing. The bulk and weight of this down were cumbersome when clipped to a harness, and the jacket felt like overkill on the rocks. If you’re into ice or alpine climbing, however, this down will be just right.
As with most down jackets, the Electron has its limitations when it comes to water resistance. The outer shell is coated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish, and the 800 fill down has been treated with Nikwax to ensure it stays lofted even when it gets a little moist. These waterproofing measures make it suitable for light rain, or even a short period in more substantially wet weather.
But, do not consider the Electron a replacement for a good rain jacket. It performs well compared to other down jackets, but none of the down jackets we tested are suitable for extended use in wet weather without a proper rain layer on top. On the technical side, it makes it a great wintertime insulation layer when you might be dealing with dripping ice and small amounts of snowmelt.
Our testers thoroughly enjoyed the fit of this jacket and found it to be quite comfortable because of the fit. Given its warmth and weight, we were expecting it to be much bulkier. The jacket has a somewhat long-waist hem which gives you maximum coverage and insulating abilities all the way down to your bum. The arms and wrist hems provide ample coverage without extending over your hands. This coat comfortably accommodates a base and mid-layer underneath; we’d go as far as saying that this jacket has an athletic cut. With a bit of taper towards the waist, this well-fitting jacket doesn’t just turn you into a big square blob as some heavy puffys do.
Designed primarily for cold and dry conditions, this jacket works great with a base and midlayer underneath; however, if you need to put a rain layer on top, the jacket starts to bunch, and your mobility becomes significantly impaired. So keep in mind that the comfort of this piece decreases a bit with additional layers.
Compared to the entire field of down jackets we tested, the Electron doesn’t compress down well. It’s by no means an “ultralight” jacket and takes up a significant amount of space.
That being said, all of the options that pack down smaller don’t even come close to providing the same amount of warmth. This jacket is built to stand up to seriously cold weather. When you’re going out in extreme conditions, your gear will almost always be heavier and take up more space.
The Electron Pro has just the right amount of features to be useful without them feeling superfluous or gimmicky. The partially elastic wrist cuffs keep the wind out, and gloves tucked safely inside.
The brimmed hood provides some sun coverage covering and helps light precipitation bead away from your face. This coat has two external zippered hand pockets that sit high enough to still be accessible while you are wearing a harness. It has one internal zip chest pocket that easily fits a large smartphone and wallet. The upper portion of the zipper that touches your face when fully zipped is fleece-lined for comfort. The waist hem is equipped with cinchable drawstrings, and the hood is minorly adjustable via a small piece of velcro.
For a jacket of this weight, we would have liked to have seen some internal drop pockets. Drop pockets are great for keeping gloves, skins, and even climbing shoes warm and dry when the conditions get nasty.
Should You Buy the Rab Electron Pro?
The Electron Pro is a high-quality jacket built for cold-weather adventures in the mountains. Featuring 800 fill hydrophobic treated down, this is one of the more water-resistant downs we tested. Sporting useful but not over-the-top features, this jacket will meet the needs of skiers, climbers, and backpackers looking for extra warmth without overloading their packs in relation to space or weight.
What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?
The Rab Electron Pro is a top-tier product that comes with a premium price tag. The warmth, fit, and overall quality of this jacket justify the cost, and it's priced similarly to comparable models from other top-selling brands. However, for the same price, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 can be yours — and it's our highest scoring puffy.
— James Lucas & Buck Yedor
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More