Rab Nebula Pro Review
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Rab Nebula Pro
$230.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Exceptionally warm, excellent features, compresses well||Warm, highly featured, comfortable||Comfortable, breathable, warm, great mobility||Lightweight, compressible, warm, weather resistant, affordable||Warm, affordable, water-resistant|
|Cons||Heavy, bulky||Bulky, poor breathability, technical style||Pricey, little adjustability, poor packability||Poor breathability, unathletic fit||Bulky, heavy, poor breathability|
|Bottom Line||With high loft and water-resistant insulation, this jacket will keep you warm on cold, damp days without breaking the bank||Warm and designed for adventure, this jacket provides a durable nylon ripstop shell fabric that resists abrasion and sheds water easily||This active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility with great breathability while offering some warmth||This impressively wind-resistant layer fights the elements, provides functional warmth, and easily fits into its own pocket||An affordable winter jacket, this heavy piece traps heat well and provides plenty of insulated warmth|
|Rating Categories||Rab Nebula Pro||Mountain Hardwear C...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Xenon 2.0||Columbia Pike Lake|
|Weight and Compressibility (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Rab Nebula Pro||Mountain Hardwear C...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...||Rab Xenon 2.0||Columbia Pike Lake|
|Measured Weight||21.16 oz||16.47 oz||13.05 oz||12.56 oz||38.59 oz|
|Insulation||PrimaLoft Silver Luxe||85% recycled polyester||Coreloft Compact synthetic fibers||PrimaLoft Silver||Thermarator with Omni-Heat Reflective Liner|
|Outer Fabric||Pertex Quantum Pro||15D coated nylon ripstop||20D Tyono shell, stretch fleece panels (94% polyester, 6% elastane)||Pertex Quantum||Polyester Storm-Lite DP II|
|Stuffs Into Itself||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Number of Pockets||2 zippered hand, 2 internal drop-in, 1 internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 internal zip, 1 internal drop-in||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand, 1 internal zip||2 zippered hand, 1 internal chest|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hailing from the frosty moors and icy crags of Scotland, Rab knows about recreating in "full" conditions, where ice falls from the sky, blows sideways, melts, and rains down in chunks. The blue-collar Scottish climbing scene and the wild weather helped Rab create a jacket that reflects this environment. With a brimmed hood to keep sun and precipitation away from the face, a velcro hood closure, two handwarmer pockets, and an internal zipper pocket, this jacket's features make it great to wear. Prioritizing warmth, weather resistance, and solid, applicable features, the Nebula Pro is easy on the wallet and is a great jacket to battle the weather.
The Nebula Pro ranked as one of our review's warmest jackets. Its big puffy baffles and recycled PrimaLoft Silver Luxe insulation trapped heat well with its down-like qualities. Though heavier, more water-resistant, and less expensive than down, this jacket won't lose feathers if the windproof and water-resistant Pertex Quantum Pro ripstop outer tears.
Rab added additional Primaloft Silver insulation across the shoulders, cuffs, and hood for added weather protection. A drawcord at the hem and around the hood helps tighten the jacket and keeps the wind from gusting in. We tested this model in a variety of activities, from cold walks in Colorado's Front Range to bouldering sessions in Shadow Canyon in the Flatirons, and while cruising around during snowy days on the Western Slope, this jacket kept us toasty.
Weight and Compressibility
This big ol' puff is heavier than most of the other models in our review, and it's also warmer. Our weight metric favors lighter models, but there are plenty of occasions when it's just too cold, and "fast and light" becomes "light and dangerous" or, more commonly, "light and miserable". In short, sometimes to have more fun, you'll need to carry a little more weight, and the Nebula Pro is easy to carry even with the medium weighing in at just over 21 ounces.
Rather than cramming it into a stash pocket, this jacket can be stuffed into a reasonably sized sack with a clip-in loop. While it's easier to store a jacket this way, we often misplaced the stuff sack, and we found the separate stuff sack a bit of a wash as it quickly disappeared into our backpacks.
The Nebula Pro's features make it incredibly comfortable. The helmet-compatible, heavily insulated hood has a rigid, moldable brim that directs precip out of the face. On the back of the hood, a rigid, vertically oriented strip of Velcro allows for how low the brim sits in front of the face.
There is a super-soft lining on the front of the collar that keeps the zipper from chafing your chin. The zipper moves two ways so you can easily access things like a belt buckle or the belay loop of a climbing harness without losing much heat. It also has an insulated storm guard, which helps block the wind, and elastic cuffs and Velcro tabs seal in the heat in the sleeves. Finally, two large handwarmer pockets accommodate big, mittened hands for added warmth. The internal zippered pocket allows for a place for energy bars, keys, or a wallet.
The Nebula Pro thrives in blowing snow and heavy winter storms with its 30 denier nylon shell and hearty DWR treatment. To test water resistance, we blasted it with water and noticed where water accumulated, which was primarily around the baffle seams. Models with welded baffles (or lacking baffles entirely) fared better. Regarding the wind, this jacket helped up decently well, and we didn't notice any weak points while scrambling along the windy ridges in Eldorado Canyon outside of Boulder, CO. With all that said, if the weather calls for a serious storm, the Nebula isn't the type of jacket we'd pack.
This jacket breathes poorly, as it's built more for warmth than heavy activity. The two-way zipper helps, but it lacks pit zips, vented mesh, and air-permeable materials. The Nebula Pro is the type of jacket intended for wearing when you're stationary in cold conditions, so if you're looking for something to skin up hills with, then look elsewhere. But if you want a jacket to cruise down the hill with, then the Nebula will work well.
Should You Buy the Rab Nebula Pro?
The Nebula Pro lacks versatility but performs exceptionally for its intended purpose — keeping you warm. So, if you're looking for something that's comfortable, packable, and above all warm — that will keep you outside and having fun longer — this is an obvious choice. It's one of the warmer jackets in this review.
What Other Insulated Jackets Should You Consider?
The Nebula Pro works well as a piece for warmth. If you're looking for a more technical piece offering a similar amount of warmth but more water resistance, try the Patagonia DAS Light Hoody. If you want a breathable jacket for active pursuits, the Arc'teryx Atom LT Hoody is our top choice.
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