Rab Neutrino Pro - Women's Review
Cons: Expensive, not likely your single-quiver down jacket
Manufacturer: Rab Equipment
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Rab Neutrino Pro - Women's
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$389.00 at Feathered Friends
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|Pros||Warm, lightweight, comfortable, length adds warmth||Very warm for the weight, highly compressible, durable, versatile, comfortable||Incredibly light, compact, warm for its size and weight, packs into its own pocket, recycled||Durable, weather resistant, athletic cut, good movement, versatile||Inexpensive, lightweight|
|Cons||Expensive, not likely your single-quiver down jacket||Less stylish, harder to layer underneath a hardshell jacket||No way to cinch the hood, lighter materials are more fragile||Narrower baffles compress down; slightly lower quality 750 fill down||Less warm, lower quality down|
|Bottom Line||An impressively warm option that offers top of the line performance, particularly for alpine adventures||Rose quickly to the top for its incredible warmth-to-weight and remarkable comfort||It's as light as a ghost, or so we assume, and boasts incredible warmth for the weight||A durable, versatile, and very comfortable jacket that can handle many activities, from mountain to town||This is a very light, entry-level down jacket for moderate temperatures|
|Rating Categories||Rab Neutrino Pro -...||Feathered Friends Eos||Mountain Hardwear G...||Rab Microlight Alpine||REI Co-op 650 2.0|
|Water Resistance (5%)|
|Specs||Rab Neutrino Pro -...||Feathered Friends Eos||Mountain Hardwear G...||Rab Microlight Alpine||REI Co-op 650 2.0|
|Down Fill||800 fill RDS certified European goose down, hydrophobic||900+ fill goose down||800 fill goose down||750 ethically sourced European goose down||650 fill goose down|
|Main Fabric||Pertex Quantum Pro||Pertex Quantum||7D x 10D recycled ripstop nylon||Pertex Quantum||Recycled nylon taffeta|
|Measured Weight||18.5 oz||9.5 oz||8 oz||13 oz||9.5 oz|
|Stowing option||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||Packs into hand pocket||Stuff sack||Packs into hand pocket|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Neutrino Pro first caught our eye on a Denali expedition, making us wonder just how high people can take this lightweight, warm down jacket.
The Neutrino has been on our radar as a surprising and impressively warm yet light and compressible down jacket. Years ago, we saw fellow Denali guides sporting the Neutrino at advanced base camp at 14,000 feet and boasting they barely needed their bigger parka. We thought they just had anti-freeze for blood, but when we finally got our hands on the latest Pro version, we could see how impressively warm it is.
Rab uses high-quality 800 fill down, and a lot of it; this is an exceedingly puffy down jacket, and as we know, more loft means more warmth, especially with high quality down. It also has larger baffles, which reduces the number of seams where air can leak in, and reduces the pinch points that compress the down, all adding up to more loft and more warmth.
Rab then gets clever with the features. They include a panel inside the abdominal baffles, which helps to reduce the chill from any cold drafts getting through the sewn-through baffle construction. The hood is super puffy and warm, and the jacket is longer, covering a portion of your bum; for our reviewers who identify as women, this is a classically cold body part. The bottom hem has an extra puffy baffle as well, which hermetically (well, almost) seals in the heat when you cinch it tight around your bum.
If this jacket isn't warm enough for you, then you're likely in the market for a true expedition parka. The Neutrino Pro is touted to be suitable for most 4,000-meter peaks; if you're planning an expedition above that elevation, you'll want to research warmer options, although chances are you'll wear this one for a good portion of your trip.
The Neutrino Pro doesn't top the charts for its weight, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Its exemplary performance in this metric gets us closer to the whole picture, as does its above-average performance in durability.
According to Rab, the Neutrino Pro is warm enough to take you on most adventures, even 4,000-meter peaks. The heavier weight of this jacket comes at a direct benefit to the warmth, with a whole lot of loft keeping you warm without weighing you down on the journey.
The Neutrino Pro gains some serious points in the compressibility metric. The 800 fill down is highly compressible for the impressive warmth it provides, and the Quantum Pro is impressively light and supple, especially for the durability it offers.
This jacket is bigger than many in this review, both when lofted and when stuffed in its included stuff sack. However, if you consider its compressibility in relation to how big and puffy it is when lofted, you'll see why we gave it a score well above average. We want this jacket for all of our serious cold weather ventures, including most expeditions. The amount of warmth you get from this jacket (for such little space in your pack) is just remarkable.
The feature set of the Neutrino Pro is well-matched to the jacket's utility. We catch ourselves having contradictory opinions about a few features. In this case, we loved the fleece-lined pockets, which upped the warmth factor. We also appreciated the cozy pockets, which added to the overall coziness.
The internal zippered chest pocket is a favorite utilitarian feature. This jacket unzips from the top and bottom, which is excellent for such a long jacket; this makes it much easier to access your pants pockets or a harness — if you're wearing one. It can also make it more comfortable around your hips. The highly adjustable and super puffy storm-ready hood also has a wired brim, which is a signature of many Rab jackets. It gives the hood structure and helps keep sun, wind, and light precip out of your eyes.
The Pertex Quantum Pro fabric used in the Neutrino Pro jacket is designed to be lightweight, but it is reasonably durable as well.
The choice to use this fabric for a down jacket recommended for peaks up to 4,000 meters in elevation is a good one; it's a smart blend of light weight and durability. It's light enough for expeditions, in which you may carry it around for several weeks, and durable enough to withstand the challenges of that kind of daily use and abuse. It's also an excellent option for summertime alpine objectives, and we would expect it to hold up well over time.
As we know, down does not like to get wet. If it does, it loses its loft and its insulating properties. This makes it imperative to keep your down gear and garments dry. It would seem, then, that every down jacket should just be covered with rain jacket material. The problem with this is that it would be more challenging for the down to expel water vapor through the jacket's fabric and could get damper over time. That said, some down jackets do have shell material, and if you live in a very wet climate, this can be a great option.
The Neutrino Pro's Pertex Quantum Pro material has a very thin waterproof coating on an otherwise light and breathable fabric. This will shed a little precipitation, and it will allow moisture to evaporate out easier. Otherwise, if you plan to be in wet conditions, be sure this jacket will fit underneath your hardshell jacket. Given the amount of puff in this jacket, that may require sizing up your shell.
The Neutrino Pro is a pricey down jacket, depending on your intended uses, but does bring exceptional value. If you plan to take it with you on expeditions, we see good value in its cost. For adventures in milder mountain ranges or elevations up to 4000 meters, the Neutrino Pro will be plenty warm. It's an excellent, lightweight, super warm down jacket for a price that affords you tremendous bang for the buck.
The Rab Neutrino Pro is a remarkably warm down jacket. The next step up in warmth will likely require that you start looking at box-baffled (instead of sewn-through) down parkas for high altitude and polar expeditions. This jacket, Rab claims, will get you up to about 4,000 meters in elevation. The jacket is well thought out, with features that match the use and a wise blend of warmth with a focus on light weight and durability. This is a favorite of our review team.
— Lyra Pierotti
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