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Rab Valiance Hoody - Women's Review

A weatherproof down jacket that will lend you courage in the worst of weather
Rab Valiance Hoody - Women's
Photo: Rab
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Price:  $385 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Pros:  Warm, durable, weather proof
Cons:  Expensive, short torso
Manufacturer:   Rab Equipment
By Lyra Pierotti ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2021
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 15
  • Warmth - 30% 9
  • Weight - 20% 4
  • Compressibility - 20% 5
  • Features - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 9
  • Water Resistance - 5% 9

Our Verdict

The Valiance down jacket is Rab's valiant effort at creating a lightweight yet powerfully weatherproof and warm down jacket. The use of exceedingly high-quality materials and the application of a useful, thoughtful feature set are what ensures the jacket remains light enough to earn a spot in the backpack of even the most discerning ounce counter. This is not your one-quiver down jacket, however; it's more of a niche-use layer, best deployed when weather is exceptionally burly. If you don't like the short length of the jacket, check out the same model in parka form.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $385 List
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Pros Warm, durable, weather proofWarm, lightweight, comfortable, length adds warmthVery warm for the weight, highly compressible, durable, versatile, comfortableDurable, weather resistant, athletic cut, good movement, versatileInexpensive, lightweight
Cons Expensive, short torsoExpensive, not likely your single-quiver down jacketLess stylish, harder to layer underneath a hardshell jacketNarrower baffles compress down; slightly lower quality 750 fill downLess warm, lower quality down
Bottom Line A weatherproof down jacket that will lend you courage in the worst of weatherAn impressively warm option that offers top of the line performance, particularly for alpine adventuresRose quickly to the top for its incredible warmth-to-weight and remarkable comfortA durable, versatile, and very comfortable jacket that can handle many activities, from mountain to townThis is a very light, entry-level down jacket for moderate temperatures
Rating Categories Rab Valiance Hoody... Rab Neutrino Pro -... Feathered Friends E... Microlight Alpine J... Co-op 650 Down 2.0
Warmth (30%)
9.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
4.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
Compressibility (20%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Features (15%)
7.0
6.0
5.0
8.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Water Resistance (5%)
9.0
6.0
5.0
7.0
4.0
Specs Rab Valiance Hoody... Rab Neutrino Pro -... Feathered Friends E... Microlight Alpine J... Co-op 650 Down 2.0
Down Fill 800 fill RDS Certified European Goose Down, hydrophobic 800 fill RDS Certified European Goose Down, hydrophobic 900+ fill goose down 750 ethically sourced European goose down 650 fill goose down
Main Fabric Pertex Shield Pertex Quantum Pro Pertex Quantum Pertex Quantum Recycled nylon taffeta
Measured Weight 22 oz 18.5 oz 9.5 oz 13 oz 9.5 oz
Pockets 3 3 2 3 2
Hood Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Stowing option Stuff sack Stuff sack Stuff sack Stuff sack Packs into hand pocket

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Rab Valiance is named for courage and determination and will stand with you whenever you are feeling brave and wild.

Performance Comparison


Stoked to be wearing the Rab Valiance down jacket.
Stoked to be wearing the Rab Valiance down jacket.
Photo: Robin Pendery

Warmth


The Valiance will keep you warm in some of the wildest conditions. This is a high loft down jacket made of 800 fill hydrophobic down, which is also very warm for the weight. The Pertex Shield fabric also helps keep the wind and weather out, ensuring you stay sealed, warm, and dry inside.

We disliked the length of this jacket; for something meant to be so warm, it felt too short. Fortunately, they do make a parka version which is longer. Try these jackets on first or measure the length you want before purchasing, as you'll want to ensure you're happy with the fit.

How warm is the Rab Valiance? This warm!
How warm is the Rab Valiance? This warm!
Photo: Robin Pendery

Weight


The Valiance is not the lightest down jacket in this review. In fact, it is the heaviest, but it performs well overall due to it acting as lightweight armor in a burly storm. If you need it, you won't question the extra ounces it adds to your pack. We loved this one for guiding Mt. Rainier in the shoulder season, when weather can turn on a dime, and conditions can be wild. The Valiance has some serious burl-per-ounce value.

How light is the Rab Valiance? Light enough to be on top of Mt...
How light is the Rab Valiance? Light enough to be on top of Mt. Rainier!
Photo: Robin Pendery

Compressibility


Similar to the metric weight, compressibility is not the Valiance's most competitive metric. The burlier fabric, as well as the bonded box wall design, adds some bulk. However, the added bulk is impressively minimal for the gains in durability and storm protection. This is largely due to Rab's selection of high-quality materials. The 800 fill hydrophobic down is very compressible and provides high loft and warmth. The Pertex fabrics continue to impress us with their light weight, suppleness, and durability, which are great attributes for mountain-ready clothing.

How compressible is the Rab Valiance? Meh... it's not the most...
How compressible is the Rab Valiance? Meh... it's not the most compressible, but for what it is, it is good enough! We also loved the waterproof sack it stuffs into, it was super useful for stashing our electronics when we weren't stuffing the jacket in it.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Features


The Valiance is a fully-featured, burly down jacket. From top to bottom, there is synthetic insulation in moisture-prone areas, including the hood and cuffs. The helmet-compatible hood has a wired brim, which gives it structure and helps keep the weather out of your eyes. The collar has microfleece at the point of contact with your face, which is just lovely. There are two zippered handwarmer pockets and one internal zippered chest pocket. The main zipper features a storm flap to keep the storms out.

The jacket comes with a waterproof roll-top stuff sack which we loved because we could stash our electronics and keep them dry. This is a very clever addition from Rab; if we are taking this jacket on a trip, that usually meant the forecast was for wet weather, and we were either lining our backpack with a trash compactor bag or taking a waterproof backpack. However, you can't ever really trust these processes to fully keep your electronics dry, so into the little Rab dry sack they go — brilliant. Rab really thought it through with this jacket.

We always love a good chest pocket! The Rab Valiance made our hearts...
We always love a good chest pocket! The Rab Valiance made our hearts sing with this one, as well as the waterproof zippers on the hand pockets.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Durability


If your upcoming trip looks like it's going to be a battle against the elements, the Pertex Shield fabric will give you the courage to tackle it. The epic naming theme around this jacket does not betray — it's like lightweight armor against stormy weather. The fabric itself is super durable, and is reinforced along the seams, ensuring it keeps you sealed and warm against the wind and the wet. Charge on!

The Rab Valiance is burly! The cuffs are extra durable with...
The Rab Valiance is burly! The cuffs are extra durable with synthetic insulation in them to help keep them extra warm and dry.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Water Resistance


For a down jacket to keep you warm, it must be dry. As soon as down gets wet, it mats together, losing its loft, and therefore all of its insulating properties. It would seem that all down jackets would ideally be waterproof, but this has never been the case. We assume that this is because it is also critical to maintain a level of breathability so that the down can expel any moisture — if it does manage to get inside the jacket. The breathability also ensures that your body temperature regulates comfort, which will keep you warm when your body temperature rises, but will also ensure you don't overheat.

The Valiance is a burly, storm-ready down jacket designed to help you weather the worst conditions, like cold, wet, and windy. The use of impressively waterproof Pertex Shield is awesome. It blocks wind and water, keeps the down highly lofted and dry, and keeps you warm and happy all storm long. The addition of waterproof zippers on the hand pockets is thoughtful, though we rarely trust these enough to keep our phone or anything of consequence inside. Fortunately, the jacket comes with its own waterproof stuff sack, which we would use to double up the protection of our electronics.

In wet spring and fall weather in the North Cascades, we loved the...
In wet spring and fall weather in the North Cascades, we loved the Rab Valiance. Here, Mt. Shuksan peeks out of the clouds for a few minutes while the rain calms down to a power mist just long enough to snap a few photos.
Photo: Saghar Behinaein

Value


The Valiance is a pricey down jacket, especially compared to others in this review. However, it is in somewhat of an elite subset within this review as a burly, high-quality, stormproof down jacket. This is the type of down jacket you would buy because your life depends on staying warm and dry in a cold and stormy destination. If you need it, it is worth it.

Conclusion


The Valiance is Rab's valiant effort at creating a burly, stormproof jacket that will lend you courage in adverse conditions. This is a durable, weatherproof down jacket optimized for cold, stormy adventures — where keeping warm and dry is imperative. We loved using it for guiding Mount Rainier during the early spring and late fall, when weather can be particularly intimidating.

Are you headed into the mountains with a terribly cold and wet...
Are you headed into the mountains with a terribly cold and wet forecast? Be sure to take the Rab Valiance!
Photo: Saghar Behinaein

Lyra Pierotti