RAB’s new Electron jacket is an incredibly versatile technical layer that has found a place in my pack on a wide variety of trips from skiing to alpine climbing and mountaineering in every season from winter to summer. Designed for year-round use the mid-weight jacket utilizes water resistant Pertex® Endurance fabric and hydrophobic down to allow it to perform in all weather conditions while the bright blue and green color scheme make it fun to wear.
- Exterior Color: Blue (also available in Black & Orange)
- Inside Color: Bright Green (grey with the other color options)
- Down Fill: 190g of 800 Fill Power Hydrophobic Goose Down
- Fabric: Pertex® Endurance exterior & Nylon Rip-Stop interior
- Weight: 500g
- Elasticated stretch woven cuffs
- Helmet compatible hood
- Velco hood strap
- Sturdy zippers
- A separate stuff sack
The combination of the water-resistant Pertex® Endurance outer fabric with a hydrophobic down really allows this jacket to perform well in all but the wettest weather conditions which allowed me to basically treat it like a synthetic fill jacket. During testing I wore the Electron as a top layer in snow storms and short rain showers and it worked great. The outer fabric would eventually get a bit wet but the down still performed and the jacket dried quickly.
I really dislike small, finicky zippers that are hard to open and close with gloves and that always seem to get caught on the adjacent fabric, the Electron jacket has none of these! Aside from the inside chest pocket all the zippers are big, smooth and easy to operate in all conditions.
The Electron jacket has a fairly standard pocket layout with two hand pockets and a single internal chest pocket. The hand pockets are slightly higher than normal which keep them accessible when wearing a harness and sport oversized zippers for easy access. There’s no internal drop pocket which is unfortunate, I always seem to find a use for those things.
The helmet compatible hood has a wire brim that allows the shape to be tailored to suit and a system of velcro straps. One strap is located along the back of the hood with another at the back of the neck. When the two straps are connected the hood is held bunched up behind the neck… I’m not sure what this system is trying to achieve though and the tab at the back of the neck can be a bit annoying.
With smaller under-arm baffles and a slightly articulated shoulder the Electron allows for a wide range of movement. The cut also provides a long torso and sleeves that don’t ride up when moving though it feels a little boxy through the body.
While not without some small negatives like the strange hood strap and boxy cut the RAB Electron is a fantastic mid-weight jacket overall. With a great next-to-skin feel, weather resistant fabric & down and well thought out features (for the most part) I found myself taking it with me on a wide range of trips from ski tours to summer mountaineering trips.
Pros: Versatile with water resistant fabric & hydrophobic down. Great zippers, color & layout
Cons: Strange velco hood strap system
Overall: An extremely versatile jacket! The fabric, insulation and weight are perfect for a wide range of weather conditions and seasons making it a great go-to for just about anything you want to do in the mountains.
RAB provided a sample jacket for testing but of course this has not influenced our review in any way.