Well the deep winter as well as monsoons of 2017 are over with the rains in the mountains too on the wane, the clear skies are out. This is the time to reflect on the performance of certain critical equipment’s which forma important part of outdoor hiking in the mountains where the snow as well as the rains need to be tackled and met with optimum preparations. I always want go outside into the mountains have a great time without worried about getting wet, clammy and related feelings
This article i would be speaking about is the RAB LATOK Jacket that I got the opportunity to try and use. Now it is important to note that in the mountains we would be experiencing cold as well as rain at the same time, the temperature will drop significantly as the rain falls continuously hence we need to layer up to protect against the cold. Now the base layer or mid layer are never waterproof as they comprise many a time of fleece or down feather. In these scenarios, what do we do to safeguard these layers of clothing. The answer to this is the Hard Shell Jacket.
The hard shell jacket is primarily waterproof, and the good ones are also wind proof. primarily designed to keep one dry in rain they also are integral as explained above to the inner layering system and relative humidity. Hiking in the rain with too many warm layers will result in sweat being built up inside hence the shell jacket needs to take care of that too and I will explain this subsequently when go over the features of the Latok jacket. In the cold wet rain, a good hard shell jacket also works to save one from the cold in case adequate inner layering is not worn. These are arguably the most versatile jackets for winter weather in the mountains.
Now that I have spoken a bit about the importance of a hard shell jacket, lets come to the subject on what I would be talking about.
The Latok jacket is a staple of the RAB Clothing waterproof range and offers complete protection and durability. It is designated as a fully featured technical climbing jacket available in the open domain in the current times. Now in my opinion when we buy something it has to last. The latest technology is good to have but then longevity is also a prime concern. So can we have both in a single product. This is what I always look into and I have been using RAB products for over two years now and the good stuff is not cheap hence longevity is a prime concern when good money is being spent and the Latok Jacket delivers on that front.
The most striking thing that I immediately noticed was the quality of construction, I mean one has to feel it to understand what I am trying to express. There is this feeling of confidence that each part of the jacket exudes that makes a world of difference
The jacket is designed to be breathable and hard wearing. It is constructed in layers in respect of the eVent fabric. The heavyweight eVent fabric is highly durable and is used in the high wear areas like the shoulder and waist.
There are four external and two internal mesh pockets with room for maps. All the Zippers are waterproof with rain drop points and a storm flap on the main zip. The zippers are all YKK AquaGuard zips which are designed to cope with waterproofing as well as durability
There are venting pit zips, adjustable Velcro cuffs. The under arm ventilation zips are something which I have seen for the first time and I understand that they are designed for a rapid cooling down of the body sweat that is generated.
The helmet compatible wire peaked hood is again an important asset.
We have double exit hem cords for tightening around the waist, hood which is again a thoughtful gesture.
|MVTR||Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate is 10500g/m2/day|
|Zippers||All zippers (VISILON grade) are coated with AquaGuard material which has extremely waterproofing capability|
My thoughts: It feels super solid, has been one of best designed jackets with a foresight on long term durability, toughness and a optimal balance between a technical jacket and everyday use product. It is definitely expensive no doubts on that but then is not a one season wonder, will last through the years season to season, by my side when the conditions get tough
eVent: Weatherproof and windproof technopogy used in the fabrics using expanded PTFE products. The individual fibers of PTFE are coated and allow humidity to vent directly out of the garment thereby keeping oneself dry. Breathability, weatherproofing and wind proofing are the key words in this particular technology.
YKK zippers. YKK is the largest Zipper manufacturing company in the world. This Japanese company was founded in 1954 and is the leader when it comes to state of the art Zippers.
YKK zippers with Aqua Guard. These are water repellent zippers of the AquaGuard series with a polyurethane lamination tape on the outside surface. This provides enhanced water resistance