Ice Factor Gear Review RAB Latok Jacket
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Fabric and Waterproofness
The Latok jacket is Rab’s premium climbing and mountaineering jacket and as such it is designed to be capable of handling all the weather the Scottish winter can throw at it. It is constructed from Event’s 3 layer DV Expedition fabric which feels both tougher and lighter than other Event fabrics I have used in the past, and after a winter of Ice and mixed climbing, and running many days of winter courses I have barely put a mark on it. Event claim a hydrostatic head of 30,000mm which puts the Latok on a comparable level with other top end jackets and I can honestly say it is the most waterproof Rab jacket I have ever used. I have not felt wet once this winter even in typically appalling Scottish conditions and while Snowholing it has kept me bone dry. Overheating is an issue with any waterproof jacket and the Latok has several features that do deal with this perennial problem well. The DV expedition fabric does seem to be exceptionally breathable and even whilst working hard on approach I have found with good layering it has kept me dry on the inside.
This is a regular sized jacket with plenty of room for multiple layers underneath. The active and articulated cut make it ideal for climbing or mountaineering and I have never found it ride up out of a harness, it is cut long enough at the back to ensure complete protection from the elements.
I have found the cuffs easy to get large winter gloves under (always a bugbear of mine) and the sleeve length just right to give a bit of extra protection to your hand.
The hood is spacious and roomy easily fitting a helmet underneath.
Two big napoleon chest pockets which are more than roomy enough for map’s, gloves and other items. Internal zipped and mesh water bottle pocket give plenty of storage options. I have found this a dramatic improvement over the old Latok reducing the number of chest pockets reduces the weight and increases the breathability noticeably.
Breathability is also helped by two almost full-length pit zips, I was initially sceptical about the length of these but have actually found them a really useful feature they do allow for much greater venting and with the large zip tags that are designed to be easily useable with big winter gloves. Somebody at RAB has really thought through functionality here.
This functionality continues with the hood easily helmet compatible and with easy adjustability and again big tabs on the adjustors for ease of use with gloves.
A fantastic winter jacket with great functionality, there are lighter jackets out there but at 630g the weight is not excessive for a jacket that gives fortress like levels of protection.