Well, what can I say? I abso-bloody-lutely love this jacket! It has to be one of the best bits of kit I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
New from Rab this season, the Infinity utilises the latest Pertex Quantum fabric and is stuffed (and it looks like it too) with top quality European white goose down.
Rab’s down is ethically sourced being a natural by-product of free range geese primarily used for food production – of which is shipped over to Blighty (helps maintain quality control) and hand stuffed into a number of their products.
You get 210g’s of the lovely fluffy stuff with a fill power of 850.
The latter being a U.S measurement as it’s now becoming the standard used in the outdoors industry worldwide.
However, having expedition quality down with fantastic lofting is no good if the fabric it’s contained within is heavy and so prevents the feathers from expanding out naturally which in turn help trap warm air – ie, your body heat.
So, Rab have chosen to use the latest Pertex Quantum fabric which is claimed to be strong, light as a feather (no pun intended), wind and highly water resistant. You get this inside and out on the garment.
Does this all work? Quite simply, yes. Emphatically so.
The Pertex is beautifully soft and light to the touch – silky smooth in fact – and once you’ve pulled the jacket out from it’s stuff sack (comes with the garment by the way) the down within begins lofting out in next to no time at all.
I’ve experienced no down whatsoever ‘leaking’ or forcing it’s way through the Pertex fabric in all the time I’ve used the jacket. It’s been stuffed loose in my rucksack, in it’s stuff sack, hanging about, used as a pillow – you name it. No needle-like heads poking through. Otherwise, the fabric has proven to be very durable so far. No tears or marks from scrapes. Very impressive.
Furthermore, with it being so light – you can just about see the down inside each chamber and after some heavy regular use from myself in the past few weeks, all is well.
The down is stored in stitch-through baffles. In theory, this could mean cold spots – but in reality there are so many baffles on the Infinity this really is a misnomer. Though I have to add – and to a degree it is expected – I’ve had the odd wee feather slip through on the stitching. No drama, nothing out of the ordinary with down garments – but on the whole much less so than others out there in the shops.
The Pertex has lived up to it’s reputation of being highly water repellent, too. Caught in the odd shower, or accidentally spilling a drink on myself (don’t ask!) – the water just beads off. Also the fabric breathes very well.
I’ve suffered no condensation within the jacket despite some rigorous steep climbs up onto summits. Not even damp if I happen to be wearing a sweaty base layer underneath – good sign that as damp down is something to avoid – not only for it’s immediate effectiveness but also it’s longevity.
I’ve been using the size large of the Infinity and it comes in on the scales at about 510-530g’s (blame my scales for that one). Not bad when you consider you get a large hood that will swallow a helmet (if you go scrambling or climbing) and one frontal zip along with two side pockets.
The zips are YKK and are slick to move up and down. No snagging or sticking (inside the jacket or out) and easy to get hold of with gloves (some handy pips and bumps make them feel like you’re yanking on rubber).
The side pockets are just in the right place, too. If you have a pack on they sit just above your hip belt and of course when lounging about they don’t sit too high for you to shove your hands in and keep warm and cosy – looking all ‘cool’ etc.
You may just about fit a map in one of the pockets but in all likely hood you will only be placing your cold mitts in them – or phone and batteries in my case.
To keep your heat in and any chilly breeze out the cuffs and lip around your face on the hood are Lycra lined.
I was a little sceptical this would work but over time been proven wrong. On the cuffs, the Lycra works brilliantly.
On the hood – well, it fits nice and snug make no doubt. But in a hoolie it may waver a little and so let in the odd cold breeze (despite a small fleece lined chin guard). Other than that you have so much down wrapped around your head – you don’t really notice it per se. You do but not to the point where it’s annoying.
Around your waist you have a double exit hem drawcord. Nothing much to say on this – does the job and keeps the jacket snug against your body – though you may be paranoid about appearing to have more of a ‘beer belly’ than you actually own (or is that just me?).
So, having used this jacket religiously several weeks out and about in all places – I have to say that apart from perhaps looking a bit ‘sad’ wearing such a jacket ‘all the time’ and it being compressed and uncompressed more often you can shake a stick at – it’s performed more than admirably.
You know how can walk into a store, pick up a garment and try it on and immediately know you are getting into something special?
That is exactly what the Infinity jacket is like. You get what you pay for. Quality fabric, down and design – well thought through and suitable for many outdoor activities. It’s simple and very effective.
I was in the Outside store in Hathersage (Peak District) a few weeks back and a customer was debating whether to get a cheaper alternative Primaloft jacket to the Infinity that was being recommended to him by the sales person.
Now, don’t get me wrong – Primaloft has it’s place (least of all for those who are allergic to down being one) but the Infinity just feels so damn snug and warm when you put it on. It’s a joy to wear. The silky smooth sound of the Pertex as you move about reminds you of Paramo.
Initially handling the big puffy jacket you’ll immediately comment on how soft and light it is. Once you put it on? I’d be very surprised if you didn’t then begin debating yourself – not to choose that over another jacket but to consider coughing up your hard earned cash.
These are tough times for many including myself – and so spending money on gear is a serious consideration. Would I pull out the stops to purchase an Infinity?
Without hesitation I would. Sure there maybe some cheaper alternative down jackets – but they don’t feel or perform as well as this garment from Rab. A few well-known brands down gear I own are not a patch on this in fact. And I thought they were good once upon a time.
The Rab Infinity jacket is now a constant companion on all my hikes and wild camps. Be it for keeping warm on a cold, dry autumnal day, relaxing at camp or as a boost in a sleeping bag. And I know it will prove it’s worth this coming winter along with the many years soon to be flying past my direction.
Make no doubt we’ll all hear more and more about this jacket over the coming months – not from me but as word of mouth from many others spreads. It’s light, warm, durable (so far), surprisingly windproof – quite simply, for me it’s a must have garment. And if things get way too cold? There’s plenty of scope within to wear a fleece or whatever you choose.
Personally, I reckon the Infinity will suit me fine on wild camps down to -10 no problem – but that of course, can be subjective.
For more information on the Infinity and other products, check out Rab’s blog here: