Review – Rab Infinity Down Jacket

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:

www.rab-blog.com

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Martin Rye says:

    You and Petesy are doing a good sales job on me with this. It is nice looking as well as performing as it was designed to. I just want to see it used when it gets real cold. Then I would be real convinced. Good review by the way.

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  2. terrybnd says:

    Thanks Martin.

    I got no doubt it'll work fine in winter. I'll report back when the time is right. It works very very well. It's clearly had a lot of thought put into it's design.

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  3. Paul says:

    Nice review Terry. Can you get it in different colours? 1 thing is for sure about this jacket we shall all know who it is before we get a mile within you lol, jokes a side looks a good jacket.

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  4. terrybnd says:

    @Paul – I believe they do a blue, mate. Bright blue! So, take your pick! šŸ˜‰

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  5. Alistair says:

    Thanks for that Terry – perfect timing. I saw your previous mention of the jacket and was wondering when you'd mange to review it. That's it sold then. Just wondering whether medium – Rab gear generally fits me well and the vapour rise I have is a medium so I spose the infinity will be medium too.

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  6. Helen Fisher says:

    Brilliant review; just enjoyed reading it for it's own sake!

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  7. terrybnd says:

    @Alistair – I've been testing it for a while longer than I've implied and been dying to shout about the Infinity's merits. Meant every word in my review. It's a classic in the making IMO.

    I know what you mean about the fit – I'm usually a medium of sorts but with Rab gear I'm a large and so this jacket fits me perfect (including any extra underlayers.

    @Helen – LOL Thank you!

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  8. Maz says:

    How does this sit against the PHD Ultra in your mind? No hood and I prefer the pullover version so it's only 230g (260g with Drishell). Good down to -5C so do you take the view that the Rab jacket is warmer? There does not seem to be a pullover version of the Infinity that I can see – unless Rab have told you something?

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  9. terrybnd says:

    Hi Maz,

    Good point – I was thinking of a pullover version myself. Forgot to mention it to Rab actually but as far as I'm aware they do not have on in the pipeline – nothing soon anyway.

    The Infinity is a different kind of jacket though. It's an all rounder. The number of baffles helps with retaining warmth, no doubt. And of course the hood.

    I know some folk will dislike the idea of an attached hood but I'm indifferent. My point of view is based on the general backpacker.

    The down has performed extremely well and with the number of baffles there is no movement or clumping. No chance for it per se.

    So, compared to the PHD Ultra it's a different beast really.

    As for warmth this can be subjective of course. But I tend to get cold easily in the winter etc but I can honestly see me being very snug down to some low temps in this jacket based on experience in the past and so far.

    And that's down to all the details I've previously mentioned.

    It's a great garment. I've no doubt we'll all read more about it in the coming weeks and months.

    Like

  10. Wurz says:

    Nice review. not sure about your comment on the U.S. down system being standard. Neither Mountain Equipment or PHD seem to be using it and I can't think of any other non-U.S. based companies at the mo that produce quality down gear. Is it not just that Rab are now exporting to the States?

    Maz I think, – Terry sorry if I'm hijacking your blog šŸ˜‰ as Terry said. i think the Infinity is quite different to the PHD Ultra. I have the ultra vest and I suspect the infinity is warmer than the jacket. I think it is probably much closer to the Alpine Ultra (with optional hood). The Alpine is lighter but more expensive. The Yukon would I expect to be warmer being box wall instead of stitch through for a similar weight to the Rab but again more expensive.

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  11. terrybnd says:

    @Wurz – No problem, mate. Fire away.
    The U.S fill power is becoming standard – we'll see more of it. Not sure why to be honest. It's happening now and soon. Same sort of thing for 'R' ratings, too.

    As to the whys? I'll have to ask. But Rab did inform me when I asked that it's becoming the standard and not just because of them in the U.S market.

    TBH whichever they choose – one standard is better than the mix we have now.

    With regards to the stitch through panels on the Infinity – you just don't notice them. There are so many panels on the jacket stuffed with down that any potential cold spots are negated if you know what I mean.

    At the end of the day – folk can compare as they will, we all do. I do. And for what it is, it's aim and purpose the Infinity is a fantastic garment for it's market.

    It's not aimed at ultralight weight, clearly so.

    Is it a quality garment fit for purpose? Most definitely. Does it exceed in it's aims for it's chosen market? Defo.

    A pullover version would be nice, mind. Even so, I love the jacket as it is.

    Some good jackets from Rab of late (eVent etc etc).

    And the new Pertex? It's excellent. Surprisingly durable so far. I've snagged the jacket and thought 'Bugger!' to see no harm done (relief).

    I expect some sleeping bags to come along soon made with this fabric, too.

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  12. Maz says:

    Thanks Wurz and Terry – very helpful.

    Like

  13. Jamie Swinfield says:

    I've just recieved my Infinity in the same 'Juicy' colour as your own.
    I love it.
    I seem to have got it at the perfect time as the temperature round here has been dropping bellow freezing the past few days.
    Unwrapped it and within a few minutes the down had lofted nicely.
    I wandered down to the shop with just a t-shirt and shirt under it to test the warmth.
    It works beautifully!
    I was lovely and toasty.
    I can't wait to wear it on some full day walks and climbs.
    Jamie

    Like

  14. terrybnd says:

    Hi Jamie,

    That's great! I've been wearing my Infinity most days out on the hill and it performs very well indeed.

    Pleased you like it.

    Like

  15. Ryan says:

    Hiya bud. Im not too sure about my infinity, and im tempted to bring it back. The down on the insides of the elbows moves to the outer arms very quickly, making the inner arms very cold. This created the problem of more bodyheat in this area, causing the pertex quantum to wet through to the inside (This was a ten minute walk with the dog in snowfall). Not sure what to do. I love the lightness and fit of the jacket but think it needs filled more in this area. Feedback appreciated.

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  16. terrybnd says:

    Hi Ryan,

    I've not had any such problems, I'm afraid. As is usually the case it could be a one off faulty product. It happens with any product.

    The down may slip about a bit in some products (not necessarily in this jacket as the baffles are very small) like in down bags, for example.

    Down can clump together from getting damp and not left to air dry properly, too. Hence, after any trip out in damp conditions I always hang and air dry my down bags/jackets.

    Personally, I'd give customer services an email ASAP at Rab – I've no doubt whatsoever they'll sort it out for you via the retailer you purchased the Infinity from.

    Drop me an email via my 'contact me' button if you get any problems šŸ™‚

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  17. Ryan says:

    Cool mate, thanks for the response. Ive only had it about three weeks so may go to cotswold's boxing day sale and see about swapping it for another one.Might even buy some other bits. As I said, otherwise I love it. If I get another and it does the same I may just reproof it with some Grangers. By the way, loving your blog.

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  18. terrybnd says:

    Your welcome, Ryan.

    Though, I have to say – it may not need reproofing. DWR is quite durable. Remember, the fabric shell is 'highly water resistant' NOT waterproof.

    But other things like sweat, ambient temps and all sorts can effect the breathability of a fabric, waterproof or not.

    You get active in a down jacket, the sweat has to breathe somewhere – and that means it will seep through the down on it's way out. Hence, down is not suited to 'damp' environs.

    Being active can of course create such conditions.

    Just food for thought. Hope it all ends well for you.

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  19. Jamie Swinfield says:

    Just a quick update…

    Having worn my Infinity throughout the Winter and now on into Spring it has performed faultlessly.
    In the Peak District on long walks in all conditions it has been a constant and very welcome companion.
    If i had one MINOR complaint it would be that the cuffs could do with the same soft fabric as found on the inner of the collar on them.
    When worn without gloves the pertex material on bare skin can get a little sweaty after a while.
    A small price to pay for a coat that i would score 98 out of 100 though.
    If they sorted that out it would be an easy 100 though!

    Like

  20. terrybnd says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Good point raised and not one I've had issues with. I'll raise it with Rab šŸ™‚

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  21. Hi Jamie- I was looking for reviews as I've just started http://www.downjacketbag.co.uk I had moved away from down towards synthetics but I am now returning to the fold big style!

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  22. terrybnd says:

    Nice website Simon!

    Like

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