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REVIEW: Rab Microlight Alpine jacket - Men's and Women's

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Microlight Alpine montage

Made using recycled fabrics and P.U.R.E recycled hydrophobic down, the new Microlight Alpine is an ethically sound upgrade to an established class act. Rob Greenwood and Penny Orr conduct a his-n-hers review.



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 roddyp 05 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Looks more like a paid promotion than a review? 

In reply to roddyp:

> Looks more like a paid promotion than a review? 

I always find such feedback disheartening, as we go to great lengths to make our reviews independent. They are certainly NOT something brands pay for, as this goes against everything we stand for, and would also bind us into exclusively saying nice things about them (which we don't).

That said, this is undoubtedly a positive review. Not all reviews I write are as glowing as this (and I'd happily outline a few of the clangers I've written over the years), but this one is as close to perfect as they come, and why is that? It's because the Microlight is a pretty damn good product...

If it wasn't - or worse still, if it was genuinely poor - I would have had no hesitation whatsoever in giving it an absolute panning, which is something I've done to a great many other products over the years. The fact it's a good product, and that it also combines a fairly sound set of ethical credentials, raises the bar even higher.

It has consistently been my go-to since it arrived on my doorstep (or at least it was until last week when the temperatures dropped and I started using a larger/warmer jacket). Having re-read what I written I think it's both fair and honest, although I still wish they'd included a reversible pocket in which to stuff it, as that might mean I carry it on more routes throughout the spring.

Post edited at 09:51
 roddyp 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> I always find such feedback disheartening, as we go to great lengths to make our reviews independent. They are certainly NOT something brands pay for, as this goes against everything we stand for, and would also bind us into exclusively saying nice things about them (which we don't).

Many thanks for clarifying that.  There's so much advertorial in magazines/internet etc these days, and it's not always clearly marked as such. 

FWIW we have a couple of these jackets (2019 model) and they've been great.

 olddirtydoggy 05 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Great review and the thing that set it apart is not only the fact we have vid and text but feedback for both M/F. I really can't see how this could be any better, the level of detail is surgical.

In reply to roddyp:

> Many thanks for clarifying that.  There's so much advertorial in magazines/internet etc these days, and it's not always clearly marked as such. 

I'm totally with you on this. It drives me crazy seeing what some publications (be that in print or online) are willing to masquerade as 'editorial', when it's clearly just advertising. It's often the brazen, lazy nature in which it's presented that gets to me too, as often there's little or no evidence that the product has been used. It's for this reason that we use actual photographs of people out/about using the jacket, rather than studio shots, because this goes some way towards proving that we've actually put it through its paces. At the end of the day what we aim to provide, and what I hope we achieve, is an honest appraisal.

> FWIW we have a couple of these jackets (2019 model) and they've been great.

How much did they pay you to say this ;-)

Sorry, bad joke...

 roddyp 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> How much did they pay you to say this ;-)

Well, I did get a free baselayer that doesn't fit me very well

I think it was the very first sentence that incorrectly fired my spidey senses. All accurate, but it did read to me like something a manufacturer would directly put in a press release:

> Made using recycled fabrics and P.U.R.E recycled hydrophobic down, the new Microlight Alpine is an ethically sound upgrade to an established class act.

 Mudflap 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Does UKC review products from brands it doesn't have a commercial relationship with?

 olddirtydoggy 05 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

No idea how products get reviewed. There are some classic products that will be of wide interest, thermarest mats, Rab's top selling down jacket and so on. I doubt a review of an 8000m down suit would interest too many on here as it's a very niche item. It would be nice to see items from smaller companies like PH Designs, Cumulus and Stellar Equipment get space.

What is great on here is when we get the comparison articles on things like syth belay jackets or B3 winter boots. 

In reply to Mudflap:

> Does UKC review products from brands it doesn't have a commercial relationship with?

Very occasionally we do, but generally don't, and the reason for this is twofold: time and resources.

If you want to review something properly you've got to use it, and preferably use it quite a lot, which invariably takes time. Given that we've only got a limited number of staff, and also that we're not rolling around in cash, our time/resources are finite. Even as things are, a lot of our reviewing is done on our own time, simply because we wear the kit whilst out and about in the evenings or weekends. Occasionally we'll do it on 'work time', but that invariably takes time away from other duties, which in turn creates a separate time issue.

If we were loaded, and money wasn't an issue, maybe we'd open things up, but as events transpire we're not; furthermore, there are a LOT of products out there, so were we to do this where would we draw the line? A free-for-all would make it unmanageable, unwieldy, and potentially lead to a dilution in terms of quality. As such a line has to be drawn somewhere, which is why we draw the line where we do.

 Mudflap 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Rob,

Thank you for the reply.

 OG 07 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I have an old ~2015 one of these, still going strong, and still a go-to year round from climbing to hillwalking to the pub. Perhaps after another 5 it'll be ready to be recycled into one of these new ones!

But... I have never found the hood to be very helmet compatible. You must pick two of (1) having the hood up over a helmet, (2) having it zipped up, and (3) being able to move your head/neck and not have the whole jacket ride up. Do you know if this a feature they have upgraded / you had a chance to test? I thought that the Microlight Summit that came out a year or two ago was differentiated by having a full helmet-compatible hood vs the normal Microlight one but I could be wrong.

Post edited at 17:23

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