UKC

Rab Rock Range for Women and Men Review

From wicking t-shirts to stretchy trousers, Charlie Low and Dale Comley sample key pieces from Rab's new Rock Range, which combine casual styling with techy fabrics and an athletic fit for summer rock.


After reviewing Rab's Alpha Direct Jackets a couple of months ago and completely falling in love with them, we were excited to test out several products from their new Rock Range, including the Top Out Hoody, Rampage Jacket, Crank Shorts, Valkyrie Pants, Crimp SS Tee, Radius Pants and Maze Tank.

To make sure they were put through their paces in a variety of environments, we opted for a trip to the sunny sport climbing mecca of Siurana, and followed it by visiting the somewhat contrasting climate of Cheddar Gorge…

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Men's Radius Pants and Crimp Tee
© Charlie Low

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Women's Crimp LS Tee and Valkyrie Pants
© Dale Comley

Whether it's for trad, bouldering or sport, and wherever you're heading to do them in, there ought to be something in this big range for every climber

Women's Crimp Long Sleeve Tee £35

I was immediately impressed with the Women's Crimp Tee. It is incredibly comfortable, fits well, and the moisture wicking drirelease fabric means it doesn't get too damp when you're working hard, or end up too smelly after a day of sport climbing in the sun! Importantly it is also not too tight on the forearms when questing up 30m+ endurance fests, its active cut aided by the slight stretch of the fabric. The thinner material means it's a great layer for climbing in sunnier conditions when it's a bit too warm for a fleece, and the nice cut has meant it's doubled up really well as a casual non-climbing top. I actually bought one of the other colours too after the review as I loved it so much!

Comfy, well fitted and breathable - just what you want in a climbing top, 203 kb
Comfy, well fitted and breathable - just what you want in a climbing top
© Dale Comley

Rab say:

Fast drying with a relaxed look, the Crimp quickly wicks moisture making it perfect for both climbing and casual use. From winter training sessions at the wall to long days at the crag you can be sure of climbing in comfort and style.

  • Sizes: 8 - 16
  • Weight: 140g (estimate)
  • drirelease® moisture wicking and fast drying fabric with stretch
  • Back logo print
  • Rab woven label
  • Chain stitch details
  • Stepped back hem
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Wms Crip LS Tee, 36 kb

Women's Maze Tank £30

Charlie loves the crossed back..., 163 kb
Charlie loves the crossed back...
© Dale Comley

...and the cut-out shoulder straps, 200 kb
...and the cut-out shoulder straps
© Dale Comley

Unfortunately I'm slightly less taken with the Women's Maze Tank. Although it fits quite well around the waist, the neckline is quite baggy and doesn't sit well - it feels like it should have been a little lower. Because of this it doesn't really fit me properly, and overall this makes it feel a bit frumpy and unflattering. I really love the cut-out detailing on the straps and the crossed back, though, and there are a good choice of colours.

Rab say:

The Maze Tank is a low-bulk climbing tank with inner support bra, designed for indoor laps and outdoor warm weather climbing.

  • Sizes: 8 - 16
  • Weight: 150g (estimate)
  • Polyester/spandex fabric in space dye pattern
  • Inner support bra
  • Racer back styling
  • Low bulk seams
  • Long length
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Maze tank top, 52 kb

Men's Crimp SS Tee £30

Dale's not a big fan of the pocket!, 226 kb
Dale's not a big fan of the pocket!
© Charlie Low

Also made from the sweat-wicking drirelease fabric that's much needed for sunny sport climbing, Dale has got on well with the Men's Crimp SS (short sleeved) Tee. The good close fit around the waist has meant it doesn't end up sandbagging him on routes by covering his chalk bag, and there is enough movement to make it a good t-shirt to climb in. The choice of colours for the Crimp Tee is strong - Dale was pretty psyched about the purple, and the chance to break the standard gender stereotypes! The stitching also contrasts nicely with the colour of the shirt. However he's not much of a fan of the pocket that doesn't really seem to serve any particular purpose.

Rab say:

Fast drying with a relaxed look, the Crimp quickly wicks moisture making it perfect for relaxed days at the crag or bouldering in warmer weather.

  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Weight: 198g (estimate)
  • drirelease® moisture wicking and fast drying fabric with stretch
  • Matrix™ fabric patch pocket on chest
  • Back logo print
  • Rab woven label
  • Chain stitch detail
  • Stepped back hem
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Crimp SS Tee, 14 kb

Men's Radius Pants £70

Radius Pants and Top Out Hoody at Cheddar, 250 kb
Radius Pants and Top Out Hoody at Cheddar
© Charlie Low

Dale has worn a number of rather offensively coloured trousers over the years, so navy blue was a welcome change. With their articulated knee and crotch gusset, he has found the Radius Pants comfortable to climb in: they are stretchy enough to accomodate head height heel hooks, and the mid-weight cotton canvas is durable enough to deal with a number of tenuous knee bars. The sizing may not be quite right on him though, as they are quite baggy on the waist and bum. They are bound to fit some other people better though - as usual with trousers, it's best to try before you buy. The general appearance is pretty smart though, so they double well as casual trousers. The front pockets are deep and so work well to stash keys or a phone, but Dale thinks a zipped side pocket would be a great additional feature as it's a climbing specific range.

Rab say:

The Radius Pant is made from mid-weight stretch cotton canvas, with knee articulation and gusset at crotch to allow maximum movement. Featuring two open hand pockets, coin pocket, two rear patch pockets, and a reinforced back hem it's both practical and tough. With slim leg and YKK® zip fly and jeans button fastening, the Radius Pant looks good on and off the crag.

  • Sizes: 30-38
  • Weight: 492g (estimate)
  • Mid-weight stretch cotton canvas
  • Separate waistband
  • YKK® zip fly and jeans button fastening
  • Belt loops
  • 2 open hand pockets and coin pocket, 2 rear patch pockets
  • Knee articulation and gusset at crotch
  • Reinforced back hem
  • Slim leg

For more info see rab.equipment

Radius pants, 25 kb

Men's Crank Shorts £50

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Crank Shorts and Men's Crimp Tee
© Charlie Low

£50 may be a lot for a simple pair of shorts, but Rab must be doing something right here because Dale loves them; in fact he reckons they're the best pair of climbing shorts he's ever worn. In an improvement on the jeans-style waist that you often get with climbing shorts, the Crank's elasticated waist band is comfortable to climb in, fits snugly under a harness and holds up really well. In terms of fabric, the cotton/spandex mix combines comfort with stretch, for freedom of movement. They are also a good length - short enough to avoid catching on your knees, but long enough to avoid being too risque and letting it all hang out. There is a strong range of colours for the Crank Shorts: as well as the shade of blue Dale has been sporting, they come in a very safe black and an extremely garish orange.

Rab say:

The Men's Crank Shorts are lightweight stretch cotton climbing shorts with an elastic waistband. The pre-washed cotton/spandex fabric is comfortable and stretchy enough for cranking out flexible moves at the wall or on rock. With two large hand pockets and a striped waistband design, these are comfortable, casual, lightweight summer shorts.

  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Weight: 222g (estimate)
  • Pre-washed cotton/spandex fabric
  • Striped elastic waistband
  • 2 large hand pockets with mesh pocket bags
  • 1 rear patch pocket
  • Diamond gusset at crotch
  • Twisted side seams
  • Inside leg length 28.5cm/ 11.2 inch
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Crank shorts, 23 kb

Women's Valkyrie Pants £65

Valkyrie Pants and Rampage Jacket at Siurana, 236 kb
Valkyrie Pants and Rampage Jacket at Siurana
© Dale Comley

I would usually pick a much more controversial colour for my trousers, so initially I wasn't sure about a pair of black climbing trousers! However the Valkyrie Pants have a nicely contrasting blue waistband, and because of this they work well as an outfit with both the Crimp Tee and the Maze Tank. Appearance probably shouldn't matter, but of course we all know it does! As a somewhat vertically challenged person, I have the same issue with these as with every pair of trousers I've ever owned - they are simply too long for me relative to the waist size. Rolling them up a couple of times solves this problem, although they are quite wide on the leg and so look a bit baggy and unflattering - it would be great if there was a 'short' leg option on sizing!

Part-elastic waist, 187 kb
Part-elastic waist
© Dale Comley

Long in the leg, 211 kb
Long in the leg
© Dale Comley

Neat fit under a harness, 215 kb
Neat fit under a harness
© Dale Comley

With their part-elasticated waist the fit around the middle is good and snug though, making these possibly the first pair of outdoor trousers I haven't needed to wear a belt with! The Valkyrie Pants are made of a lightweight cotton, with a bit of added spandex for free-moving stretch. Climbing is unhindered, however I have not really found this weight of fabric hard-wearing enough for outdoor climbing, as after a couple of climbs I had already managed to snag them. The pockets are deep enough that you can keep your phone in them with a harness on and it won't fall out, however just like Dale I would have also liked a lower zipped pocket.

Rab say:

Designed to climb, the Valkyrie Pants offer comfort and freedom of movement. With pre-washed cotton-spandex fabric for stretch, knee articulation, and part-elasticated waist with flat front, nothing's going to stop you as you reach for the next hold. The hem drawcord means you can be confident that the bottom of the pants are out of the way on delicate moves, while two large hand pockets ensure you can keep the essentials with you at the wall or the crag.

  • Sizes: 8 - 16
  • Weight: 313g (estimate)
  • Pre-washed cotton/spandex fabric
  • Part-elasticated waist with flat front and snap fastening
  • YKK® zip fly
  • 2 large hand pockets
  • 1 rear patch pocket
  • Knee articulation
  • Hem drawcord
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Valkyrie pants, 20 kb

Men's Top Out Hoody £70

Thumbloops and half-length zip, 188 kb
Thumbloops and half-length zip
© Charlie Low

Dale was initially sceptical about the Men's Top Out Hoody as it is not super technical, and he would usually prefer to just wear a long sleeve base layer or a synthetic jacket on colder crag days. However he was pleasantly surprised, and used it consistently in Siurana for warming up in and for under a down jacket on belays. It is a very good athletic fit on him all round, and crucially not tight on the forearms, so it doesn't feel restrictive when climbing mega pumpy routes. In keeping with the other Rock Range items it has a nice, contrasting zip and logo. It might be better without the adjustable hood, though, as this fits well whilst pulled up, but does tend to flop around a bit when it's down. This can be slightly annoying while climbing.

Rab say:

The mid-weight Top-Out Hoody is a perfect summer layering piece for indoor training or outdoor climbing. The drirelease® stretch fabric with terry loop back is a moisture wicking and fast drying fabric with excellent odour control. A deep venting chest zip and a front Kangaroo patch pocket make this hoodie practical, comfortable and stylish, while deep cuffs with thumb-loops add a touch of extra warmth if you need it.

  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Weight: 426g (estimate)
  • drirelease® stretch fabric with terry loop back
  • Moisture wicking and fast drying fabric
  • Adjustable hood
  • Deep venting YKK® chest zip with chin guard
  • Underarm gussets and embroidered vents
  • Front Kangaroo patch pocket
  • Deep cuffs with thumb-loops
  • Open hem
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Top Out Hoody, 27 kb

Women's Rampage Jacket £140

It's a breathable, stretchy softshell jacket that's great for all-round UK use, 216 kb
It's a breathable, stretchy softshell jacket that's great for all-round UK use
© Dale Comley

As a two-layer softshell with a weather-proof outer and a wicking inner, this is at the more technical end of the range and could go from valley crags to fair weather mountain use with ease - something that's perhaps reflected in the price. I was hoping I wouldn't like the Rampage Jacket too much, as I definitely don't need another jacket. However the strong turquoise and purple combo immediately had me sold.

Rampage closeup, 166 kb

On a more functional note, the inner grey drirelease fabric is super comfortable and makes the jacket incredibly breathable. There's a lot of stretch in this fabric too, which means it doesn't feel restrictive when climbing, and it's fairly tight fitting at the waist, which makes it sit well under a harness. However it wouldn't work so well as a jacket to throw on when belaying as it lacks double zipper for easier harness access. On the upside, the Pertex outer fabric makes it a great UK jacket for all-round use, something which deals with a rain shower well!

Rab say:

The Women's Rampage Jacket is a summer climbing jacket, designed in a stretch fabric to allow you to move freely whilst keeping you warm and protected from the elements. Many cold, windy nights on in the Peak District have inspired the women's Rampage Jacket, a go-to piece for those chilly spring evenings at the crag. A Pertex® Microlight stretch outer fabric has been treated with a water-repellent finish so you don't need to worry about getting caught in a shower, and a drirelease® moisture wicking inner fabric which will allow comfortable multi-day use. Spandex stretch cuffs with thumb loops secure the jacket in place when climbing and a regular fit allows for a baselayer underneath.

  • Sizes: 8 - 16
  • Weight: 403g/14.2oz (estimate)
  • Pertex® Microlight stretch outer fabric with water repellent finish
  • drirelease® moisture wicking & fast drying lining
  • Close fit hood with high collar
  • YKK® front zip, internal stormflap, chin guard
  • 2 YKK® zipped hand pockets
  • Spandex stretch cuffs with thumb loops
  • Hem drawcord
  • Fit: Regular

For more info see rab.equipment

Rampage jacket, 30 kb

Overall

Rab's Rock Range mixes just enough of its technical fabrics and active cuts with strong colour combos to create items that are comfortable to wear and look great in photos! We've found that the different layers and weights of the items mean that there is a combination that works in any crag environment, from sunny Siurana limestone walls to the charming - if chilly - esoterica of Cheddar sport. Whether it's for trad, bouldering or sport, and wherever you're heading to do them in, there ought to be something for every climber here. Nice one Rab.

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