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Ethan Rambacher | 06.26.2019

Men's Rab Continuum Jacket specs

  • Weight: 355 g / 12.5 oz
  • Fill power: 850FP Goose Down (RDS Certified)
  • Fill weight: 148 g / 5.2 oz
  • Outer fabric: Pertex Quantum
  • Fit: Slim
  • Helmet-compatible hood
  • Elastic cuffs

Where to get it

$350 • Amazon | Rab

The Bottom Line: For ultralight hikers who need extra warmth at minimal weight, the Rab Continuum is the ideal jacket. The 12-ounce jacket packs into a stuff sack the size of two grapefruits. The Continuum's 850-fill-power down kept me warm sitting at camp in zero-degree conditions, and with proper layering will be effective in even colder conditions. Because the Continuum is so light, it sacrifices some durability, but with some caution it will stand up to the demands of rigorous outdoor activities.


Layering for icy ascents and cold conditions is much easier with the Rab Continuum. Ethan Rambacher.

As I became more interested in winter hiking, I realized I needed a better insulation layer for sitting around camp and at the summit. I knew a down jacket was going to be my best option, but there are so many options on the market it's hard to know where to start. I narrowed down my search to the lightest jackets I could find with the highest quality down. I finally settled on the Rab Continuum, which has not disappointed me at all.

The Rab Continuum has 5.2 ounces of 850-fill-power down, which is extremely high quality (almost as good as you can get) and means that it has incredible warmth at low weight. The entire jacket weighs only 12 ounces, on par with most other jackets in its price range (the Continuum costs $350). There are lighter jackets—notably the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, at less than 8.0 ounces—but these jackets generally sacrifice more on fill weight and construction quality.

The Continuum uses a Pertex Quantum outer fabric, which is durable-water-repellant treated and beads water effectively in very light rain. The down itself is also treated with PFC-free Nikwax DWR, so the feathers should stay warmer and still loft effectively when they get wet. The Pertex fabric is quite thin and light, which is great for ultralighters, but unfortunately this means that it's not quite as durable as heavier jackets. I am somewhat cautious when wearing the jacket not to snag it on anything or tear anything, and when hiking I would definitely wear this jacket under a shell jacket to protect it. However, the durability has never been an issue for me, and with a bit of TLC this jacket will definitely last a long time.

On the topic of durability, down jackets are known for shedding feathers. After a few months of wearing the Continuum, I have noticed some feathers leaking out, mostly through the seams. When a feather leaks from the baffle fabric, it's easy to pull back in, and this doesn't happen often anyway. However, feathers leaking from the seams, where it's more difficult to pull them back in, has been a fairly constant annoyance with the Continuum, and that is pretty much the only frustration I've had with this jacket.

The Rab Continuum is very comfortable, with just enough room to wear a few layers underneath. However, it still uses a slim fit so that you won't look like the Michelin Man, a common grievance with down jackets. It has a helmet-compatible hood with adjustable volume via an elastic behind the head. If you don't adjust it, the hood is enormous without a helmet, but it's great to be able to wear it over the helmet when ice climbing or mountaineering. The hood also has a small flexible bill that keeps the hood off of your forehead.

Overall, the Rab Continuum is a great jacket with the only caveat being its durability. However, if treated with care, I believe it will last several years. I will carry it as a winter summit layer and as an emergency backup layer because of its low weight.


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