Rab Vapour-Rise is a versatile softshell system utilising Pertex Equilibrium to balance moisture wicking, warmth and weather resistance. Vapour-Rise is made up of 2 layers - an inner Micro-pile, and outer Pertex Equilibrium. The inner fabric works by wicking moisture (i.e. sweat!) away from your skin, as well as providing a comfortable feel on your body and a degree of insulation. The outer fabric provides the majority of the wicking as well as weather proofing, with some wind resistance and a DWR finish.
Pertex Equilibrium uses the capilliary action technology more commonly seen in base layers. In non-technical speak, this basically means that the yarns are larger on the inside of the fabric than the outside. This difference causes moisture to migrate to the outside of the fabric, keeping you dry. The high surface area of the smaller, outer yarns then cause the moisture to evaporate quickly, drying the garment and losing excess heat through evaporative heat loss. The result of all this moisture management and breathability means that a comfortable micro-climate is created between your skin and the garment.
Rab Vapour-Rise comes in several different weights and styles, geared to different activities:
This is the original Vapour Rise and the middle of the range in terms of warmth. Ideal for walking, climbing and ski touring in all but the coldest weather.
This utilises lighter weight versions of the same materials to create a thinner VR for faster paced activities and warmer conditions. Great for running, summer rock climbing, mountaineering and biking.
The VR Guide jacket uses the same thickness of outer fabric as the regular VR, but combines it with a heavier weight Polartec hi-loft fleece inner for added cosiness in the coldest weather. Ideal for winter mountaineering and hill walking.
Is it made to be worn on its own?
One of the key features of Vapour-Rise is its versatility. No matter which weight you go for, there's the ability to wear it either on its own or as part of a layering system. For fast-paced activities in moderate weather conditions, a VR Lite piece worn next to your skin can be perfect. In colder conditions, layer Vapour-Rise with a base-layer for more warmth. When the weather gets bad, a shell worn over the top provides protection whilst your Vapour-Rise keeps working as an ideal wicking mid-layer.
What baselayer should I wear with it?
Any baselayer will work with Vapour-Rise, however because the inner liner of the Vapour-Rise can be slightly clingy, we recommend a synthetic baselayer to ensure full freedom of movement.
How weather-proof is it?
Pertex Equilibrium, the outer fabric of Vapour-Rise, is highly wind resistant, though not 100% windproof. It will provide adequate windproofing whilst moving in all but the windiest conditions, but you'll probably find you need to put an extra layer on when you stop if it's cold and windy. Vapour-Rise is made for active sports, not standing around in the pub! In terms of water-resistance, there is a DWR finish that will shed a very light shower or snow - typical of most non-membrane softshells. Once it gets wetter, put a shell over the top - your Vaopur-Rise will still effectively wick moisture away from your body keeping you dry whilst your shell stops the weather getting in.
What's the difference between Vapour-Rise and something like Marmot DriClime?
Two layer softshell systems such as Vapour-Rise and DriClime can look pretty similar on first inspection. The linings of both are pretty much identical, however the outer fabric is not. Vapour-Rise is the only system on the market using Pertex Equilibrium as an outer. This is far more breathable than the alternatives, meaning that it will get rid of sweat and excess heat much better. The flip side is that it is not as weatherproof as a fabric such as DriClime.
Why is Vapour-Rise made up of two layers?
The two fabrics work separately in Vapour-Rise to provide warmth, wick moisture and provide weather protection. They are separated mainly to make the garment much more comfortable to wear - it is softer and more tactile than if the layers were bonded together.