The gear was put to the test in a variety of conditions. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The gear was put to the test in a variety of conditions. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab’s Skyline range is a lightweight series of outdoor gear aimed at mountain runners.

The brand says it uses no-compromise design and materials to provide full protection and comfort to users without burdening them with unnecessary weight.

We put four garments from the range to the test: a full waterproof jacket; a protective pull-on; a running tank top and a pair of shorts.

Our tester is an experienced fellrunner and ultrarunner, and the gear was used in a variety of conditions on the UK hills.

Rab Pacer Jacket. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Pacer Jacket. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Pacer Jacket
Price: £230
Colour: blue
Weight: 242g including stuffsack
Material: polyamide
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex Active
Country of manufacture: China
Women’s version: yes
Sizes: S-XL
Recommended wash: 40C liquid detergent

The Pacer Jacket uses Gore-Tex Active 13 denier fabric, tipping the scales at less than 250g in medium size.

The design is pared down with a single-puller water-resistant zip, backed by a storm flap. The nylon material is Gore-Tex’s lightest three-layer material version and has its light c-knit backer.

The Pacer has a drop hem at the back with drawstring adjustment in its middle section, with hidden spring button locking. The sleeves are articulated at the elbow and have small cowl-covered vents under the armpits. The cuffs have extended hand covers and are partly elasticated.

The jacket has a single zipped medium-sized chest pocket. Rab also provides a stuffsack with drawcord fastening for the jacket. The hood has a semi-stiffened peak and a halo adjustment with rear spring toggle fastening. There is also elastication at the top and sides of the face opening. The hood can be secured in its rolled-down position using a narrow webbing strap with a press-stud section that attaches to the jacket’s rear hanging loop.

The Pacer provided waterproofing and protection from wind and rain in stormy conditions. The fit was normal. There is room for layers underneath and the jacket can be adjusted at the hips.

There were no restrictions in movement on steep or technical terrain.

The Rab jacket had good breathability in mixed conditions, benefiting from the pit vents. The jacket is likely to be used in more severe weather for mountain runners where breathability may be less of an issue.

The Pacer was comfortable and snug, providing protection from the elements. The fabric was comfortable on the chin and on the head when using the hood.

The hood had excellent features: elastication, a stiff peak and adjustable toggle, giving snug protection in storm conditions. The hand covers provided extra protection over gloves.

The Pacer Jacket earned a best buy rating. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Pacer Jacket earned a best buy rating. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The stuffsack packs down small for big days on the mountains.

Quality was very good. The design serves its purpose with well thought-out features providing protection in foul weather on the mountains.

The price, towards the upper end of the market, was justified for its quality and effective features.

The Rab Pacer has excellent hood features – suitable for long days in the mountains. The armpit vents help breathability when moving fast. The jacket packed down small and light for the protection it provides.

Although the pocket is roomy and on the outside, it would benefit from being big enough to store a map, as other jackets in this market do.

Performance 26/30
Breathability 24/30
Comfort 8/10
Features 8/10
Quality 8/10
Value for money 8/10
Total score: 82/100

Rab Phantom Pull-On. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Phantom Pull-On. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Phantom Pull-on
Price: £150
Colour: yellow-green
Weight: 99g including stuffsack
Material: polyamide
Waterproofing: Pertex Shield
Country of manufacture: China
Women’s version: no
Sizes: XS-XL
Recommended wash: 40C, non-biological liquid detergent or pure soap

The super lightweight waterproof top, designed for mountain runners, uses 7 denier Pertex Shield in a 2.5 layer construction, with patterned inside face. There’s a slight stretchiness to the fabric and fit is slim.

The design is aimed at keeping the weight as low as possible, with a half-length zip and pared-down features. The Phantom also packs down very small. The jacket’s seams are all taped and the zip has a storm flap behind it to keep out the weather.

The hem is partly elasticated and has a slight drop at the rear. Sleeve cuffs are part elasticated too and there are small hand extensions at the cuffs.

The hood doesn’t have any volume adjustment, but is partly elasticated at the face and the peak is wired. It can be secured in its rolled down position using a webbing strip with press-stud fastener that closes round the rear hanging loop.

The Phantom Pull-On comes with a small stuffsack.

The Phantom is minimalist and aimed purely at keeping the rain and wind off a runner while keeping weight and pack size to a minimum.

The Phantom provided protection in both showers and heavy rain. The cuffs also prevented water entry. The elasticated hem, hood and sleeve cuffs are snug and in the right places for running. There was no restriction of movement.

The Phantom Pull-On was also rated a best buy. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Phantom Pull-On was also rated a best buy. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

There was good breathability in mixed conditions, providing protection from wind and rain, without the need to take the jacket off between showers.

The pull-on was very comfortable and fit was good for mountain running.

The elasticated cuffs hood and hems were all effective. The hand extensions provide extra protection and the Phantom packs down small into the stuffsack for easy and lightweight storage.

The hood can be secured down, which helps stop it blowing about when not in use.

The Rab pull-on has effective useful features and the elasticated and wired hood, along with the high zip, provides good protection despite the lightweight design. The Phantom has a price comparable with other high-end running jackets.

The Rab Phantom Pull-On is very lightweight and, with taped seams, it will be popular for mountain-, fell-, trail- and road running and racing alike.

It’s a great lightweight pull-on that provides just enough protection. There was no need to remove it between showers and the Phantom was quite breathable. The front zip helps ventilation and the fact the hood can be secured is a useful feature.

When in use, the hood remained snug despite the lack of volume adjustment, and provided good protection from the elements.

The inclusion of a stuffsack is useful for packing the pull-on down to a small size and protecting it while not in use.

Performance 26/30
Breathability 25/30
Comfort 8/10
Features 8/10
Quality 8/10
Value for money 8/10
Total score: 83/100

Rab Sonic Tank. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Sonic Tank. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Sonic Tank
Price: £35
Colour: blue
Weight: 63g
Material: polyester
Country of manufacture: China
Size: men’s S-XL; women’s 8-16
Recommended wash: 40C, no fabric conditioner
Women’s version: yes

The Sonic Tank is cut in a regular fit to encourage air flow.

The singlet design has large cut-outs and the women’s version has a racer cut with narrow back and exposed shoulder blades. The Sonic uses Motiv single jersey fabric, which is Polygiene-treated to minimise odour.

The stretch material is designed for good moisture transport and has microactive seam stitching to minimise chafing and abrasion. The Rab Sonic is designed for mountain running in warmer conditions.

The Rab branding is reflective and there is a similar reflective chevron on the back. Weight of the medium-sized men’s vest was 63g.

The Sonic vest had a comfortable fit and the fabric was also comfortable. It was lightweight and breathable in hot conditions. It had a fit that allowed movement while remaining snug.

There was no chafing while out on runs, thanks to the comfortable material and microactive seam stitching.

The Sonic Tank performed well too. Photo: Bob Smith

The Sonic Tank performed well too. Photo: Bob Smith

The design was good. The cut-outs encourage air flow – beneficial in hot conditions. The seam stitching remained comfortable when the tank got wet, with no abrasion on the skin.

The lightweight stretch design helped prevent built-up of moisture and there was no odour evident while testing.

It’s a great lightweight tanks for mountain running, with effective design and material features that make it suitable for its purpose.

While some may baulk at paying £35 for a running vest, the Sonic’s features make it ideal for running in hot conditions, which justifies the price in my view.

The reflective chevron is useful for night-running.

The Rab tank was really comfortable and lightweight. There was no restriction of movement and it kept snug to the body during technical running.

A well designed product.

Performance 26/30
Comfort 26/30
Design 8/10
Odour control 7/10
Quality 8/10
Value for money 7/10
Total score: 82/100

Rab Talus Shorts. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Talus Shorts. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rab Talus Shorts
Price: £50
Colour: dark grey
Weight: 96g
Material: 86 per cent polyamide; 14 per cent elastane
Country of manufacture: China
Size: men’s S-XL; women’s 8-16
Recommended wash: 30C
Women’s version: yes

The runners’ shorts are lightweight and have four-way stretch, thanks to the elastane content in the Matrix single-weave fabric. Fit is regular.

They have an elasticated waistband which also has a drawcord and the shorts are unlined. The men’s medium size have a waist to leg bottom length of 42cm (16½ins) and inside leg length of 19cm (7½ins). The women’s version has an inside leg measuring 10cm (4ins).

The leg hems are bonded rather than stitched, to minimise friction and there’s a 6cm slit on the outside of each leg hem to aid mobility when stepping up.

A small zipped, backward-facing pocket at the right hip will take keys and credit card and there’s also a similar, stretch, unzipped pocket on the other hip, designed to take an energy bar or gel.

The front logo and rear chevron are reflective.

Mobility and movement on steep and technical terrain was unrestricted, thanks to the elastane and the side slit. Fit was good and the drawstring waist made for easy use.

The shorts were lightweight and very comfortable, with good drawstring adjustment.

The Talus had well thought-out features which were easy to use. Some runners may prefer a shorter inside-leg option.

The backward-facing pockets are well placed on the side and hips and allow easy access. I found them preferable to a back pocket, which can be tricky to use on the move.

The Rab shorts are more expensive than many would pay for running shorts, but you get what you pay for in terms of comfort, performance and effective features.

The Talus Shorts completed a best buy sweep. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Talus Shorts completed a best buy sweep. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

I found the Rab Talus very suitable for mountain running, particularly allowing full unrestricted movement on steep terrain. The pocket placement allowed easy access on the move and is perhaps one of the features that justifies the high price of the shorts.

Performance 27/30
Comfort 25/30
Design 8/10
Features 8/10
Quality 8/10
Value for money 7/10
Total score: 83/100

The Skyline gear performed well on the hill and was well designed and quality was high, earning a best-buy rating for all four garments. The Pacer offered reassurance in unfavourable weather, while the Phantom was a versatile piece of kit that was appreciated in a variety of conditions. The Sonic Tank and Talus shorts, while not cheap, had design elements and comfort features that justified their price tag.

All in all, a series that impressed.

The clothing was supplied to grough by Rab.

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