The Rab Torque Jacket is a lighter softshell jacket made form Matrix DWS (Double Weave Stretch) fabric through the body, shoulders and sleeves. The inside of the elbows and hood use Matrix SWS (Single Weave Stretch) fabric with Ripstop for additional durability.
I’ve used the Rab Torque Jacket on a variety of days out in the UK, though sadly not in the Alps which is what it’s really designed for. I’ve taken it to the Llanberis Slate quarries, on the Sea Cliffs at Pembroke and to Gimmer crag in the Lake district. It performed well in all these places.
The first thing I noticed about it is how thin the fabric is, though this is nothing to worry about as it feels pretty tough and even has additional protection on the elbows. The thin fabric gives it a nice feel and there is enough stretch to give it good range of movement so you don’t feel restricted when climbing. It also makes it feel light and airy when wearing it, which is nice and despite the thin nature of the fabric it does an excellent job of keeping the wind off.
It was ideal on the sea cliffs of Pembroke where it’s wind resistance was ideal for the breezy belays but it didn’t get too hot in the sun at the base of the crag. The same was true of the day at Gimmer where windy belays were bearable but it wasn’t too hot to climb in.
The large napoleon pockets are excellent for storage (a map does fit). The alpine fit is good for this style of jacket, there’s room for a smaller layer underneath if necessary and it’s a close enough fit to easily have a jacket over the top – something which would definitely be necessary for belays in cool conditions.
Overall it’s an ideal jacket for adventurous routes in the UK – I probably wouldn’t pick it to take cragging but it’s ideal for multipitches and sea cliffs and I can see it would be excellent in the alps as an all day softshell.
View the Rab Torque Jacket.