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Womens Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

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Order now and get it Tuesday 30th by choosing Next Day Delivery
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Last Updated: 13/04/2011
Glossary - Fill power close

Fill power is a measurement used to quantify the ability of down to resist compression, known as its loft. The higher the fill power, the more space the down occupies and the more effective it is as an insulator. Higher fill power down is hard to source and therefore expensive, it does however offer significant weight savings for gram-counting alpinists.

In the outdoor industry fill powers tend to start at around 650 and currently go up to 850 (900 does exist but is rare and mostly needs to be 'handplucked' from live birds). The down's origin is also sometimes given, most 'European' down comes from Hungary and the Ukraine and tends to be better quality that Chinese sourced down. The species may also be given but is not strictly speaking informative. The best goose down will outperform the best duck down, but good duck down will outperform poor goose down.

In addition to the fill power figure, there is sometimes a percentage quoted, eg '85% down' or '85/15 down'. This refers to the ratio of pure down to small feathers used. Higher feather percentages tend to be found on less technical products where down is padded out with feathers which cost less and offer more rigidity to compensate for the lower loft, however almost all products contain some feathers to increase the durability of the down.

International Down and Feather BureauIn the past a number of different competing systems were used to measure fill power. Today almost all outdoor manufacturers use the International Down and Feather Bureau's testing method (sometimes known as the US method). This involves pre-conditioning the down being tested with steam, which gives the best consistency for test results. It is then placed in a cylinder and stirred to maximise its loft, before its volume is measured in cubic inches after being compressed by an ounce weight to give the fill power.

Glossary - Lycra close

Lycra is the brand under which Invista markets spandex in the US, the UK and many other countries (it is also known as elastane and various other names). Spandex fibre was first developed in 1958 as a replacement for natural rubber in corsetry, where its elastic qualities were desirable. Its name is an anagram for 'expands' and it certainly does that, stretching to 7 times its initial length.

Spandex fibres are never used on their own but blended with other fibres to give fabrics stretchy properties. As little as 2% can make a huge difference to the feel of a fabric, adding comfort, fit, shape retention, durability and freedom of movement.

Glossary - YKK close

YKK is a Japanese group of manufacturing companies and is the world's largest zipper manufacturer with a reputation for reliable and durable build quality in their zips. It was founded in 1934 by Mr Yoshida and known as Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha.

Today YKK produces zippers for everything from handbags to wetsuits as well as many other fasteners. They are at the forefront of innovation in fastener design and will generally last longer than similar non-branded designs.

The Rab Women's Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

The Women's Microlight Alpine is a lightweight down jacket for all round outdoor use. It is a fantastic piece for normal UK winters - warm enough for most days whilst slim-line enough to pop your waterproof jacket over the top for an unexpected shower. The goose down fill offers incredible warmth to weight and means that the whole jacket easily compresses into its own stuff sack. This means no excuses for not taking this guaranteed warm layer everywhere with you!

Ideal as a light belay jacket for Alpine climbing, for mountain marathon use or just for the daily winter commute - the Microlight Alpine is a versatile layer with a great women's specific fit.

Now improved with new Nikwax Hydrophobic down for vastly improved performance in damp conditions!

  • Weight: 375g 
  • Mini stitch-through baffle construction
  • Down filled hood with flexible polymer peak
  • YKK front zip, internal insulated zip baffle, chin guard
  • 2 YKK zipped hand warmer pockets
  • 1 YKK zipped chest pocket
  • Stuff sack
  • Lycra bound hem/cuffs
  • Shell: 50g/m² 30D Pertex Microlight (100% nylon)
  • Lining: 38g/m² 20D ripstop (100% nylon)
  • Insulation: 135g (in a size 12) 750 fill power Nikwax Hydrophobic European goose down (R.D.S. Accredited)
  • Slim fit

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