10 Canadian Brands to Offer as Gifts to Support Local Buying
Brands | November 9, 2023
September 11, 2023
RAB hardly needs any introduction anymore. Born over forty years ago, the English brand has always created reliable, high-performance clothing and equipment built to provide protection from the elements, even in the harshest conditions. RAB men’s and women’s jackets, pants, vests and other items of clothing are, in fact, perfect for Canadian winters.
The brand also stands out for its strong environmental commitment, which is reflected throughout the entire manufacturing cycle of its products. In keeping with this philosophy, starting in 2023, RAB will be rolling out its own creation: the “Material Facts” table. Very similar to the Nutrition Facts table found on food products, this simple little table shows everything there is to know about the composition of each garment.
If you are searching for a jacket, a puffer or a mid-season vest, RAB is certainly a great option. Now, let’s see what makes this brand so unique!
In this article, you will discover why RAB is a unique brand:
Founded in England in 1981, RAB started out making a type of product we’re all familiar with: sleeping bags. Since then, the brand has continuously evolved, always staying close to the climbing and mountaineering communities. It now offers a very wide range of clothing and equipment geared toward outdoor enthusiasts.
Today, RAB is renowned for its high-performance, technical and cleverly thought-out products. The brand uses time-tested materials and develops cutting-edge technologies, with inventiveness, precision and innovation as its watchwords.
In addition to the high quality of its products, there’s no doubt that you’ll also appreciate RAB’s commitment to sustainability and multiple initiatives to limit its impact on the planet as much as possible. Sensible sourcing of materials, recycled fabrics, repair services to extend the lifespan of clothing… RAB is a brand for all those who love the vast open spaces and want to play their part in preserving them.
RAB no longer caters only to mountaineers and avid climbers. Today, the brand appeals to all those who like to venture out to play just as much as those searching for high-performance clothing for their daily activities. Men’s and women’s winter jackets, shells, transitional jackets or puffers… Whatever your needs, the English brand will definitely have something you can wear.
RAB products are designed to accompany you on all your adventures. Numerous “worlds” are covered, from cycling to mountaineering to the “wildness” of everyday life. There’s waterproof, windproof, ripstop… All you have to do is compare the available models to find the jacket, pants or shirt that best suits your lifestyle. If your adventures lead you to spend a few nights in the outdoors, you will also have an ally in RAB; the brand creates camping mats and sleeping bags, which to this day remain at the heart of its DNA.
To meet the needs of all outdoor enthusiasts, no matter their goals and the activities they enjoy, RAB offers both everyday items and advanced equipment for expeditions in extreme conditions.
You will notably find RAB clothing and equipment for…
RAB is committed to making its products as long-lasting as possible. This is reflected at various levels, starting with the (very) carefully selected list of suppliers that the brand works with. The meticulous choice of materials, along with their high quality, enables RAB to offer reliable, long-lasting products that you would sooner repair than replace.
All products bearing the RAB label are thoroughly tested before they are put into the hands of active people and adventure seekers around the world. Whether it’s by the RAB Lab, testing teams or athletes the brand collaborates with, each piece of clothing and equipment is put to the most rigorous test before it goes to market. When you buy a RAB jacket, men’s or women’s outdoor pants or sleeping bag, you can expect it to last for a (long) while.
RAB is famous for the high performance of its jackets for women and men, whether it’s down jackets, insulated jackets, or Gore-Tex® jackets… The same goes for its equipment (like sleeping bags, for instance) and ultra-technical clothing, such as expedition suits and jackets.
The English brand puts a strong emphasis on research, innovation and testing processes to ensure the highest possible quality, carrying out tests on every single material it uses, among other things. RAB also develops its own technologies and adapts them to the specific requirements of each product. Its waterproof garments, for example, are available in 2-, 2.5- or 3-layer versions.
As for insulation, RAB uses two types of materials: natural down (duck or goose) and artificial down made with synthetic fibres. In both cases, quality is the name of the game. The brand’s duck down puffers and insulated jackets, for instance, feature a high down/feather ratio of 80:20. This ratio even climbs up to 90:10 in the case of goose down! Together, these qualities give RAB clothing a warmth-to-weight ratio that ranks among the highest on the market.
The Neutrino Pro puffer jacket for men or women, for example, will go with you to peaks of over 400 metres. We particularly like its high fill power down, 100% recycled Pertex® Quantum Pro outer fabric, and standard fit that allows for total ease of movement.
Climbing and mountaineering are part of RAB’s DNA. The British brand’s jackets, pants and other items of clothing thus have a technical yet elegant and classic style. No matter what you’re looking for – from a technical winter jacket to a multipurpose transitional vest – you will surely find something you like among its vast and diverse range. The icing on the cake? A majority of items are highly versatile and suited for many different uses.
RAB manages to design products that are both functional and timeless. Not only will you be able to keep your RAB items for a long time, thanks to their quality materials and construction, but you can be sure that they won’t go out of style after two years. This is achieved in part through a range of simple, sophisticated colours.
All of this adds up to make RAB a popular brand among those looking to gear up for various needs and pursuits:
RAB goes to great lengths to reduce the environmental impact of its operations. The brand is taking concrete action to improve the way it manufactures, ships and reuses its clothing and equipment. It has set strong, realistic sustainability goals, including a drastic reduction in the use of fluorocarbons, an increased proportion of recycled fabrics, compliance with ethical labour standards for the workers who make the products, etc.
The statistics put forth by RAB speak for themselves. Here are a few examples:
The Material Facts table is RAB’s own creation. But what is it, really?
In short, it is a simple and comprehensive table that indicates the exact composition of each RAB garment. Inspired by the Nutrition Facts table we have grown accustomed to for our food, this table shows, among other things:
This nice initiative is in line with the brand’s desire to be as transparent as possible about the composition of its products. In just one glance, you can find everything you need to know about an item, enabling you to make an informed choice.
Starting in 2023 – 2024, these charts will be used on all the brand’s products, from clothing to sleeping bags. Let’s hope this initiative inspires other brands to do the same!
RAB and Arc’teryx are often compared to one another. It’s true that both brands have mountains and adventure in their DNA. From their respective design studios come high-performance products built for those who move and explore in all kinds of conditions. Both also have a sustainable approach and a genuine commitment to reduce their environmental impact.
If you look at their range of jackets, for example, you will find cutting-edge, technical and innovative products ready to withstand the elements. While Arc’teryx garments have a sleek, technical overall look, RAB provides a bit more variety in terms of both style and colours. It’s up to you to decide which you prefer.
Although their products are generally comparable (and often compared), they are not equivalent in every way. Each brand makes different choices in terms of materials, specifications, design and price. Each also has its own technologies, such as Gore-Tex Pro and N155p-X GORE-TEX® for Arc’teryx, or Pertex Shield and Hydroshell Elite for RAB. Although their manufacturing processes differ, both brands offer warm, waterproof, breathable and hard-wearing jackets.
Depending on the type of jacket (transition jacket, shell, insulated winter jacket…), the models offered by each brand have significant differences: type of down or insulation, fill power, waterproofness, number of layers (2, 2.5 or 3), etc. However, you can easily compare them according to what you’re looking for.
Choosing either RAB or Arc’teryx means opting for the top of the range. Both brands are at the forefront of technical clothing. It’s hard to pick an absolute “winner” between the two, as it all depends on your specific needs and budget (Arc’teryx products are slightly more expensive, on average). But rest assured: whether you opt for one or the other, what you’ll have in your hands is an item designed (and tested) for the great outdoors that will accompany you wherever you go, and for a long time to come.