'Crossing Boundaries' – Multi-Purpose Outdoor Apparel

Tim Wiggins Rab Equipment
As cycling culture evolves, and adventure riding becomes a more mainstream activity, it is interesting to watch the development of new 'bikepacking apparel' and adventure specific riding kit.

The truth though, is that adventure riding and bikepacking are just cycling combined with other well-known outdoor pursuits, such as camping, hiking and mountaineering. As such, it may well be that kit from those pursuits can be re-purposed and utilised on your bikepacking adventures — reducing the amount of kit you need to buy, and the effect of doing so on the planet.

In this blog post, I have selected two of my favourite pieces of outdoor apparel, both of which are fantastic for bikepacking adventures: the Rab Electron Pro Lightweight Down Gilet and the Rab Power Stretch Pro Pull-On Mid-Layer.

Review – Rab Electron Pro Lightweight Down Gilet

A lightweight down jacket has featured in my bikepacking kit list since my first tours, but switching it out for a down gilet is a more recent development, and one that I think has many advantages.

Down jackets are great in the evenings for off-the-bike relaxing, but if you wear them underneath a waterproof jacket for added insulation when riding, then I have often found the sleeves get wet and damaged. A down vest jacket overcomes this problem, keeping your core warm and comfortable, while sheltering the down from the elements underneath a hooded jacket.

The Rab Electron Pro Lightweight Down Gilet is a lightweight packable down-filled vest that utilises the latest in down technology. The Pertex Quantum outer fabric encourages the down to loft, while being durable, water resistant and super lightweight. The hydrophobic treatment of the down enables it to retain its loft in damp conditions, ideal for camping and European weather conditions.

There are other more super lightweight down gilets in the range from Rab, but in my opinion the Electron is a great balance of weight, durability and warmth; it provides maximum freedom of movement and maximum comfort.

Review — Rab Power Stretch Pro Pull-On Mid-Layer

A mid-layer is a valuable addition to any bikepacking wardrobe, not only can it be used with your gilet in the evenings for added warmth, but a close-fitting cut means it is perfect to wear over the top of your jersey for extra insulation when changeable weather arrives. The Rab Power Stretch Pro Pull-On utilises Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro™ to create so much more than your normal 'fleece'. This lightweight layer is superbly designed.

The Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro™ fabric is quick wicking, super breathable, and has a four-way stretch profile; meaning it provides complete freedom of movement, along with maximum comfort thanks to its super soft interior.

The Rab Power Stretch Pro is quite easily the best mid-layer I have owned to date, it is a pleasure to wear and incredibly versatile — you will likely find it becomes your new favourite layer.

These two pieces of outdoor apparel from Rab can be found in my kit bag for almost every adventure, both on and off the bike. From a weekend hiking trip to a business trip, and of course a bikepacking adventure; the Rab Electron Gilet and Power Stretch Pro Pull-On are the epitome of versatile wear, and have kept me comfortable on countless outdoor adventures. 

Repurpose and reuse your kit, rather than buying more 'specialist' apparel — it will save your wallet and reduce the impact on the planet.

Rab Equipment Down Gilet Tim Wiggins

Rab Polartec Fleece

Rab Equipment Down Gilet Tim Wiggins

Rab Equipment Down Gilet Tim Wiggins

Rab Equipment Down Gilet Tim Wiggins

Rab Equipment Polartec Fleece Tim Wiggins

Rab Equipment Down Gilet Tim Wiggins

Disclaimer: Rab supplied a Rab Electron Gilet and Power Stretch Pro Pull-On for the purpose of testing and review for this feature. 


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