One of my favourite suppliers of excellent cold weather jackets is a British company called “Rab”.
Named after the founder the respected mountaineer, Rab Carrington, a Scot who founded the company in Sheffield in 1981 after spending a number of years as a climber.
Rab’s website tells us that Rab built his company on two things: A deep understanding of what climbers and mountaineers need and a commitment to practical gear that works.
Rab tells the story of how he considered the construction of sleeping bags during an expedition to Patagonia in 1973/4 and how it spawned the idea for his business venture. He recalls that the members of that early team would acquire pieces of material from all manner of different suppliers and sew the company’s first sleeping bags on sewing machines installed in the attic of his terraced house in Sheffield filling them with down supplied by a old friend.
From sleeping bags to the development of a range of warm clothing for cold climates the Rab brands position in an increasingly crowded market place has continually strengthened.
Rab Carrington sold his company in 2003 and much of its production switched to the Far East with sleeping bags still being filled at Rab’s UK factory. The brand is now owned by Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd who are headquartered in Somercotes, Derbyshire.
More recently there has been a huge growth in UK and international demand for the products featuring the Rab brand. Iconic pieces like the Microlight Alpine Jacket have been introduced featuring new and groundbreaking fabrics.
Alongside a couple of other favourites in this market, particularly North Face and Moncler (reviews to follow) I see Rab becoming a future classic one that its customers will be proud to own.
Image from Rab