The Rab Neutrino Pro has been on our radar since we saw guides wearing it at surprisingly high elevations on Denali — when most climbers were already in their box-baffled down parkas. The Neutrino Pro offers an incredible amount of lofty warmth for the relatively minimal weight and bulk. It's constructed of durable materials, which ensures it is reliable enough for most applications. Rab suggests this jacket for peaks up to 4,000 meters, and it's an excellent choice for both higher-elevation mountain adventures and moderate summertime alpine adventures.Editor's Note: This article was updated on November 7, 2022, for accuracy and to ensure we still stand behind our findings.
Rab Neutrino Pro - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Warm, lightweight, comfortable, length adds warmth
Cons: Expensive, not likely your single-quiver down jacket
Manufacturer: Rab Equipment
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Neutrino Pro first caught our eye on a Denali expedition, making us wonder just how high people can take this lightweight, warm down jacket. It's made with 800-fill hydrophobic European goose down surrounded by 20D recycled Pertex Quantum Pro nylon.
The Neutrino has been on our radar as a surprising and impressively warm yet light and compressible down jacket. Years ago, we saw fellow Denali guides sporting the Neutrino at advanced base camp at 14,000 feet and boasting they barely needed their bigger parka. We thought they just had anti-freeze for blood, but when we finally got our hands on the latest Pro version, we could see how impressively warm it is.
Rab uses high-quality 800-fill hydrophobic European goose down, and a lot of it; this is an exceedingly puffy down jacket, and as we know, more loft means more warmth, especially with high-quality down. It also has larger baffles, which reduces the number of seams where air can leak in, and reduces the pinch points that compress the down, all adding up to more loft and more warmth.
Rab then gets clever with the features. They include a panel inside the abdominal baffles, which helps to reduce the chill from any cold drafts getting through the sewn-through baffle construction. The hood is super puffy and warm, and the back of the jacket is longer, covering a portion of your bum; for our reviewers who identify as women, this is a classically cold body part. The bottom hem has an extra puffy baffle as well, which hermetically (well, almost) seals in the heat when you cinch it tight around your bum.
If this jacket isn't warm enough for you, you're likely in the market for a true expedition parka. The Neutrino Pro is touted to be suitable for most 4,000 meter peaks; if you're planning an expedition above that elevation, you'll want to research warmer options, although chances are you'll wear this one for a good portion of your trip.
The Neutrino Pro doesn't top the charts for its weight, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Its exemplary performance in this metric gets us closer to the whole picture, as does its above-average performance in durability.
According to Rab, the Neutrino Pro is warm enough to take you on most adventures, even seriously remote and exceptionally cold places. The heavier weight of this jacket comes with the direct benefit of extraordinary warmth, with a whole lot of loft keeping you cozy without weighing you down on your journey.
The Neutrino Pro gains some serious points in the compressibility metric. Its 800-fill down is highly compressible for the impressive warmth it provides, and its Pertex Quantum Pro fabric is impressively light and supple, especially for the durability it brings.
This jacket is bigger than many in this review, both when lofted and when stuffed in its included stuff sack. However, if you consider its compressibility in relation to how big and puffy it is when lofted, you'll see why we gave it a score well above average. We want this jacket for all of our serious cold-weather ventures, including most expeditions. The amount of warmth you get from this jacket (for such little space in your pack) is truly remarkable.
The feature set of the Neutrino Pro is well-matched to this jacket's utility. We catch ourselves having contradictory opinions about a few features. In this case, we loved the fleece-lined pockets, which upped the warmth factor for our bodies and our hands.
The internal zippered chest pocket is a favorite utilitarian feature. This jacket unzips from the top and bottom, which is excellent for such a long jacket; this makes it much easier to access your pants pockets or a harness, if you're wearing one. It can also make it more comfortable around your hips. The highly adjustable and super puffy storm-ready hood also has a wired brim, which is a signature feature of many Rab jackets. It gives the hood structure and helps keep sun, wind, and light precipitation out of your eyes.
The Pertex Quantum Pro fabric used in the Neutrino Pro jacket is designed to be lightweight, but its 20D thickness makes it rather durable as well.
The choice to use this fabric for a down jacket recommended for tall peaks up is a good one; it's a smart blend of light weight and durability. It's light enough for expeditions, in which you may carry it around for several weeks, and durable enough to withstand the challenges of that kind of daily use and abuse. It's also an excellent option for summertime alpine objectives, and though we tested it rigorously for just a few months, we expect it to hold up well over time.
As we know, down does not like to get wet. If it does, it loses its loft and its insulating properties. This makes it imperative to keep your down gear and garments dry. It would seem, then, that every down jacket should just be covered with rain jacket material. The problem with this is that it would be more challenging for the down to expel water vapor through the jacket's fabric and could get damper over time. That said, some down jackets do have shell material, and if you live in a very wet climate, this can be a great option.
The Neutrino Pro's Pertex Quantum Pro material has a very thin DWR waterproof coating on an otherwise light and breathable fabric. This will shed a little precipitation, and it will allow moisture to evaporate out easier. Otherwise, if you plan to be in wet conditions, be sure this jacket will fit underneath your hardshell jacket. And given the amount of puff in this jacket, that may require sizing up your shell.
Should You Buy the Rab Neutrino Pro?
The Neutrino Pro is a pricey down jacket, depending on your intended uses, but it brings exceptional value. It may be overkill if you live in a mild dry climate and just need something to wear around town or out on light missions. But if you're the type of person who's always cold or you're planning some rugged expeditions to seriously challenging places, it's well worth the investment.
What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?
The Rab Neutrino Pro is a remarkably warm down jacket that still brings the benefits of being relatively lightweight. To take the next step up in warmth will likely require you to start looking at box-baffled (instead of sewn-through) down parkas for high altitude and polar expeditions. For something nearly as warm that offers more compressibility and a lower weight, check out the 900-fill Feathered Friends Eos. For a midweight jacket that still performs well across the board but is more affordable, the Rab Microlight is an excellent choice. At the end of the day, the Rab Neutrino is well thought out, with features that match its intended use and a wise blend of warmth with a focus on low weight and durability. Year after year, it continues to be a favorite of our review team.
— Maggie Nichols and Lyra Pierotti
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