Current Retail: $679.95
Historic Range: $404.76-$680.00
Looking for a durable, seriously warm, water resistant…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £372 (US$475)
Looking for a durable, seriously warm, water resistant down jacket and weight isn't a deal-breaker? Rab’s Batura II may just fit the bill.
- Over 450 grams fill-weight (Large) of 800 fill-power US (c743 fill-power EU) of RDS certified NikWax treated hydrophobic European Goose down means the Batura is extremely warm!
- Fully seam-sealed, durable (if weighty), water-resistant (waterproof?) and windproof Pertex Shield rip-stop outer face fabric effectively means you won’t feel the cold, sleet or snow penetrate.
- Bonded narrow box-wall construction throughout maximises down loft.
- Great fitting, easily adjusted, helmet-compatible hood with moldable wire peak.
- 6 large pockets: 2 zipped hand, 2 zipped chest, and 2 huge internal mesh dump pockets.
- Oversized zip-pull loops work great even when wearing winter gloves.
- Current (2017) redesign is around 200 grams lighter than earlier versions.
- Rab’s ‘relaxed fit’ allows more than enough room for winter layers.
- High fastening two-way YKK VisLon main zip over an internal insulated baffle and guarded by double storm flaps.
- Hip length hem with scooped back provides ample coverage below waist without impeding mobility. Unlike some other thigh-length expedition parkas I could mention.
- Waterproof/water-resistant stuff-sack included.
- Probably a bit on the bulky and heavy side (nearly 1200 grams in size Large) for a number of high-intensity pursuits at higher altitudes.
- Far too warm to be worn in temperatures at or above freezing point ie. Would perform at its optimum in temperatures well below -5°C(preferably lower than -10°C).
- Earlier versions have suffered from reported persistent down migration issues around the upper arms and shoulders.
Bought the Batura II in XL size(containing nearly 480g fill-weight of down) in the Black colour with Horizon (Red) details for planned autumn/winter sub-polar and mountain expeditions.
The Batura II uses over 450grams fill-weight(in size Large) of 800 fill-power(by US standards. Equating to approx. 743 fill-power per EU rating) of RDS certified, Fluorocarbon-free, NikWax treated hydrophobic European Goose down - Claimed to be up to ten times more resistant to the adverse effects of moisture build-up than untreated down. Which in turn is made up of a minimum down-to-feather ratio of: 90% down(cluster/plume) to 10% feather.
Face fabric and Lining
Rab has had a longstanding and successful partnership with the makers of Pertex. It should be little surprise then that they selected the relatively durable(if heavier), (waterproof?)water-resistant and windproof Pertex Shield rip-stop fabric for the outer shell of the Batura II. Which has had no issues shrugging off the odd spell of late Autumnal light drizzle, sleet and cold winds, while still allowing much of the moisture generated inside the jacket to be effectively wicked away in the short time I’ve had it.
However. I must add that i haven't had the opportunity to test the Batura II's waterproofing claims thoroughly yet.
After a couple of relatively minor stumbles this Pertex Shield shell hasn’t shown up any weakenesses in its integrity so far. Which does instill more confidence in the Batura II’s ability to withstand the inevitable bumps, scrapes and snags that it will be subjected to over its life. Certainly more so than the other lighter-shelled, mid-weight down jackets that i’ve used in the past. Which, for peace of mind, i prefer to wear under a hardshell where practical.
Comfort and Fit
Rab’s ‘Relaxed’ expedition fit affords plenty of room to accommodate Winter layers. I’ve managed to squeeze in to the Batura II when wearing a trim-fitting Icebreaker heavyweight(320/360gsm) merino turtle-neck or similar PolarTec Pro base-layer, an Arc’teryx Fortrez PolarTec midweight wicking hard-face hooded fleece and Soft-shells like: Arc’teryx’s Gamma MX hoody, Rab‘s Alpha Direct or their Winter specific Vapour Rise Guide with little discomfort. And, despite feeling a little snug accommodating these layers as well as my 'Beefy' Rugby-player proportions, with barely any noticeable impediment to the general mobility of my arms, head, neck, shoulders and torso.
The Batura’s hip length hem with scooped back offers sufficient coverage of my seat(i do so hate jackets that are too short in length), without impeding natural movement. Particularly helpful if one is bending over, crouching down or when seated eg. When setting-up camp or on toilet breaks etc. Unlike the awkward longer thigh-length hems of some other expedition Parkas currently available.
Adjustment of hem and hood is simply done using the oversized drawcord adjusters, which are held in place and kept neatly out of the way by a robust two-piece plastic grip-lock mechanism.
An oversized, semi-concealed draw-cord adjuster on the back of the hood cinches down the volume of the back and top of the hood. Whereas the front of the hood can be easily pulled down tightly around the head(even without a helmet), using the two internal press-button draw-cord grips on either side of ones cheeks. And there's a heavy duty moldable wire peak helping to provide some additional protection against the worst of the weather too.
If the hood has been cinched down properly this will effectively prevent ingress from the elements, crucially, without reducing the mobility of ones head, neck or shoulders nor any loss of visibilty.
The oversized cuffs should be large enough to allow you to pull the jacket's sleeves over the arms and then tightened over the wrists, without the inconvenience of having to take your Winter gloves or mitts off. Adjustment of the cuffs is made using large hook-and-loop type velcro straps.
Once the jacket's cuffs, hem, hood etc. have all been adjusted to your satisfaction this will help to keep out the potentially harmful effects of icy drafts or moisture and, critically, keep most of your body heat trapped within.
As ever. Often more practical to make any essential larger adjustments(particularly to the hood) before one encounters the harshest conditions.
N.B. Yet to be tried out in the Arctic conditions and low sub-zero temperatures(-20°C to -40°C) it was intended for.
To be updated.