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Thread: Talkback: Rab AL Pull-on Fit Issues - Rab Responds

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    "we would be happy to invite Jon to be a model for our next round of fit testing"

    One has to ask - are you fit enough to be a RAB model, Jon? ;-)

  2. #2
    Goon anthony antonio's Avatar
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    I bought the hoody version the other day and today returned it as the fit was very constrictive I have a number of fleece hoody's and was hoping this would be on par with my R1 ... Unfortunately not, and I would now dismiss any other of their forthcoming versions.... A bit rushed getting this to production I feel....
    Shame, as Rab have just about on the whole started to make reasonable kit again of late.
    Bought three of their Alpine Pull ons last year as they are so versatile and well designed .. Returned the latest version with the full zip as the hood was way not as good ..
    Strange that they seem as a company obliged to change designs yearly even at the sacrifice of form/function?

  3. #3
    Widdler
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    "Developing" or "inventing" something new every year is what its all about. After all, who wants to buy "outdated" gear? Marketing rules everywhere!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Jon Doran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metric Kate View Post
    "we would be happy to invite Jon to be a model for our next round of fit testing"

    One has to ask - are you fit enough to be a RAB model, Jon?
    I have forum super powers, I can do anything...
    Quote Originally Posted by anthony antonio View Post
    I bought the hoody version the other day and today returned it as the fit was very constrictive I have a number of fleece hoody's and was hoping this would be on par with my R1 ... Unfortunately not, and I would now dismiss any other of their forthcoming versions.... A bit rushed getting this to production I feel....
    Shame, as Rab have just about on the whole started to make reasonable kit again of late.
    Bought three of their Alpine Pull ons last year as they are so versatile and well designed .. Returned the latest version with the full zip as the hood was way not as good ..
    Strange that they seem as a company obliged to change designs yearly even at the sacrifice of form/function?

    I'd actually say that Rab is one of the brands that tends to keep models running on from year to year, there are certainly others that are a lot worse in that respect.

    I don't think it's anything to do with rushing something into production in this case, just that the fabric supplied for prototyping was stretchier than the final production material and most of the work on fit had already been done.

  5. #5
    Ultra King edh's Avatar
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    Which in production terms is a screw up whichever way you look at it?

    I am no way anti-Rab; lots of their not-as-good-as-it-was-before-they-outsourced-their-quality-control kit have I. And a few items post that have been returned or commented on.

    But...come on; the thing is cut badly - lessen you are a weirdly-shaped ungulate....over to you Mr Model

  6. #6
    Goon anthony antonio's Avatar
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    A lot of companies appear to be 'desperate'to develop the new best 'thing' . I too like a lot that Rab have done ... I have the first incarnation of the Rab Neutrino Down Jacket- 'mega' Suffered countless himalayan tortures but the newer versions seem far less tolerant to wear?(but they are lighter and look great down the pub )
    Their vapourise was a great softshell until they changed it to a heavy weight 'kangaroo pocketed'oddness ---The hood was better but everything else was worse;;? (thank god for the alpine pull-on)
    Their event shells were perhaps great in theory but the Alpine and Demand have issues with either hood or fit/longevity..etc
    This isn't specific to Rab but many other companies...
    I have a load of kit that could never change
    Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody
    Hilleberg Akto
    Golite Hex
    Patagonia R1 Hoody
    Mammut BaseJump etc etc etc ....... all this has been tested over 'years'

    The finite term of 'fit for purpose' is quite often maligned for the sake of design trends and other transient marketing ideologies.
    Half the time new products remind me of a software beta where the end user is expected to define the end product via their negative feedback with the penance of actually paying for the privilege?
    ... Sorry for rant as I have just got back from the pub but I am genuinely perturbed at the amount of kit out there that has not been 'hammered on the hill' prior to release..

  7. #7
    Initiate Sandpiper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercorsa View Post
    "Developing" or "inventing" something new every year is what its all about. After all, who wants to buy "outdated" gear? Marketing rules everywhere!
    Well said. After all, every company already provides every item of clothing you might want to buy in its ideal form, tailored to fit you and for the best price. Fabric technology presumably has been going nowhere since the 70s, and is only used as an excuse to force you to buy new stuff against your will?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Jon Doran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by restless View Post

    Which in production terms is a screw up whichever way you look at it?

    I am no way anti-Rab; lots of their not-as-good-as-it-was-before-they-outsourced-their-quality-control kit have I. And a few items post that have been returned or commented on.

    But...come on; the thing is cut badly - lessen you are a weirdly-shaped ungulate....over to you Mr Model

    I'm slightly broader in the shoulder than I ought to be, but otherwise I'm pretty normal, climber-ish sort of built. Not fat. Not scrawny.

    As far as it being a 'screw-up', yes, they've got it wrong, which is what they've said, so credit to them for being straight about it, but I'm not sure it's because the garment's been 'rushed'.

    One of the more difficult aspects of manufacturing overseas is that it's harder to keep an eye on what's happening - prototyping takes longer because you have to wait for pre-production garments to be sent from the factory, make changes to the spec, then wait again for the garment to come back.

    What seems to have happened here is that the design and prototyping work was done using the fabric which was supplied to Rab as representative of the final material, but in reality, the actual fabric supplied for production was significantly less stretchy. Chances are that fabric was delivered straight to the factory, so while Rab's agent in the Far East - most big brands have a local representative to keep an eye on production, factory conditions etc - might possibly have noticed, the guys at Rab probably won't have known anything about it until the production garments arrived, by which time it would have been a bit late.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that if you want one of these tops, Rab's advice is to go up a size, my advice would be to try before buying.

    I'm sure the guys at Rab are mortified by this, but give them credit for fronting up and being open about what's happened.

    I still think the Rab pull-on cut could benefit from being revised, but again, to be fair, Rab has actually offered to involve me in the fit process. Without the fabric issue, I don't think the fit thing would be anything like as significant, if that makes sense.

    Anyway, that's my take on Pull-ongate, stuff like this happens to pretty much all outdoor companies from time to time.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Jon Doran's Avatar
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    anthony antonio wrote (see)Sorry for rant as I have just got back from the pub but I am genuinely perturbed at the amount of kit out there that has not been 'hammered on the hill' prior to release.. [/QUOTE]


    A fair bit of it has. Guys like Rab use sponsored athletes, climbers and guides plus their own employees to thrash proto stuff. Berghaus uses a legendary wear tester called Ken Ledward and his team at KLETS to put hundreds of hours on pre-production kit in the Lakes. Journos often get pre-production kit and asked for feedback.

    No-one infallible though and not everything's perfect. Sometimes kit works brilliantly in one sort of environment - the Alps maybe - but not so well in another, maybe a wet, humid, mild day on Snowdon.

    Then there's the design generally. Some designers understand technical outdoor use better than others because they do stuff themselves, others are less active and rely on feedback from prototype users etc.

    And then there is commercial pressure to produce new, interesting designs because outdoor brands are in business to make money as well as functional outdoor clothing and we live in a world which has conditioned people to buying into 'innovation'.

    My generalised experience is that the second generation of a particular product is often better than the first because of lessons learned from long-term use, though sometimes it's actually worse. Also, there's a lot of stuff that's down to personal preferences - what suits me may not suit you - I don't like multiple pockets on shell jackets because frankly, I rarely use them -I'd rather stow stuff in stash pockets on a pack - but equally some people use them extensively. It's not right or wrong, it's just personal preference.

  10. #10
    Ultra King
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    I'm sure Jon is right about the Rab guys being mortified by this, or at least a bit embarassed. There are some brands that you get the feeling they want to make stuff that works better than what went before and others that are just coming out with new colours and minor tweaks or fabric changes to seem new and fresh. I reckon Rab is one of those genuinely good companies that do develop and take care to get it right. IMHO their gear is good for what it is needed for if the fit is right. In this case it seems the fit wasn't quite right and the difference between prototype and production fabric has exasperated it.

    I also think people need to get real about kit. Try it on, if it fits get it if not look for something else. Don't buy the brand or the latest thing out but the thing that suits you, that works for you!! SO you bought it and the shoulders are tight. DId you try it on before buying? If yes then why did you get it if it didn't fit? If no then why not? It's your own fault either way. Rab, I'm sure, will resolve this issue but perhaps with the Mark II version. In the meantime if you have one that doesn't fit you then that is your mistake as much as Rab's

    BTW I have plenty of kit that was bought that didn't fit so I;ve made that mistake too.

  11. #11
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Well it certainly explains things With all the outsourcing/massive product ranges they're all producing its rather surprising that this sort of thing doesn't happen more often!

    And yes, trying things on is a very good idea....

  12. #12
    Goon anthony antonio's Avatar
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    Trying things on is definately good but sometimes a bit hard when a specific product is only available perhaps 93 miles away so sometimes you have to be reliant on a manufacturers sizing consistency.. No big deal in the end , just a bit of unnecessary postage> It does rather put you off trying an upsize if the initial 'feel' isn't right..
    And in the end they are trying to emulate a proven package in the form of the 'R1 Hoody' so you gets what you pay for I s'pose..


  13. #13
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    Well the baseline hoodie maybe dreaming of R1's, but actually the AL pull does seem to be aimed square at microfleeces. And why not?

    Its slightly lighter, maybe as warm under a (wind)shell, a bit airier worn by itself, doubles as an entirely usable base layer etc. And they've got into a lot of shops (Cotswold etc) at the standard microfleece price point.

    So you'd perhaps expect them to be slightly more generous fitwise with this than some of their pullover stuff (alpine pull on say) which was never likely to sell huge numbers. Shrug.

    (ok, nothing like the same casual use potential as micro fleece!)

  14. #14
    Goon anthony antonio's Avatar
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    I also forgot to mention the fact that I bought the Baseline hoody as the weight advertised on the rab site of 245 grms implied it was lightweight and might be somewhat similar to my beloved lowe alpine stealth fleece which they do not produce anymore.(Aleution fleece is great)This is one of my most used bits of kit and I am desperate to find a replacement .
    The Rab Baseline Hoody went well beyond 300grms on my scales and that is for a small size?? I find this particularly negligent and misleading ... I would not have considered it in the first place already having a few existing hooded fleeces of that temp/weight..
    Where do these companies weigh these products ? anti-gravity chambers




  15. #15
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    368g in medium as per ultra light outdoors gear. Eeep. That really is a big difference!

    Some of it might be marketing but this is so large that can't help suspecting if its also at least partially down to the fabric mix up?!

  16. #16
    Goon anthony antonio's Avatar
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    Wow... Didn't check ULOG ? Something obviously went awry in Rabs English/Chinese Translations Good midwinter mid/outer layer then perhaps?

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