Last year we gave some of our kit to James Urquhart, a filmmaker who was planning an unsupported solo trip entirely on foot across Scotland's Munros to make a documentary called "Beyond the Mountains."
Now that he has successfully completed his journey he has taken some time out of editing his film to write some reviews of the Rab clothing and kit he took. Here is the first instalment.
In June 2011 I set off on a long journey on foot to climb and walk between all of the 283 Munros (mountains in Scotland above 3000ft) unsupported and carrying all I needed. The journey ended up being done in two parts: the first part between June and October 2011; the second part between April and July 2012.
I wasn't climbing Everest or trekking to the North Pole, but I knew that spending several months outdoors and living out of a tent would still require the best kit I could get my hands on.
I needed clothing and kit that was reliable to keep me warm and dry in Scotland's notoriously changeable weather but also robust enough to last the long journey ahead and lightweight to keep my pack weight down which was already burdened by camera gear.
When Rab generously offered to support my film project and journey, I put my trust in their gear. They didn't let me down.
The first essential bit of kit I needed was a suitable sleeping bag. I was used to synthetic filled bags but I knew I would have to opt for a down filled bag if I wanted to keep my pack weight down.
But I had reservations. Taking a down sleeping bag into a place where the risk of it getting soaked was high made me worry. What if my tent failed? What if I'm on the top of a mountain and I can't dry my soaked sleeping bag? There were a lot of "what ifs".
However, Rab's Alpine 400 (now Neutrino Endurance) sleeping bag went some way to put my mind at ease. This bag has a water resistant outer fabric that protects the bag from spills and condensation. It is also weighs in at 970g (with stuffsack) and has comfort rating of 0 C. So I took a punt and went with it. I also took Rab's silk liner to help keep the sleeping bag clean and to add some warmth.
Just two nights into the journey, the Alpine 400's water resistant credentials were put to the test during a night of rain that was one of the worst during my journey. I wasn't even in the mountains yet.
I had spent the second day walking in perpetual summer rain along the Union Canal towpath, which connects Edinburgh and Falkirk, wondering what I was getting myself into. By late evening, tired and hungry and wet, I stumbled across a grassy field somewhere west of Edinburgh. Hurriedly, I pitched my tent.
No sooner had I zipped up the tent door than the rain picked up. The heavy kind of rain that sounds like it's going to tear through the tent fabric. The tent wasn't able to keep such a downpour out. It didn't help that I hadn't yet perfected pitching my new tent. Droplets of water appeared and dangled above me until they began to drip while tiny streams steadily developed on the tent's floor.
I wasn't happy. All I could do was get into the sleeping bag and hope that I wouldn't be waking up in the middle of the night shivering inside a drenched bag. Paranoia about the situation troubled my mind until I eventually drifted off to sleep.
When I awoke, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it morning but I was comfortably warm and dry. The outside of the bag was slightly damp but the water resistant coating had worked.
I ate some biscuits, packed up and set off on the rest of my journey. I was happy in the knowledge that the Alpine 400 would be up to the task. It turned out to be. It kept me warm for over 200 nights.
Towards the latter part of September 2011, I was in the heart of the Cairngorms. The nights were closing in and it was getting much colder. I was pushing the Alpine 400 beyond its limits so Rab sent out the warmer Alpine 600. Again, it was ideal and although slightly heavier it was worth the extra weight to ensure a comfortable night's sleep.
'Beyond the Mountains' is currently in post production and is due for release in summer 2013.
You can find out more about the film here: http://beyondthemountainsfilm.com