Creating a waterproof fabric is one thing, but making sure it can stand up to the frankly ridiculous things our athletes and customers get up to is another challenge entirely.
In addition to the exhaustive durability tests carried out by our fabric partners, we comprehensively test all of our designs both in the confines of Rab HQ and by sending them to some of the most extreme environments in the world.
An industry standard, the Martindale machine’s beauty is in its simplicity, subjecting a sample of a fabric to a repeated rubbing motion to simulate long term wear. At Rab we use our own modified, and arguably more extreme versions, of the standard tests for durability, abrasion resistance and snagging.
Testing fabrics here at Rab helps to ensure that we’re selecting the right materials. The true test however, is to take the garments to the places for which they are designed. Central to the relationship we have with all of our athletes is the regular testing of our products. Our prototype garments are taken to the most extreme places on the planet by people whose job it is to push outdoor equipment to it’s limits.
Our athletes understanding of what constitutes an industry-leading product and the insight they provide is vital to the design and testing process.
How much durability do you need?
When buying a jacket it’s important to consider the trade-off between durability and weight, as more durable fabrics tend to be heavier and warmer. If you’re travelling fast and light or only using your waterproof for occasional bursts of rain in warm weather, it can be worth investing in a lighter garment. However, if you’re in the habit of really abusing your gear then it’s definitely worth investing in a jacket that can take repeated punishment.