What’s been your favourite product over the years?
My favourite product in the Rab range is Vapour-Rise. I’ve always had a personal affinity with that kind of technology. I run really hot, so even when I put a really breathable hardshell on, I overcook. So I always look for something that has great protection from the elements but is very breathable, so the Vapour-Rise range and the new Alpha products are what I go for. I think it was 2010 and I was given a prototype of the Vapour-Rise Alpine jacket, and for me it was a life-changing product, light and great for climbing because it was wind-resistant enough, very breathable and very quick drying.
And from the current range?
I guess the whole Rock collection has become more important in my life. I used to buy into the technical gear a lot more, but since having kids and the reduction in time that brings I don’t really go on big days out anymore. So I get my climbing done in shorter more local trips now, lots of bouldering because that’s easier to do in a couple of hours. Pieces like the Rampage Jacket and the Cranks Shorts I wear a lot nowadays.
How do you see the future of the outdoor industry progressing, and Rab specifically?
That’s a hard question! The marketplace is always changing, but what I have seen more recently is that independent retailers are really starting to capitalise on their ability to adapt quickly to an ever changing market. It’s a real pleasure to still be working with accounts that I did 10 years ago, experiencing them pushing to be different, but still holding on to their specialist retail focus. Unfortunately, this is starting to disappear from a lot of retail out there now due to the market becoming more competitive and forcing their hand in becoming more generic. But this group of retailers are very important to Rab and myself, we need to protect them, because these are the guys who are talking about and supplying kit to the folk who get out there on the hills and get stuck in; it’s vital we protect that link-up with our retail partners and secure their positioning for years to come!