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Rab Drillium Jacket REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Rab Drillium Jacket REVIEW on 05/08/2007 19:47:49 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Rab Drillium Jacket REVIEW

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Drillium on 05/08/2007 20:50:52 MDT Print View

Good-- a relatively LW eVENT option for alpinists and backcountry skiers---particularly of the long-boned variety, like me. it seems a massive leap in the right direction compared to the original ID Jacket (w/ it's fit best suited for anorexic short people).

One of these days maybe there will be an answer for my perrenial question about eVENT----- how easily does the membrane get contaminated (compared to say the latest generation Goretex Paclite) and just how durable is it?

It's interesting that the reviewer thinks that this eVENT jacket is good in the wind------ some users of other eVENT jackets have complained how the jackets were perhaps too wind permeable.

Nice review, Will.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Drillium on 05/08/2007 21:15:50 MDT Print View

I have an few year old Pearl Izumi event jacket that fits and works great. It comes in at 16.5 ounces though.

I am still waiting for a no frills jacket similar to the ID using the lightest 2.0 ounce fabric that is out.
A nice fitting 7 oz jacket would sure catch a lot of peoples wallets.

The Drillium is simalar to My Pearl and 5 ounces lighter.
Not bad...

Drillium on 05/09/2007 07:28:20 MDT Print View

It would be interesting to hear how the body length, arm length and general fit compare to the Montane Quickfire.

Thank you

René Jeninga

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Re RAB Drillium jacket on 05/09/2007 09:15:25 MDT Print View

I found I could leave the Drillium eVENT jacket on much longer than other jackets due to its broader comfort range. However, it’s not a silver bullet - when I hike uphill carrying a pack, especially in the sun, I eventually start to sweat too much, and the jacket has to come off.

Nice review! I understand that it can replace a windshirt, that is in cold weather i think? I think testing it uphill carrying a pack in the sun tested the jacket to it's limits,but how many hikers are going to do that,hiking with a rainshell in sunny weather? I own a Haglofs LIM ulitimate paclite jacket,but it doesn't breathe very well in my opinion.So i'm thinking off getting an eVent jacket.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
eVENT vs. paclite ---Ventilation control a factor on 05/09/2007 10:36:24 MDT Print View

An interesting comparison I once made between an ID eVENT jacket and a Golite Paclite III (Phantom) jacket was that the latters pit zips and mesh backed chest pockets actually made the Paclite jacket stay comfortable more than a bit longer on the old uphill slog w/ a load test than the former jacket ( w/it's somewhat more breathable membrane and lack of any ventilation control other than it's front zip).

I will love to put the Drillium through it's paces. I never thought that the 2 jackets above would really replace a windshirt and I'd be curious if the Rab jacket could.

That Phantom jacket weighs in at under 13 oz. in size L., comparable to the Drillium.

Edited by kdesign on 05/09/2007 11:13:41 MDT.

René Jeninga

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Re eVent vs.Paclite on 05/09/2007 12:08:05 MDT Print View

My paclite jacket also lacks pit-zips or other forms of venting.I thougt eVent didn't need pit-zips or other forms of venting because it breaths so well?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
eVENT vs.Paclite on 05/09/2007 13:09:34 MDT Print View

That is a good question. Results will vary. Perhaps non-industry sources need to do more active comparisons. There's so much hype to wade through.

I trust my experience, though----semi-pro skeptic that I am. I personally think that eVENT jackets for all-around use could benefit from more venting options.

Edited by kdesign on 05/09/2007 13:13:01 MDT.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Here's another take... on 05/09/2007 13:49:38 MDT Print View

... on the Drillium from the British "OutdoorsMagic" site---

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
eVENT and ventilation on 05/09/2007 14:21:35 MDT Print View

although not having any experience yet with eVENT, I would be highly surprised that ventilation isn't needed under some cicumstances. For me, that's clear marketing language just as the Gore "guaranteed to keep you dry" message.

About the durability of eVENT, there should be an improved version of eVENT on its way, even with self-healing capabilities.

Richard Perlman
(montclair) - MLife

Locale: Metro NY
WIRE BRIM on 05/09/2007 18:09:33 MDT Print View

Does the wire brim need delicate treatment when stowing the jacket? Do you need to fold/roll it up carefully, protecting the wire brim, or can you "stuff away" and simply straighten the wire each time you put it on?

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: eVENT and ventilation on 05/09/2007 18:35:45 MDT Print View

Hi Tom,

There isn't a whole lot of cash behind eVENT marketing- nothing like Gore Tex. What you're hearing in the reviews on this site is the real deal- it's amazing stuff.

It's a very rare situation when the front zip and zippered vent pockets aren't enough. And most of the time, you can keep these jackets totally zipped and stay dry from both the inside and out. I was skeptical too...until I got my hands on one!


Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Wire Brim on 05/09/2007 19:04:29 MDT Print View

I wasn't going to say anything concerning the criticism of the wire brim, because I thought it might be petty on my part, but seeing as this is the second time at BPL that wire brims have been criticized I thought I ought to chime in.

First, to answer Richard's question, in my experience with wire brims on all the British rain jackets and hats with wire brims I've purchased over the years (three Paramo jackets, a Montane Superfly, a RAB Vapour Rise, and a Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap) the wires used have always been somewhat stiff yet very malleable. I've never had a problem with bending them and re-bending them and stuffing them away. Slightly more attention must be kept to make sure they fit around the neck when put away into the collar enclosures, but this is easy to do. In all the years I've had them I've never had one break.

Second, about the criticism of wire brims. After having used all kinds of other jackets without wire brims I've come to the conclusion that using a wire is better than not. The wire can be formed according to one's own preference, adjustable to the dimensions of your head and face, and stands up to strong winds without collapsing in on itself. With a wire brim no cap with a bill is necessary under the hood, plus it offers a better solution when wearing a helmet. In climates such as Britain's (or here in Japan), where constant, days-long rain is part of one's everyday experience of being outdoors, having a hood that doesn't sag into your eyes after the material wets out is a big plus.

Also, the feature of being able to store the hood in the collar creates a much better guard against wind blowing in through the neck, when one doesn't want the hood deployed, that simple hoods without collars cannot do very well. On a freezing, rainy winter day this little detail can really make a difference in terms of comfort.

Why these two features would be considered drawbacks I'm somewhat confused about.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
wire brims, eVENT, Doug? on 05/09/2007 20:50:10 MDT Print View

For the reasons Miguel has stated, I'm another fan of wire brims, which I first encountered years ago in Euro climbing hardshells and you occasionally now see in N. American hardshells (Go-lite for one). The best hoods I've used under extreme conditions all have them. With the wire ( and a decent cut) , I can shape the hood brim and opening for the best possible combinations of coverage and ventilation, as need dictates.

Doug, perhaps the venting pockets on the Montane jacket would be the feature that will finally win me over to an eVENT hardshell (if the Quickfire is long enough for the longer torsoed breed). Montane sizing has been a love/hate thing with me, changing from garment to garment. You know, that the waterproof zipper you yearn for in the Quickfire and which the Drillium uses is one of the 2 things that reviewers in Europe have complained about (the Drillium hood being the other)---this didn't prevent the Drillium from being named the best LW jacket of last year by several Euro outdoor mags.

Also, Doug (you eVENT shill you) :-)> you have been using the Quickfire for awhile---do you clean the garment often to keep it's high performance up ( as per eVENT's reccomendation), or if not, have you seen any loss of it's oleophobic properties over time? I suppose another thing is, could one really tell such degradation seperate from the condition of the garment's DWR? In high winds, do you feel wind infiltration through the fabric? I know you have mentioned the cold temp. infiltration in Winter conditions.

Look forward to your further remarks and hope the GE retainer is working out for you. >;-)> Joke! Joke!

Edited by kdesign on 05/09/2007 22:58:11 MDT.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: wire brims, eVENT, Doug? on 05/09/2007 22:56:00 MDT Print View

Hey Kevin,

As you saw in my Quickfire review, I love the wire hood. It does get bent out of shape a bit when packing but I find putting it back into shape is really easy. The hood also extends long enough out to cover my big honker (a rare feat indeed) and can be shaped for use with a climbing helmet. Probably the best hood I've used, in my opinion.

I've washed it once or twice I think, but not routinely. I haven't ever noticed any degredation in breathability, but it may have occured to some degree. With the wet, muddy conditions I often faced, it certainly got dirty but I never noticed anything other than stunning breathability (oh- am I going off on eVENT again? Just wait until you see my review of the Rab Summit Extreme- the only eVENT tent left in the world- I REALLY go off there!)

Kevin- I bet you'd love this jacket. And I'd appreciate it if you'd mention this e-mail to GE at the time of your purchase for my cut. Ha! KIDDING!

My only interaction with Montane has been when researching other, non-eVENT stuff for my personal use. Those folks are always very nice and helpful. Good company.

And the coolest thing Kevin- no one who ever sees your jacket will have the slightest idea what the heck it is. :-) It's like driving an Alfa Romeo!


Jon Solomon
(areality) - F - MLife

Locale: Lyon/Taipei
Re: Re: Wire Brim on 05/09/2007 23:02:37 MDT Print View

I have the Drillium and a companion piece, the Rab Bergen Pant, both of which have been on pre-season sale. I'm really happy with them (although I dream of something similar at half the weight, and, while we're at, soft stretch!). Price was the factor that motivated my choice for the Drillium over the QuickFire (saved at least US$100). I would actually prefer a design somewhere between the Drillium and the Quick Fire, specified for a really wet environment, like Taiwan. Here, the ventilating pockets on the Quick Fire are actually a drawback, as is the waterproof front zip on the Drillium. The QuickFire hood gives better coverage when deployed, but I agree with Miguel that the Drillium hood gives much better coverage when the hood is rolled up--something I like to do when it's not really raining but I'm wading through wet brush. Miguel's comments about the wire brim are really right on, in my experience.
I'd love to hear Miguel comment more on his experience with Paramo. I wonder especially how it resists water when you're wading through brush and it comes into constant contact with soggy leaves/branches?

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
If Montane is an Alfa, what's a Ferrari? on 05/09/2007 23:09:39 MDT Print View

I used to drive an Alfa Romeo (Spyder).

Hey, Doug----you promised the Rab tent review months ago!

And I promise to make sure GE gives you your cut. Hee Hee.

René Jeninga

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Hood that stows in collar on 05/10/2007 02:02:15 MDT Print View

I agree with what Miquel says about hoods that stow in the collar,when stowed it gives you a nice high protection from the wind.The thing i hate about shell jackets that don't have the option to stow the hood is when you wear the jacket in high winds and don't need the hood it starts flapping and hoovering behind your neck like a parachute! So i'm thinking that a hood that stows is a plus!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Paramo on 05/10/2007 09:35:15 MDT Print View

I absolutely love Paramo rainwear. It is by far the most breathable and versatile rainwear I've ever worn and deals with rain and moisture in a completely different way from other systems, and its "directional fabric" often confuses those who haven't used it before. There is no barrier layer to keep rain out; it works by beading water on the surface like DWR finishes and on the inside by extremely efficient wicking system that works the same way that animal fur works. The garments have to be periodically washed in the Nikwax solution to keep up the waterproofness, but as laminate garments require washing, too, this is no problem. I didn't believe that the Paramo system would really work when I first bought it, but countless days out in heavy rains here in very humid Japan, when other systems always left me drenched in sweat, but the Paramo system always left me dry. Others have complained of Paramo jackets being too warm, but I either wear the jacket with only a t-shirt underneath, or else it is too warm outside to be wearing a rain jacket in the first place, and in that case I let myself get drenched in rain and put on the Paramo jacket at the end of the walk to induce its wicking properties and dry out my shirt. My only two complaints about Paramo garments is that they are rather heavy and, for me at least, and similar to my Superfly eVent jacket, they don't do well in keeping out cold drafts when the temperature drops. For UL enthusiasts the weight might be a problem, though with the wicking liner inside I compare the jacket to a thin thermal layer underneath that helps prevents the chill of cold rain from getting to the skin. With these jackets you don't need a windshirt, though you will need an insulated layer for colder temps. For me I nearly always end up taking my Paramo Cascada, rather than my Superfly, even though it is heavier. The longer length helps keep my waist area dry. I am thinking of purchasing the Paramo Cascada trousers, too, but have reservations about the tendency of the fabric to wet through when pressure is applied, so that sitting down in the pants would tend to make my bum wet.

To answer your questions about pushing through wet brush, Jon, I personally haven't been bothered by that, even when pushing through some really thick rhododendron and bamboo grass patches in the mountains. The wicking liner always keeps me warm enough even when I feel the water, and after a few minutes of activity the wicking always dries away the moisture.

I heartily recommend Paramo products and wish they were better known in the States and here in Japan.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Trail magazine review of Drillium on 05/11/2007 15:31:53 MDT Print View

Here's a review of the Drillium from the UK's Trail magazine:

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Miguel - would you believe that Paramo is not available in London at all? There are no stockists!

Edited by Arapiles on 05/11/2007 15:35:49 MDT.