The Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket is a rain jacket that uses a Gore-Tex membrane to make it breathable and waterproof. Read the review!
The Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket is a rain jacket that uses a 3-layer laminate Gore-Tex membrane to make it breathable and waterproof. Thanks to the 3-layer construction the jacket is suitable for backpacking and alpine climbing. If you want to know more about how a hardshell can be waterproof and breathable at the same time, read the Expert Advice article I wrote about hardshells.
Details, size and weight
2 pockets with waterproof zipper on the chest / belly, 1 pocket with waterproof zipper on the left chest, 1 stretch inner pocket on the right side, cuffs with Velcro, pitzips with two-way zipper, hood with flap, two-way zipper on the front. I measured the Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket at 511.5 grams on my scale. Rab specified 525 grams for a mens size L and 475 grams for a ladies size M.
The Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket has a regular fit. In cold conditions, there is still enough space under the jacket for an insulating intermediate layer. The jacket has a longer front and back than average, so it fits nicely over the hips. The back is also longer than the front. It is that long that your buttocks are reasonably protected when you sit in wet grass. The sleeves are long too and even reaching out to a get hold on a rock does not result in bare wrists. The cut of the jacket is strongly preshaped.
Halfway the chest and abdomen, the Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket has two spacious waterproof side pockets. There is room for a topographic map and even a 10×42 binoculars will fit. But of course you can also put your hands in them. The pockets are easily accessible with a backpack on my back. On the chest – parallel to the front zipper – is the third outer pocket, which is large enough for a pair of thermal gloves and a big smartphone. The latter also fits perfectly in the large inner pocket. This is made of elastic material so it fits a lot. All pockets have zippers with fine pull tabs and can therefore also be used with cold hands and gloves.
Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket in practice
The Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket is very likeable to wear. This has everything to do with the strongly pre shaped fit, the long sleeves and the relatively long torso. It gives a lot of freedom of movement and I never feel there is somewhere a bit unprotected.
The materials of which the Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket is made also offer great protection. The vast majority is made of 40D Gore C-Knit with the 40D indicating the thickness of the fabric. The top of the jacket – shoulders, back and chest – and the large parts of the arms are made of 70D Gore-Tex Pro. The combination is neat: the heavier material in the most wear-sensitive areas and the comfortable soft C-Knit in places that must be comfortable. And by comfortable I don’t mean the skin feeling, but rather the suppleness of the fabric. The Gore-Tex Pro parts are a bit stiffer and also make a lot of cracking sound.
The Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket is beautifully executed in detail. The two-way front zipper is useful because I can unzip the bottom when the jacket, for example, is in the way of a climbing harness. Or if I have to go to the toilet, of course. The jacket also has an excellent cord around the hips and – I rarely see this – a cord to put the jacket on at the waist / lower back. The cuffs are asymmetrical so that the outside of the wrist is well protected without too much fabric on the inside of the thumb. They are closed with Velcro.
Collar and hood
The collar of the Ladakh GTX is very high and even if I do not have the hood on, I can find shelter in the collar. Good is the zipper garage at the chin and the nice soft lining on the inside of the collar. The collar and hood are one beautifully made construction. The hood’s reinforced flap keeps the face free from rain. The hood has a cord for pulling it tightly around the head, two strings to pull the hood/flap and collar towards each other, and this latter co-operates with a third cord which pulls the collar tighter. All together they provide the perfect hood in bad weather without losing mobility. In the neck I also find a flap in which I can store the hood neatly rolled up. A climbing helmet fits over and under the hood.
Rab is working on making the brand more sustainable and steps are definitely being taken. Yet there is nothing to see on Ladakh ‘s web page. Also no links to pages about this on the Rab site. Rab does not mention the DWR coating on this jacket, although this is important. On the website I see that Rab uses partly PFC-free DWR coatings and partly not. The non-PFC-free coatings are the less harmful C6 variant. Rab is a member of the EOCA. Rab works with the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI); a code of conduct for working conditions.
Waterproof, breathable and water-repellent
I spoke about the DWR layer above and although Rab does not mention anything about it on the website, the coating was after three washes still fully intact. The jacket turned out to be 100% waterproof and the pockets were also waterproof. I also have nothing to complain about the breathability. In warmer wet weather, the two giant pitzips do excellent business. They are so long that I can easily reach the pockets of my fleece under the Rab. The hood does its job exemplarily during heavy rain showers.
Wash at 40 °C on a normal program with normal detergent. Tumble dry at a low temperature. Iron or tumble dry to reactivate the water-repellent coating.
The Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket is a jacket to live in in bad weather. The hood is a good protective roof over my head with super adjustment options. The slightly longer body length and the long sleeves also contribute to this. Alpinists will certainly appreciate this. The jacket has enough pockets that are also very useful. Like the jacket, the outer pockets turned out to be waterproof. The combination of 40D Gore C-Knit and the more firm 70D Gore-Tex Pro on the wear-sensitive areas is a good choice. The cracking sound of Gore-Tex Pro remains within bounds. Rab must work harder on sustainable production and be open about which DWR layer is used on the jacket. The price of € 399,95 is superb and therefore I rate the Rab Ladakh GTX Jacket at 9 out of 10 points.
- Price: € 399.95
- Weight: Men (S) measured 511.5 gr (525 gr specified L) , women specified 475 gr (M)
- Sizes: Men S-XXL, ladies XS-XL
- Material: 40D Gore-Tex C-KNIT & 70D Gore-Tex Pro, 100% polyamide
- Membrane: Gore-Tex, PTFE
- Construction: 3-layer laminate
- Country of origin: China