In the world of outdoor gear, two British iconic names, Berghaus and RAB, stand out for their exceptional contributions to outdoor apparel and equipment.
Berghaus, established in 1966, revolutionized the market with its innovative designs, such as the Gemini jacket with a zip-in fleece, and its rucksacks.
RAB, founded in 1981 by climber Rab Carrington, caters to the technical demands of serious mountaineers with its high-performance gear.
Choosing between RAB and Berghaus often comes down to the type of adventure you’re embarking on and the specific gear requirements it entails.
In this article, we’ll compare these brands to help you decide which is the right fit for you.
1. Berghaus Outdoor Gear
History of the Brand
Berghaus official website
Berghaus Limited is a British company established in 1966 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, by Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison, both avid climbers and mountaineers. The company was initially known as LD Mountain Centre.
It wasn’t until 1972 that the brand adopted the name Berghaus and started producing its own line of outdoor products. Berghaus was among the first European brands to incorporate Gore-Tex fabric into their waterproof and breathable products in 1977.
Notably, the Gemini jacket, introduced in the 1980s, revolutionized the market by featuring a zip-in fleece for added warmth, and it continues to be part of their product range to this day.
Renowned for their high-quality outdoor clothing and gear for men, women, and children, Berghaus, which means ‘mountain house‘ in German, remains a leading brand in the UK.
Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process
When it comes to the primary materials utilized by Berghaus, like many other brands, polyester and nylon are the main choices. However, the sourcing of these materials is the differentiating factor. Many brands are actively transitioning to sustainable and environmentally conscious production, and Berghaus is no exception.
A significant portion of the brand’s polyester is derived from recycled plastic, which not only benefits the environment but also maintains the quality of the final product. Additionally, the down insulation used by Berghaus is responsibly sourced and fully traceable to ensure the ethical treatment and well-being of the birds.
By adhering to the bluesign® system, Berghaus’ manufacturing process eliminates harmful chemicals, while their Eco fabric, Colourkind, conserves water and reduces chemical usage during the dyeing process. This approach also guarantees colorfastness and longevity after repeated use.
Where is Berghaus’ outdoor gear made?
Some of the Berghaus’ equipment is still manufactured in the United Kingdom, whereas a significant number of their other items are produced in Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, and others.
Berghaus Men’s MTN Arete Ultra Down Hoody
Check it out at Berghaus.com
The Berghaus Men’s MTN Arete Ultra Down Hoody is designed to withstand extreme cold in mountain environments, prioritizing warmth, comfort, and longevity. Weighing only 440g for a size UK large, the garment incorporates a three-zone body-mapped insulation system to ensure warmth without excessive bulk.
The unique design features offset baffle construction with reflective technology to prevent cold spots and maintain heat, stitch-through baffles for targeted breathability, and micro baffles for precise temperature regulation. Reflect Technology is integrated into the hoody to redirect body heat towards the core, enhancing warmth.
The through-pocket dual hem adjustment makes adjustability effortless, while the dropped hem provides additional coverage. Safety is addressed with reflective elements for visibility in low-light conditions. The hoody’s insulation is driven by 850 fill-power Hydrodown, ensuring an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio.
The jacket’s durability is further enhanced with Liquid Crystal mapping in high-wear areas. A helmet-compatible hood with a wired peak adds practicality for climbers, and the jacket features a five-pocket design for ample storage. Lastly, a two-way front zip with an internal guard offers extra protection against the cold.
Berghaus Unisex MTN Guide 45+ Backpack
Check it out at Berghaus.com
The Berghaus Unisex MTN Guide 45+ Backpack offers versatility for year-round mountain use with a base capacity of 45 liters, expandable for longer trips. Constructed from 400D recycled nylon and 600D polyester ripstop, it includes an external TPU coating for increased durability and water resistance.
The backpack’s plastic components are made from recycled nylon for added strength. Weighing 1670g with all attachments and 1150g when stripped, the MTN Guide 45+ is designed for efficiency and adaptability. It features full back panel zip access, multiple carrying systems for axes and poles, a dedicated rope lashing system, and is compatible with a hydration reservoir of up to 3 liters.
The design includes daisy chain lashing for external gear attachment, reinforced haulage handles, and a unisex fit with a standard back length. The carrying system is customizable with a removable hip belt and aluminum frame and includes a stashable mesh helmet holder for convenience.
The detachable lid can be removed or adjusted to reduce weight or increase capacity, and the backpack is reinforced with bonded TPU patches for added durability.
In general, Berghaus offers a diverse and affordable selection of prices for its outdoor gear. The prices of their jackets range from $100 to $600, while their backpacks are priced between $50 and $250.
Are Berghaus products worth the price?
According to the feedback from those who have tested Berghaus jackets and gear, these pieces are unquestionably worth it. They deliver high performance and boast commendable quality.
2. RAB Outdoor Gear
History of the Brand
RAB official website
RAB‘s history starts in 1981, when Rab Carrington, a Scottish climber, founded the brand in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, using his name. Carrington, renowned for his love of nature and climbing, gained recognition as a mountaineer among his peers.
In 1973, while stuck in Buenos Aires during a UK strike, he learned to craft high-quality sleeping bags with the help of his friend Hector Vieytes. Carrington’s newfound skills inspired the creation of Rab.
The company prides itself on being ‘by climbers for climbers‘ and has produced several iconic products for mountaineers and climbers.
In 2001, Rab partnered with Polartec, whose materials continue to be utilized in Rab gear.
Since 2003, Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd has owned Rab, upholding the brand’s ethos and designing renowned jackets like the Microlight Alpine, solidifying its position as one of Europe’s leading providers of technical outdoor apparel.
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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process
Every year, Rab focuses on transitioning to eco-friendly production methods, including ethically sourcing materials and utilizing PFC-free water-repellent treatments. This dedication is also evident in the use of recycled materials and the focus on creating durable products.
The brand mostly uses polyester and nylon as its main materials, with a greater emphasis on the latter in their gear. Waterproof outerwear is crucial for winter, and Rab employs various fabric technologies to ensure protection from the elements.
These technologies include Gore-Tex, recognized as a standard waterproof fabric, as well as Pertex Shield, Proflex, and Pertex Shield+, each offering distinct performance attributes. Rab’s waterproof fabrics are available in three different constructions: 2, 2.5, and 3 layers, tailored to specific uses.
As for breathability, the brand utilizes Hydrophilic and Microporous technologies, both helping against moisture.
Regarding insulation, Rab provides a range of both natural down and synthetic insulated jackets and sleeping bags. The responsibly sourced natural down is complemented by a line of jackets featuring 100% recycled fabrics and down insulation.
While natural down offers exceptional insulation, synthetic insulation, like Stratus, Pyrotec, PrimaLoft, and Cirrus, is also prominently featured in Rab’s products.
Where is RAB outdoor gear made?
Rab’s outdoor gear is produced partly in the UK, where the company is based, and the rest in Asian countries, mostly in China.
RAB Men’s Neutrino Pro Down Jacket
Check it out at rab.equipment
The Men’s Neutrino Pro Down Jacket by RAB has been updated to include 100% recycled fabric and an improved arm baffle design to maximize mobility. It is filled with 800-fill-power European Goose Down, delivering exceptional warmth for winter conditions, and making it well-suited for alpine climbing.
The outer shell is made of wind and weather-resistant recycled Pertex® Quantum Pro, providing reliable protection against the elements. It remains lightweight and easy to pack, with a helmet-compatible hood and a two-way YKK VISLON zip with harness compatibility.
It’s also reinforced in high-wear areas and is designed for durability. It’s tailored for a regular fit, freedom of movement, and the possibility of layering.
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RAB Aeon 35L Daypack
Check it out at rab.equipment
The RAB Aeon 35L Daypack is a versatile backpack built for numerous mountain activities. It features the Air Contour X carry system, which offers a secure fit and can handle substantial loads while maintaining stability on steep terrain. The back panel lets air flow and conforms to the user’s body shape.
The wrap-around stretch yoke sits comfortably on the shoulders, and the adjustable back length and forward pull hip belt allow for a customized fit. With its 35-liter capacity, it’s great for camping trips. Also, it comes with two TipGripper walking pole attachments, a walking axe loop, and accessible pockets for gear storage.
The zippered hip belt pockets provide convenient storage for small items like snacks or other objects. Built by RAB with 50% recycled nylon fabric, this pack also comes with a rain cover for rain protection.
RAB is a mid-to-high-priced brand. Their jackets start at $80, for windbreakers and similar styles, and can reach up to $850, for down jackets and technical designs. The backpacks are priced between $60 and $250, depending on the style, and the remaining gear and accessories vary. So, very similar to Berghaus, even though slightly more expensive for some gear.
Are RAB products worth the price?
While the answer depends on your needs and expectations, RAB is known for its durable and high-performing designs. And their insulated pieces are among the best in the outdoor industry.
3. Which is Better? Berghaus or RAB?
Both are good brands, especially for mountain activities. Here are our considerations to help you decide:
- Founded in 1966 in England is one of the most established UK outdoor brands.
- It’s known for quality and performance at more affordable prices than premium brands.
- Offers a wide range of clothing and equipment for hiking, climbing, camping, and more.
- Uses synthetic and down insulation in jackets, for example, Hydrodown and Polartec for wet weather performance.
- It has more casual styling compared to technical mountaineering brands.
- Founded in 1981 in England is also a well-known UK outdoor brand.
- Focuses more on high-end, technical mountaineering clothing and gear.
- Uses premium down and synthetic insulations like PrimaLoft, and is among the best brands for its insulation.
- RAB’s jackets tend to be more lightweight and packable but higher priced.
- RAB’s gear is designed for alpine, ice climbing, and other extreme activities.
In the end, Berghaus offers good quality at lower prices while RAB specializes in technical, high-performance gear for demanding conditions. For the average outdoor enthusiast, Berghaus provides great value. But for mountaineers or climbers needing specialized equipment, RAB is our choice.
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