Marmot vs RAB: Which is Better for Outdoor Gear?

Marmot vs RAB Outdoor Gear Comparison

Marmot and RAB have cultivated strong reputations for quality and performance, but which one is better for your outdoor adventures?

In this comparison, we explore the histories, product offerings, prices, technologies, and commitments to sustainability of these two outdoor gear titans to help you determine which brand might be the better choice for your needs.

Because understanding the nuances of these brands’ products could make all the difference in your experience.

So, let’s explore which of the two could be your trusted companion against the elements!

Contents:

1. Marmot Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

Marmot official website
Marmot official website

Marmot, an American brand established in the 1970s (specifically in 1974), specializes in technical and high-performance apparel and outdoor gear for activities such as trekking, camping, and climbing.

The brand originated from the idea of the Marmot Mountain Club, by Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntly, students at the University of California Santa Cruz, during a school project in Alaska.

Together with Tom Boyce, they established the Marmot Mountain Works brand, which later gained global recognition for its high-quality products catering to outdoor enthusiasts. Marmot today offers a range of outdoor gear including jackets, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, and accessories for women, men, and children.

The brand’s gear undergoes rigorous testing by mountain guides and elite athletes, contributing to ongoing innovation.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Marmot utilizes high-quality materials in both their clothing and equipment, with Nylon and Polyester being the main components, similar to many other popular outdoor brands.

One notable technology they employ is Gore-Tex, known for its ability to repel water while allowing water vapor to pass through, making the fabric breathable. This makes it ideal for extreme activities and ensures the fabric’s resistance to water.

For insulation, Marmot utilizes high-capacity insulating materials with a high fill power, including natural down and PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, effectively separating cold air from hot air.

Additionally, the brand prioritizes the development of new materials and technologies, such as Marmot MemBrain, a high-performance, breathable, and waterproof membrane, and NanoPro.

In terms of sustainability, Marmot is committed to minimizing their environmental impact by utilizing ethical materials like EvoDry for raincoats and Featherless, which serves as a substitute for down insulation. You can read more about Marmot’s sustainability efforts on their website.

Marmot | WarmCube: Innovation

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Read also: The North Face vs Marmot: Which Brand Should I Choose?

Where is Marmot outdoor gear made?

Marmot primarily produces its outdoor apparel and equipment in countries across Asia, including China and Vietnam.

Recommended Products

Marmot Women’s GORE-TEX Orion Jacket

Marmot Womens GORE-TEX Orion Jacket
Image: marmot.com
Check it out at Marmot.com

The Women’s GORE-TEX Orion Jacket is an enduring and high-performance ski jacket designed for enthusiasts who enjoy skiing in powder and at ski resorts. Constructed from recycled 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric, it delivers waterproof, windproof, and breathable protection, ensuring you remain dry even in challenging conditions.

The jacket is equipped with a RECCO® Avalanche Rescue Reflector for safety, a helmet-compatible adjustable hood for complete coverage, and a fixed powder skirt to prevent snow ingress. For active skiers, the PitZips provide adaptable ventilation for regulating body temperature, while water-resistant pocket zippers safeguard your essentials.

The fit is adjustable with VELCRO® cuffs, and articulated elbows allow freedom of movement. This jacket is crafted to provide comfort and warmth, whether skiing on groomed runs or off-piste powder.

Don’t miss: Marmot vs Canada Goose Jackets: Which Brand is Better?

Marmot Men’s Guides Down Hoody

Marmot Mens Guides Down Hoody
Image: marmot.com
Check it out at Marmot.com

The Men’s Guides Down Hoody offers versatile functionality as a winter puffer jacket suitable for both everyday wear and outdoor activities. Crafted with a 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell and a blend of 700 fill power 80% recycled down and 20% Kapok Flower down, it delivers comfort and cold weather protection.

This jacket’s high packability makes it an easily portable addition to your layering system. Main attributes include zippered chest and hand pockets, an adjustable drawcord hood and hem, and elastic cuffs to retain warmth.

Whether you’re skiing, exploring the wilderness, or simply hiking in winter, this hoody is made to keep you snug and cozy while ensuring breathability.

Read also: Eddie Bauer vs Marmot: Which Brand is Better?

Prices

Marmot offers a fair price-to-quality ratio. With a dedication to outdoor activities, they prioritize ensuring high-performance standards, resulting in the use of materials that generally are of above-average quality.

Marmot’s jackets are available at prices ranging from $100 to $650, while the cost of equipment such as sleeping bags and tents varies based on the specific product. So, overall, this is a mid-to-high-priced brand.

Are Marmot products worth the price?

We think that Marmot’s gear is worth it. And this is the thought of numerous other online reviewers. The products offer good durability and attention to detail.

Read also: 8 Best Sustainable Outdoor Clothing Brands: Our Top Picks

2. RAB Outdoor Gear

History of the Brand

RAB official website
RAB official website

RAB‘s history can be traced back to 1981, when Rab Carrington, a Scottish climber, established the brand in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, under his own name. Due to his passion for nature, climbing, and adventure, Rab Carrington gained recognition as a prominent mountaineer among his peers.

In 1973, faced with a lack of equipment during a UK strike in Buenos Aires, he learned to craft high-quality sleeping bags with the help of a friend, Hector Vieytes. This experience motivated him to create Rab.

Today, the company prides itself on being “by climbers for climbers” and has produced numerous products that have become iconic in the mountaineering and climbing communities.

In 2001, Rab partnered with Polartec, whose materials continue to be utilized in Rab’s gear.

Since 2003, Equip Outdoor Technologies Ltd has owned Rab and has upheld the brand’s ethos, designing renowned jackets like the Microlight Alpine, solidifying its position as one of Europe’s leading providers of specialized and technical outdoor apparel.

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Materials, Fabrics, and Production Process

Every year, Rab demonstrates a strong commitment to transitioning to environmentally friendly production methods, including ethical material sourcing and the use of PFC-free water-repellent treatments. This dedication is evident in the incorporation of recycled materials and the focus on creating durable products.

Although the brand primarily utilizes polyester and nylon, with the latter being more prevalent in their gear, it also emphasizes the importance of waterproof outerwear, particularly during the winter season.

Rab relies on various fabric technologies, such as Gore-Tex and Pertex Shield, to ensure protection against bad weather conditions. These technologies differ in terms of breathability, wind resistance, and overall performance.

Additionally, Rab offers waterproof fabrics in three different constructions, 2, 2.5, and 3 layers, based on their intended use.

For breathability, the brand employs Hydrophilic and Microporous technologies, both of which serve as effective moisture-wicking solutions.

When it comes to insulation, Rab provides a wide range of natural down and synthetic insulated jackets and sleeping bags. The brand responsibly sources natural down and has introduced a line of jackets featuring 100% recycled fabrics and down insulation.

While natural down is an excellent insulator, Rab also recognizes the benefits of synthetic insulation, primarily utilizing StratusCirrusPyrotec, and PrimaLoft for jackets, sleeping bags, and gloves.

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket | Masters of Insulation

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Read also: RAB vs Patagonia Outdoor Equipment: A Comparison

Where is RAB outdoor gear made?

Rab’s gear is produced partly in the UK, where the company is headquartered, and the rest in Asia, mainly in China.

Recommended Products

RAB Men’s Microlight Alpine Down Jacket

RAB Mens Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
Image: rab.equipment
Check it out at rab.equipment

The Microlight Alpine is a lightweight winter jacket featuring 700-fill-power hydrophobic down for warmth and water resistance in wet conditions. Made of Pertex Quantum technology, the shell offers weather protection and breathability, catering to various activities when you’re out in nature.

The jacket includes two hand pockets and a chest pocket and is compatible with harnesses. It’s highly compressible for convenient transport and is available in men’s and women’s sizes.

Don’t miss: RAB vs Arc’teryx (Outdoor Gear Comparison)

RAB Aeon 35L Daypack

RAB Aeon 35L Daypack
Image: rab.equipment
Check it out at rab.equipment

The RAB Aeon 35L Daypack is a versatile backpack designed for a range of mountain activities. It features the Air Contour X carry system, which provides a secure fit and can handle substantial loads while maintaining stability on challenging terrain.

The back panel lets air flow and conforms to the user’s body shape. The wrap-around stretch yoke offers a comfortable fit over the shoulders, and the adjustable back length and forward pull hip belt allow for a customized fit.

With its 35-liter capacity, it’s well-suited for camping and includes two TipGripper walking pole attachments, a walking axe loop, and easily accessible stretch pockets for gear storage. The zippered hip belt pockets are convenient for carrying small items like snacks or a compass.

Made of 50% recycled nylon fabric, this daypack also comes with a rain cover for all-weather protection.

Read also: Norrøna vs RAB Outdoor Gear: Which is Better?

Prices

Rab is not an inexpensive brand, but it’s also not among the most costly or luxury brands that we have encountered.

The brand’s outerwear begins at about $80 (for windbreakers and lighter styles) and can reach up to $850 (for down jackets and technical designs). The backpacks are priced between $60 and $250 based on the style, and the other equipment and accessories vary.

Are RAB products worth the price?

RAB is renowned for creating durable, premium designs. So, we are of the opinion that it’s a brand worth investing in. But it also depends on what you expect from a product and what your outdoor needs are.

Learn more: Why is RAB so Expensive? Is It Worth It?

3. Which is Better for Outdoor Gear? Marmot or RAB?

Choosing one brand over the other is not very easy. Especially when you have two excellent brands like these two. Here are our considerations that we think will help with your decision:

  • Marmot is an older, American brand founded in 1974. RAB is a UK-based company founded in 1981.
  • Marmot offers a wider selection of outdoor gear including clothing, jackets, sleeping bags, tents, and more. RAB focuses more narrowly on high-quality jackets, sleeping bags, and mountaineering gear.
  • Marmot gears their products towards more average outdoor enthusiasts and offers good value for the price. RAB targets more serious climbers and mountaineers and is priced higher. RAB’s motto is “by climbers for climbers”.
  • Both brands use high-quality materials like Gore-Tex fabrics, PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, and down insulation. They have also developed their proprietary technologies over the years.
  • For waterproof and breathable rain jackets, both offer comparable quality.
  • For down jackets, RAB is among the best in the market and uses higher fill powers in general and European goose-down insulation in some jackets, resulting in warmer, lighter, and more packable jackets.
  • For sleeping bags, RAB again uses premium down and designs specifically for mountaineering whereas Marmot has more general-use bags.
  • Both have advanced sustainability programs.

In the end, RAB specializes in premium mountaineering gear with an emphasis on European craftsmanship. Marmot offers a wider range at lower prices but also has technical pieces for serious climbers. For the average outdoor user, Marmot in our opinion offers the better value. But for serious mountaineering, RAB would be our choice.

Read next: 9 High-End, Expensive Hiking Brands for Clothing and Footwear

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