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1 December 2011

Snappy Dresser

I have said this before but will say it again: I love the cold but hate being cold and that’s why I choose to wear Rab clothing for twelve months of the year. For nine months of any Arctic year my clothing gets very serious.

Everyone has favourites. Mine tend to be objects that help keep me alive, like clothing: specifically Rab’s Vapour-rise. I shouldn’t think there’s a system that can match Vapour-rise for versatility. I have worn Vapour-rise as my main layering system since it first appeared in the Rab range. All I do is layer it. At worst I’ve worn two, sometimes three layered Vapour-rise tops and pants. Like Russian dolls, larger sizes fit over smaller ones. It isn’t bulky and layered becomes Arctic windproof. So what? It breathes like nothing else I’ve used. Back in 2008 I said Vapour-rise is special and that word will spread. It has.

In the video (November 22nd, last daylight until February) I start dressing with two layers of Vapour-rise Pants (trousers). The latest in the Vapour-rise range are the Guide Jacket and Guide Pants. Now that Rab has developed a range of base layers I have taken to trying these out. My first top layer is a long sleeve Aeon Tee followed by two Vapour-rise tops.

In the Arctic brutal cold reigns supreme. The yellow down all-in-one is Rab's Expedition Suit for serious warmth. There was one day in 2006 that I will never forget. That day the cold almost triumphed but I unanimously credit my Rab Expedition Suit as the single most important item of clothing that kept me alive.

The down Expedition Suit might look bulky but it is so cleverly designed that it doesn't feel that way and is a joy to wear. Alternatively I sometimes wear the Expedition Jacket and Expedition Salopettes.

My final layer in the video is Rab's Expedition Wind Suit, another continual favourite of mine. It too is very versatile and has an excellent cut. My Rab Expedition Wind Suit not only protected me through hurricanes in February and October this year, but I wear it almost every time I run my dogs, so you can appreciate how often it gets used and why it is a favourite.

For mittens I love the Rab Expedition Mitts and the Summit and McKinley glove and mitten series from Outdoor Designs.

The gear bag in the video is a Rab Expedition Kitbag. These bags pack neatly on to my sled on journeys. Rugged, they hold everything from spare clothing, food to cookware and sometimes an injured dog.

All the equipment I have written about here is the best of its kind in the world and that is why so many other outdoor clothing manufacturers copy Rab and brand it their own.

If Rab gear is capable of keeping me warm (living in the Arctic full-time) you can rest assured that where ever you choose to wear it, you will be kept warm and protected too.

By the way, Rab doesn’t make underpants. Until they do my Mum has said that she will continue to send me new ones.

For more about Gary and his dogs go to www.garyrolfe.com


  1. Oh my. Hope you were standing on something in your bare feet, before you put on socks. Loved it. I had wondered about the bulkiness of the one piece suits but you have taught us otherwise. Good Job RAB!!

  2. Nice knickers !

  3. Thank you.

    The original footage started with me just standing there in my knickers. But I wasn’t brave enough to put that up.