RunUltra was sent some samples to test from the recently launched Rab Skyline range. Rab traditionally have been designing clothes for climbing and mountaineering, and although many pieces were great for runners, this is the first time they are specifically designed for mountain running.
What they say
“Running in the mountains demands self- sufficiency, and as distances increase we know that every gram counts. Our Skyline range is designed with ultralight materials without compromising on weather protection. Reliable and resilient, you can do more and take less. Discover the freedom to venture further, uninterrupted and immersed in your element.”
We were sent a pair of Talus Ultra shorts and a Sonic Ultra Tee from the Skyline Collection.
Women’s Talus Ultra Shorts
- Fit: Slim
- Weight: 87g/3.1oz (Size 10)
- Matrix™ Aero (84gsm) with fluorocarbon-free DWR
- Flexile™ 100 with fluorocarbon-free DWR
- Integrated secure back yolk pocket in lightweight mesh, perfect for phone or gels
- Separate small key pocket
- Split hem for better freedom of movement
- Main: 86% polyester, 14% elastane. Second: 85% polyamide, 15% elastane
- RRP £50
These shorts are super lightweight; you can barely feel them and the protection the technical fabrics offer is hard to believe. The Matrix™ fabric offers wind protection and breathability and the addition of the fluorocarbon-free DWR ensures you stay dry too.
There are some nice features; the tab across the split in the legs to give extra strength; the soft lining short; the reflective logo. The lining is Flexile™ 100 which is really soft; it has an almost fleecey feel to it. Rab mention a “compression style fit” but I certainly didn’t feel compressed in any way. The waist band is very comfortable; it fitted snugly without making me feel restricted.
I’ve not come across an inner lining on women’s shorts before and I quickly realised they would help reduce that thigh chafe women so often get. The small sticky dots that stop the liner from riding up the leg are well thought out. So often I have found a single elasticated band can stick painfully to my skin after sweating so these dots are far kinder. When running, they’re really comfortable to run in – those little dots are actually enough to stop the lining ride up the thigh and that soft fleecy feeling is lovely.
There’s a good sized mesh pocket on the rear of the waist band large enough for a phone, some gels and other sundries, but the tiny internal key pocket is just that – it would fit a single yale key and nothing else. I like the pocket on the back and nothing bounces around when you’re moving.
Women’s Sonic Ultra Tee
- Fit: Slim
- Weight: 62g/2.2oz (Size 10)
- Motiv™ Aero single jersey fabric with subtle mesh structure (85gsm) with odour control treatment
- Lightweight fast wicking fabric with bulk yarn technology
- Microactive seams are strong and soft inside for comfort
- Reflective branding
- Sweat mapped design
- 100% polyester
- Centre back length (Size 10): 64.5cm / 25.4inch
- RRP £40
The Tee is just as lightweight as the shorts and the Motiv™ fabric is great at moisture wicking. There are ventilation holes across the back and under the sleeves, which helps air flow. The technology behind the fabric is that it has a greater surface area than other fabrics, allowing sweat and moisture to be dispersed much quicker.
During exercise it feels gossamer light and the ventilation works to keep you feeling cool and comfortable. It’s also been treated with an antibacterial treatment which helps prevent the garment from whiffing too much after you’ve been working out. I’m not sure I’d want to put it on again after a workout, but certainly if you’re going to a public place after a run, you could hold your head up high as you walk into a café for a post run coffee and cake.
Like the shorts, there are reinforced seams on the hems to increase durability. The fabric is very soft and comfortable against the skin, but I do wonder how durable the fabric would be on a rough UK trail with brambles or gorse snagging at you. However, it’s very comfortable and drops to a nice length on my hips; not too long and allows movement and air up from the bottom hem.
Both pieces are well made and much thought has gone into detailing to aid the mountain runner. Being such light pieces, I’d wear these in high summer for training and races where their lightness and moisture-wicking properties would be put to greatest use.
Both the shorts and tee are really comfortable to wear, the fabrics are soft to touch and they have flatlock seams and stitch free hems which are all designed for the long term comfort of an ultra runner in mind.
I was sent these items to test back in November, and although I couldn’t wear them initially for the conditions they were designed for, I was able to wear the tee as a base layer and it was very comfortable to wear under a long sleeved windproof top out running. Both tee and shorts were used on the indoor rowing machine, which even in winter gets you hot and sweaty very quickly and they were both really comfortable to wear and dried really fast when I stopped.
Price wise I think both these items are really good value; you’d be hard pressed to find such good quality running shorts or tee for a similar price elsewhere.
Rab as a company doing their best to make real sustainable environmental changes and they have used a fluorocarbon-free DWR on the shorts. Across the company they are continually making improvements, whether it’s using 63% of recycled fabrics on their garments or simply offering customers the opportunity to wash, repair and renew old favourite bits of kit. You can find out more here.
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About the author: Kate Allen is Editor of RunUltra and in her spare time can be found running and racing with her dog Mac around the hills of the Peak and Lake District.