If you love the outdoors and spend a lot of time adventuring outside in the mountains, you know that the right clothing and equipment can make or break a trip. There are many companies on the market selling outdoor gear, and two popular ones are Rab and Berghaus. But which is better?
Rab is better for mountain climbers who need quality equipment for multi-day journeys, while Berghaus is better for hikers who encounter all kinds of weather. Whether Rab or Berghaus is better for you depends on what you are looking for.
The rest of this article explains each company and its values, describes its products, and evaluates the difference between the two to help you determine which of the two is more suited for you and your needs. If you need new outdoor gear and you’re wondering where to go, this article will help you decide.
Who Are Rab?
Rab is a mountain clothing and equipment company that designs, manufactures, and sells climbing gear. The company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and giving back to the community by improving outdoor access.
Rab began in 1981 when mountain climber Rab Carrington designed and hand-stitched a sleeping bag. The local climbing community noticed, and demand grew rapidly. Eventually, Rab was creating sleeping bags and jackets and selling them out of an attic in Sheffield.
Now, Rab is owned and operated by Equip Outdoor Technologies UK Ltd. The head office is in Derbyshire, UK.
The company makes high-performance, comfortable, and protective mountain clothing and gear. It uses recycled materials that perform to the highest level and only sources wool, leather, and fur through partners that meet animal welfare standards.
Rab also offers after-care services for their gear, including panel replacements, new zippers, strap repair, and any other damage that gear can suffer. Their washing service washes, dries, and revitalises the gear, so it isn’t damaged during the laundering process. This is especially useful for their insulated gear and GORE-TEX outerwear.
Rab is a climate-neutral company that’s committed to reducing its carbon footprint. They’re working towards this goal in various ways, including:
- Switching their fleet cars from Diesel to electric or hybrid vehicles.
- Encouraging employees to cycle to work or carpool.
- Providing cycle storage, shower facilities, and a discounted cycle scheme to employees.
- Using renewable electricity in their headquarters, warehouse, factory shop, and sales office.
- Recycling cardboard packaging.
- Shipping online orders in cardboard and paper instead of plastic.
- Using filtered water in the office to discourage single-use plastic bottles.
Finally, Rab supports organisations that remove barriers and encourage new participants in outdoor activities. Some of these organisations include Outward Bound Trust, Dukes Barn Outdoor Education Centre, and It’s Great Out There Coalition.
What Does Rab Make?
Rab makes men’s and women’s outdoor clothing, including jackets, tops, pants, shorts, base layers, and other outdoor accessories. It also makes sleeping bags, shelters, and backpacks.
Most of Rab’s products are made with recycled materials. The company is also aiming to eradicate all fluorocarbons from its products by 2024.
Examples of some of their products are:
- Jackets. Rab makes a variety of jackets for men and women, including insulated, down, synthetic, waterproof, lightweight, softshell, and GORE-TEX jackets. Rab understands that jackets have to cope with the terrain and weather and repeated packing and unpacking.
- Tops. Rab offers fleece and mid-layer tops, hoodies, and tees for any outdoor activity. Not only are their tops functional, but they’re also stylish enough that they can be worn out and about during a relaxing day in town and on difficult hikes.
- Legwear. With waterproof trousers, leggings, thermal base layers, and shorts, Rab offers a range of durable outdoor legwear that can take on any outdoor conditions for various mountain activities.
- Baselayers. Rab’s range of base layers provides options to get the best base layer to build upon. Whether you want something breathable for warmer weather or insulating for the cold, Rab has you covered.
- Accessories. In addition to clothing, Rab also makes hats, caps, gloves, gaiters, belts, kit bags, and footwear.
- Sleeping bags. Rab has the perfect sleeping bag for any trip. They have lightweight, packable sleeping bags perfect for mountaineering trips and winter conditions, as well as sleeping bags designed for basecamp use or high-altitude alpinism. They also make sleeping bag liners.
- Shelters. Rab makes tents, bivis, and tarps that offer protection from the elements and provide a good night’s sleep in any condition. Both individual and group shelters are available.
- Backpacks. Rab makes backpacks for day hiking, multi-day trekking, long-distance trekking, mountaineering, travel and commuting, ski mountaineering, and trail running. They also make backpack belt packs and kit bags.
Who Are Berghaus?
Berghaus is a British outdoor clothing and equipment company that sells men’s and women’s gear. It’s known for several innovations in the field of outdoor clothing and equipment, as well as its commitment to sustainability and creating a positive social impact.
Berghaus has a long history. It began when Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison began selling outdoor gear in Newcastle, UK, in 1966 and then began designing their own.
The history of Berghaus includes several significant innovations in the realm of outdoor clothing and equipment, including:
- Designing rucksacks that enhance the climbing experience instead of hindering it.
- Creating walking jackets with a zip-in fleece.
- Becoming one of the first companies to develop outdoor gear designed specifically for women.
- Teaming up with Bob Gore to launch GORE-TEX footwear lining.
- Adapting zips and toggles so they can be adjusted with a singular gloved hand.
- Minimising layers of fabric in outwear to make the clothing more breathable.
The company is also committed to sustainability. Berghaus is dedicated to reducing its carbon emissions by 25% by 2025, reaching net-zero by 2030, and planting two million trees per year.
Berghaus clothing is built to last. Better yet, the company provides unlimited repairs should something happen, and an item needs repairs. All one needs to do to take advantage of this repair service (popularly dubbed Repairhaus) is fill out a form, send the item where Berghaus says to send it, and then wait for them to send the repaired item back within 21 days.
Furthermore, Burghaus is certified to the Responsible Down Standard, meaning their products that contain down and feathers are made with ethically sourced down. They also use a dyeing technology called Colourkind, which goes through fewer dyeing stages. This saves water, reduces the number of chemicals used, and reduces CO2 emissions.
Finally, Berghaus is committed to making a positive social impact. They’ve supported the following causes:
- Great North Air Ambulance
- Mountain Rescue
- Protect Our Winters
Additionally, they work with the following charities:
- The Outward Bound Trust
- John Muir Trust
- Mountains for the Mind
What Do Berghaus Do?
Berghaus makes men’s and women’s clothing, including jackets, mid-layers, tops, legwear, and footwear. They also make accessories, packs, and equipment, but their specialty is hiking gear.
Berghaus makes clothing that can be used for various outdoor activities, but they are known for their success in designing and selling hiking clothes.
The company has a sustainable outdoor clothing collection named MADEKIND that uses eco-friendly materials. This collection uses over 50% recycled materials and 100% RDS certified down products.
Examples of some of their products are:
- Jackets. Berghaus sells men’s and women’s waterproof, insulated, GORE-TEX, and 3 in 1 jackets. The 3-in-1 jackets give wearers a choice of a jacket, a jacket with a fleece lining, or just fleece.
- Mid-layers. Men’s and women’s mid-layers include fleece, hoodies, and windproof jackets. Many of the mid-layers are sold as unisex and can even be worn when snuggling up at home or out and about.
- Tops. Men’s and women’s tops include t-shirts and baselayers. The base layers are specifically designed with cold weather in mind, as the material is meant to trap warmth while you’re standing still and let heat permeate while you’re moving.
- Legwear. Berghaus sells trousers, pants, shorts, and leggings for various activities. All of the legwear they make is high-quality and useful, but their waterproof trousers are essential for hiking in unpredictable weather.
- Footwear. If you need new boots, shoes, or gaiters, Berghaus has got you covered. The hiking boots are comfortable, durable, and supportive. Furthermore, they are made with sturdy soles that will last a long time, even in the hands (or feet) of the most intense hikers.
- Accessories. Berghaus offers caps, hats, gloves, and neck gaiters to keep you warm when you’re outside exploring (or just at your kid’s cold soccer game).
- Day packs. Day backpacks from Berghaus allow you to carry everything you need in a sack built to withstand tough outdoor conditions.
- Rucksacks. Berghaus has developed high-quality rucksacks from the beginning. These bags prepare you for any kind of weather, and the company offers different sizes to provide you with the perfect bag for a day hike or a longer mountaineering journey.
- Travel bags. Berghaus has sturdy travel bags and can endure even the longest, most strenuous airport, train, and bus journeys.
What’s the Difference Between Rab & Berghaus?
The difference between Rab and Berghaus is that Rab is geared more towards climbers and multi-day journeys, while Berghaus caters more to hikers. Their specialty products are also different. Rab is known for sleeping bags and jackets, while Berghaus is known for rucksacks, trousers, and footwear.
Both companies make clothing that can be used in various outdoor conditions. However, Rab built its reputation making climbing gear, while its counterpart became known for making hiking gear.
To date, each company has stuck to its strengths.
For example, Rab is known for high-quality sleeping bags, and Berghaus doesn’t make sleeping bags. Rab also sells shelters, whereas Berghaus does not.
Rab also offers a wider variety of bags. Berghaus makes daypacks, but they’re mostly for hiking only. On the other hand, Rab makes backpacks for hiking, multi-day trekking, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, and trail running.
Overall, Rab offers more products with more specific uses than Berghaus. Rab has a long list of outdoor activities that a shopper can search for on their website. On the Berghaus website, the only activities you can search for are “hiking” and “every day outdoors.”.
Both companies are committed to reducing their carbon footprints. However, Rab works towards this goal throughout all company practices, not just the production process. For example, they encourage employees to cycle to work, provide cycle storage, use renewable electricity in their buildings, and make sustainable shipping choices.
Berghaus is also taking important steps towards reducing their carbon footprint, but they don’t have as many examples of implementing this goal in their daily practice. However, one thing that they do that Rab does not is plant trees: 2 million per year.
Another similarity that the companies have is that they both offer repair services for damaged items sent to them to help reduce the number of garments made. This goes a long way to helping reduce the materials and labour used to make garments.
Both companies work with and support charities, including the Outward Bound Trust. It is evident that they both wish to make the outdoors a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.
Pricewise, the companies can be comparable. For example, a Women’s Highraise Waterproof Jacket from Berghaus costs £200. A similar jacket from Rab, the Women’s Kinetic 2.0 Waterproof Jacket, also costs £200.
However, Rab has a much higher range in prices than Berghaus.
The most expensive women’s waterproof jacket from Rab costs £650, but the most expensive women’s waterproof jacket from Berghaus is only £250. The cheapest Berghaus women’s waterproof jacket is £100, and the cheapest women’s waterproof jacket from Rab is £140. The men’s clothing items are similar.
Which Is Better?
Ultimately, the better company for you depends on what you’re shopping for. If you’re a climber going on a multi-day journey, Rab is the better company for you. If you are a hiker going on a day trip, Berghaus might be the better bet.
Rab sells sleeping bags, shelters, trekking packs, and more materials that you’ll need for a longer journey, but Berghaus doesn’t offer a lot of gear for multi-day adventures. Because of this, we’d recommend Rab for anyone going on a longer trip.
Furthermore, Rab makes bags for any kind of multi-day journey, including multi-day treks. While Berghaus makes travel bags, they aren’t designed for trekking. Their daypacks are also designed for one day.
However, Berghaus is a better option for those looking for high-quality hiking clothes that are supportive, durable, and comfortable in any weather conditions. It sells great, high-quality items ideal for this purpose.
Rab specialises in sleeping bags and jackets, so they’re the better company if you need those items. But if you need a rucksack or hiking boots, Berghaus is better.
Rab offers a wider variety of products with more specific designs and purposes if you have a specific activity or sport in mind. You can search for the following activities:
- Hiking and trekking
- Mountain trail running
- Ski mountaineering
- Specialist expedition
If you need an item specific for one of those activities other than “every day” or “hiking,” Rab is better.