Rab Incline AS Pants Review 2023

Versatile, 3 season pants that are useful for everyday wear as well as outdoor adventures.


  • Good looking enough for everyday wear
  • Well featured
  • The Matrix material is weather resistant.


  • Thigh pocket not so useful for climbing

Last year I reviewed the excellent Rab Scimitar Windstoper jacket which has become my go to jacket for this winter. And so it is with the excellent Rab Incline AS pants, I’ve used them for everything: cycling to and climbing at the climbing gym, working from home on colder days and attending meetings; on colder days when I work as a substitute PE teacher (very rare these days) and of course for outdoor adventures aplenty. In fact it is only because of the recent very cold snap that I have taken to wearing something warmer on hikes and mountaineering days (and today at the keyboard at home as it’s Baltic!).

The Rab Incline As Pants are perfect for cooler hiking days. Cow and Calf Rocks, Ilkley, Yorkshire

The Rab Incline AS is the replacement and an evolution of the Vector pants, which were extremely popular.They are part of the Incline range that includes the lightweight Incline Pants and the Incline Vapour Rise pants. They are made using Rab’s own Matrix fabric which is a non membrane, tightly woven soft-shell fabric and has been field tested over many years. 

The style of the Incline AS Pants is different from the Vector, they feel a little more slim fitting and the thigh pocket moved to the front and a more minimalist  belt with a metal hook buckle which helps reduce plastic. The waistband is nice and wide with a double popper closure (metal again) and wider still at the back and super comfortable with its microfibre inner. They have been fantastically comfortable, including with a climbing harness. The legs are finished with poppers which offer three levels of adjustment which means you can fine tune them for mountain boots, climbing shoes and on the bike.

The legs have articulated knees which has been useful for mountain days and rock climbing and they look OK for general day wear, this is because they are only articulated at three points. That doesn’t mean that the performance is affected. I have worn the Incline AS Pants for both outdoor rock climbing and indoor climbing and they have been fine. The darts are super tight and the thread match on the colour is perfect so the articulation don’t stand out.

Cut for comfort, including a rock climbing harness.

Movement performance is further enhanced with the long length gusset, this has helped for hiking, bouldering and cycling which are my main winter activities these days. They have been plenty warm enough for winter local walks with my partner as well as out on the hill to temperatures down to zero degrees. Lower temperatures and I needed some base layer underwear. The double weave Matrix material offer a reasonable amount of wind resistance and you should be happy enough in most conditions. The Matrix material is finished with a PFC Free dry water repellent finish and this has worked well in showery weather for both hiking and cycling. With the usual caveat that they are not waterproof and driving rain will force water through the weave.

The Matrix material easily resisted a light shower with its PFC free DWR finish

The Matrix material also has a great, brushed inner that has felt great next to skin and enhances the warmth. I have been wearing them when working from home this winter and they have been great. The material also benefits from 4 way stretch which again helps with the comfort.

The final finishing touches include 4 zipped pockets, two hand warmer, one thigh and one at the back. All YKK zips, finished with lightweight zip pulls and the pockets themselves are meshed to aid ventilation when needed. The thigh pocket is sited horizontally across the thigh which I found a little awkward as I could always feel the items in it when climbing or hiking. I found it most useful for temporary stashing of gloves when stopping to eat or rummage around it my pack. They also have an embroidered Rab logo on the leg and printed Matrix logo on the back.

So, the Rab Incline AS Pants are a great improvement on the original Vector pants. The Matrix material has good wind and water resistance and the cut is excellent and they performed well in all the activities I have been using them for. They have some useful features and the double stitching means they should be robust enough for tougher activities. The size range is excellent so you should find a size to fit without having to have anything adjusted and I have been testing the Ebony colour (which is a very dark midnight blue) which has been useful for everyday wear including work.

It is always championing the ESG credentials of Rab which includes them being a Fair Wear Leader and a certified Climate Neutral company.

The Rab Incline AS Pants come in 4 colour options and sizes 28”-38” as well as three leg lengths.

The SRP is £100 and they can be bought direct from Rab UK and specialist retailers.

Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!

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