RAB SLEEPING BAGS: A BAG FOR ALL SEASONS
Rab have been making sleeping bags for over 30 years and are constantly evolving and re-designing their ideas despite having created some of the best bags in the industry to date. 2014 is no exception and this season has seen updates to classic models as well as new innovations across the board that promise to offer a greater level of performance than ever before.
What makes Rab Sleeping Bags so Good?
In this video from 2010, Rab sleeping bag designer, Mat Nalder, explains the thinking, ethics and processes that go into producing the brand’s high quality, high performance bags. Now, four years later, the technology has moved forward but the ethos at the heart of the range remains the same.
What's New For 2014?
Arguably, the biggest news for spring is the introduction of Rab’s own hydrophobic down across the range. The negative side to down insulation has always been it susceptibility to moisture and the impact that it has on its ability to perform. Hydrophobic down absorbs less water, dries faster and retains loft in damp conditions making it more resilient in wet weather. Rab still ensures the quality of their down; it is fluorocarbon free and the bags continue to be stuffed in the UK so the treatment of the down and fill ratio can be expertly monitored. In addition, all Rab down is now fully traceable under the European Down and Feather Association Code of Conduct.
The Ignition Range
Rab are also launching a new range of synthetic sleeping bags to run alongside their down products. The Ignition range is aimed at technical outdoor users and offers a great warmth to weight ratio, courtesy of the brand’s unique Pyrotec™ fill. Synthetic bags are ideal for use in damp or wet conditions, offering an affordable and high performance alternative to down.
What Should I Go For? Synthetic or Down?
A poor night’s sleep can ruin your day, whether you’re on a family camping trip or expedition hike, so you need to make sure that you choose the right sleeping bag. Rab’s synthetic and down bags each have unique characteristics that make them particularly suited to specific activities and environments. Have a look at the comparison below to get an idea of the main differences between down and synthetic insulation to see which best suits your needs.
Breaking Down the Range
If you’re looking to buy your first down sleeping bag, the Ascent range is an ideal choice. Durable and lightweight, they are perfect for regular use and have a slightly more forgiving cut to give you room to move. The high quality down fill makes them incredibly compressible, so they’re easy to pack and easy to carry without taking up unnecessary space.
If weight is a key issue when it comes to your kit, the Neutrino range is for you. Made with Pertex Quantum and stuffed with high quality European goose down, it allows maximum loft for minimum weight, giving you the insulation that you need while doing away with those unnecessary grams.
As you would expect, the Neutrino Endurance shares many characteristics with the Neutrino range. It is focused on keeping weight to a minimum, with a snug mummy cut, lightweight fabric construction and high quality fill. The outer fabric is Pertex Endurance, a water resistant, durable fabric that is more suited to damp conditions and can hold its own against spillages and condensation. This extra resilience makes the range ideal for alpine climbers.
Ideal for lightweight backpacking, adventure racing, mountain marathons or for very lightweight mountaineering expeditions, the Infinity range keeps weight to a minimum while maximising warmth, courtesy of a vertical trapezoidal baffle construction. These innovative internal chambers allow the down loft to its full potential so you can visibly see it rise when you take it out of the stuff sack.
The Andes range offers a similar level of insulation to Rab’s Expedition bags, but has a performance shape that lends itself to high altitudes or extended periods in cold conditions. The mummy shaping reduces unnecessary bulk and helps to increase warmth as there is less overall volume to heat.
The main focus of an Expedition bag is warmth and the Rab Expedition range can be found keeping countless mountaineers warm and protected within the camps of Everest. Designed for use in the Arctic and at altitude, they are slightly over-sized to accommodate expedition clothing and incorporate Pertex Endurance both inside and out to protect the down from moisture, whether its from harsh conditions or soggy boots.
Over the years, Rab have brought us some of the world’s most technical and innovative outdoor clothing. Known for their advanced down products, the brand have forged a reputation by providing lightweight, efficient performance thanks to their progressive technical fabrics and unique fill ratio. Rab are deeper than down however, and their range of hard shells, softshells and mid layers are now causing ripples of their own.
Insulation is essential to keeping warm in the outdoors, and is usually worn as a mid-layer, or as the outer layer in dry, cold climates. It works by trapping the warmth that our bodies create to maintain our body temperature, but this can be achieved in a variety of ways.
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