GEAR TEST: Rab Ascent 700

If you’re heading out on any camping trip, you won’t regret investing in a decent sleeping bag. Having used my trusty Snugpak ‘Sleeper Extreme’ for the last few years, I decided to mix it up a bit and try my first down sleeping bag. I had been looking at the Rab Ascent range for a while, and so opted for the Ascent 700. I have definitely not been disappointed. 

This lightweight but weatherproof three-season sleeping bag, is actually warm enough for year-round use, and a versatile option for mixed weather conditions. 

In terms of materials, it uses a Pertex Quantum Pro fabric with DWR-treated 650FP duck down fill, giving it excellent all-round resistance to damp and moisture – although it shouldn’t be considered waterproof. The snug-fitting mummy style boosts warmth, as does the trapezoidal baffle construction. It’s a supremely well-made sleeping bag that promises to keep you cosy, and the XL size I tested here had plenty of room to move around in, while still fitting well and holding warmth. 

The EN temperature ratings of this sleeping bag are:

Comfort -2C

Limit -9C

Extreme -27C

On the first night I used this, I used it under a tarp. I woke up around 3am and the temperature was about -5 degrees… I was incredibly warm & snug, so I would say these ratings are accurate, and I look forward to testing it in some colder conditions!

The bag has a sizeable hood, with elastic and a toggle so it can be pulled tight. It also has a substantial down-filled baffle just inside the bag at neck height, which can also be pulled tight. This creates a snug seal above the shoulders which does a lot for warmth on a cold night. There’s a similar baffle running all the way down the zip, preventing the zip from becoming a cold spot. There is also a small zipped pocket at the top of the bag, which I found really useful for keeping essentials like my phone and a torch close by when wild camping. It’s a really nice touch.

When packed, it measures approximately 400mm long x 240mm in diameter, and it will comfortably pack down to 300mm long – which is considerably smaller than my faithful Snugpak, giving me much more room in my pack. When taken out the stuff sack, it lofted up in about 15 minutes. It also comes with a big cotton sack for storage at home when not in use.

All in all, it’s a great bit of kit

#gearguytom

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