When backpacking, wild camping, or even camping year round; a good sleep system is important. With a sleeping bag being integral to a good nights sleep, choosing one that is right for your intended use is key. In a backpacking/wildcamping scenario – warmth to weight ratio is often the main deciding factor. But of course, in being warm you also need to be comfortable. So we look here, at the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600.
View online here –Rab Neutrino Endurance 600
- Weight: 1100g
- Down fill weight: 600g of 800FP Eu Goose Down
- Pertex® Endurance outer fabric / Pertex Quantum® inner fabric / Pertex® Endurance inner hood fabric
- ¾ length YKK 5 coil main zip
- Trapezoidal baffle chamber design
- Temperature tested to new European standard EN13537:2012
One of the main challenges you will find in searching for the ideal sleeping bag for wild camping, especially in winter; is weight. As such, it seems a good place to start with the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600. Utilising a great combination of 800fp down and Pertex Endurance material, an overall weight of 1100g would probably be a big improvement on a great number of other bags suitable for British winter. There are things that would bring the weight down – but all would be making sacrifices over what the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 gives. A light material, such as Pertex Quantum all round would lead to less durability and lower water resistancy, higher fill power down would drive the price up, a shorter zip or slimmer cut would leave you less comfortable. While using Pertex Endurance on the outside, Rab have opted for Pertex Quantum on the inside, so I feel that the balance is right here overall.
Even with its low weight, the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 provides plenty of ‘wiggle’ room within, and accommodates a person of 6ft well. A roomy footbox and wide shoulder section help with this feeling of being unrestricted, but with that said – the cut of the hood could be better. The hood seems relatively shallow and doesn’t really encapsulate your head as much as to fall in line with how spacious the rest of the bag is. A three quarter length zip makes it easy to get in and out, and keeps the weight of the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 down further still as opposed to a full length. Along the inside of the track, there is a good anti snag strip but as with the hood; there are brands that do this better. Despite that, one redeeming factor of the zip is its anti draft baffle, which is healthily filled and certainly helps to keep the heat in and cold drafts out.
Having used the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 across the Autumn/Winter season, it is clear that it sits comfortably well as a winter option for use within the UK. Trips to Snowdonia and the Lake District in temperatures below freezing – the lowest being around -5c – have not proved troublesome, and nights have been pleasantly warm. While trips haven’t provoked investigation around the advertised comfort limit temperature of -9.5c, it would be safe to say that the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 would manage a few degrees lower than temperatures experienced during testing. Summit camps in Scotland during the coldest months may push to the limit, but with an extreme rating of -28c using thermal layers within the bag should suffice. Of course, the high quality of ethically sourced down that Rab use within their bags and the fill power here of 800fp (600g of) mean that this bag will be at the top end of the warmth charts. What is to be noted here though, is the trapezoidal baffle construction which improves the thermal efficiency of the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600. This particular method of baffle construction allows down to loft to its fullest potential, but also leads to offset stitching and so less potential for thermal escape. Rab also employ what they call “differential cut”, which also adds to how well down will loft within the bag. Ultimately, this is achieved by having correctly calculated ratio of the circumference of the inner fabric and that of the outer fabric; decreasing restriction of the down. To understand these methods further, equipuk.com/rab_sleepingbags/technology
One particular feature of the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 that I have always been a skeptic of before now, is Hydrophobic down. Never before had there been a situation in which it jumped out as a solution to having a particularly damp evening on the hill because you would never intend upon getting your sleeping bag wet. With that said, an overly foggy and humid night camping on the summit of Fairfield (in the Lake District) meant that I was glad of it. Having permeated the Pertex Endurance fabric, which itself has a hydrostatic head off 1000m; condensation build up and a bit of rogue rainwater soaked through the material of the Rab Neutrino Endurance 600. Temperatures that night held a consistently fine line around 0c, and an inefficient sleeping bag would have meant an uncomfortable night. However, the combination of the outer fabric of the sleeping bag and the down insulation’s resistance to the moisture that had managed to creep in meant that no cold spots were felt. A similar situation had occurred when camping around the corridor route to Scafell Pike when strong winds had lifted a tent peg from the ground, exposing the open door to the inner of the tent. Again, the combination of the water resistant Pertex Endurance and Rab’s Hydrophobic down meant that I remained warm.
The Rab Neutrino Endurance 600 boasts a couple of added features that usually come as standard, but means that this bag hasn’t skimped on anything despite a low weight. A zipped inner pocket, drawcords around both the hood and the shoulder baffle (which is fantastically filled with down) to help cinch these areas in, hanging tabs on the bottom to help dry or store the bag. In all, this sleeping bag is an excellent option for the colder months in the UK or on Alpine trips – perhaps coupled with baselayers inside for winter Munro summit camps etc. A few minor, very minor features that are perhaps done better by other top end brands – but the Rab Neutrino Endurance certainly ranks among the top of the class.