When looking for a sleeping bag our main priorities were that the bag was lightweight and small. In addition I hate being cold, so I wanted a really warm sleeping bag and one that could zip together with another – months of sleeping solo doesn’t really appeal to me!
After much research we both settled on a RAB Neutrino 600 down bag (2013 model), with André buying the extra long version. RAB now has a 2014 range which are lighter again and have other features that ours don’t. The neutrino series consists of four different lightweight bags; 200, 400, 600 and 800, with 800 being for the coldest conditions and RAB states that these bags are ideal for backpacking, cycle touring and light and fast mountaineering.
Sleeping bag features:
Sleeping bag dimensions:
Our sleeping bags were reduced in price but still pretty expensive, we paid just under £200 per bag. Having slept in it for a few nights now, I really love how warm it is and the hood and internal collar help you to feel very snug. The bag also packs down very small (see photo below), it is a mummy tapered shape which means it minimises the weight and bulk. It comes with two storage sacks, one is a cotton sack for long term storage, helping to preserve the down. However, when you need to pack it into a pannier you can use the compression stuff sack which allows you to compact the bag down to a very small size. We have had a bit of a problem with this as it seems very small at first but over time the compression sack seems to let in air in and the bag expands, not great.
The other main reason I really like these sleeping bags is that they zip together (great for snuggling on cold nights). One point to consider if zipping the bags together is important for you is that you must make sure you firstly buy one that is left-hand zip and one that is right-hand zip (obviously) but also less obviously is that they have to be the right model. I bought my first bag second-hand at it was a 2012 model, whereas André had a 2013 model, his was able to zip together but mine had a different zip and wouldn’t work – this was very disappointing. The only resolution was for me to sell my one and buy a newer model – so bear this in mind if you are trying to buy second-hand ones.
|Super warm||Price - it is expensive (but possibly worth it)|
|Very light and small|
|They zip together|
In order to keep the bags as clean and odor free as possible we will be using silk sleeping bag liners most nights. However, RAB offers some advice on how to clean the sleeping bags, they suggest taking them to a professional or sending them direct to RAB if possible. However, if your budget is tight or you are away from home then they offer home cleaning tips too.
- Carefully hand-wash the item in warm water
- (40°C) with a soap solution, NOT DETERGENT.
- Rinse thoroughly, making sure there is no soap residue present within the product.
- Squeeze out all excess water gently with your hands and transfer item with care to a washing machine. A delicate ‘spin’ programme is recommended.
They have more detailed information about the cleaning and drying process and a list of recommended cleaning specialists on their website, to read more click HERE.
To date we have really not found anything we dislike about these sleeping bags. They were expensive but we both felt that as a good nights sleep is vital to an enjoyable bike trip, this was one of the most important purchases. These bags have fulfilled all our requirements for our bike trip and hopefully they will keep us warm and snug for many years to come.