Hard to believe but in thirty years of backpacking this was my first experience of a Rab sleeping bag. Along with PHD and Mountain Equipment, Rab’s regarded as being at the top of Britain’s sleeping bag tree: I now appreciate why. Comfortable and well-made, the Rab Alpine 600’s design is intuitive: the bag was as comfortable as it was functional, each feature easy to use and performing flawlessly.

The Rab Alpine 600 is cut snug around the torso but roomy from the thighs down, so my legs and feet didn’t feel constricted. Its now near-ubiquitous tapered mummy shape belies some nice features: the 600g of 650FP duck down fill is held in chevron-patterned baffles across the torso, to reduce down migration and keep it evenly distributed. The trapezoidal baffles are intended to maximise heat retention by ensuring the best loft.

John Manning Recommends

the Alpine 600’s design is intuitive: the bag was as comfortable as it was functional, each feature easy to use and performing flawlessly.
  • Price
  • Warm
  • Made in the UK
  • Intuitive
  • Weight
Quick specs
Price: £310
Weight: 1,168g (1,132g + 36g)
Fill: 600g of 650FP European duck down with Nikwax Fluorocarbon-free hydrophobic finish, Responsible Down Standard-certified down
Shell: Wind-resistant 20D Pertex Quantum nylon ripstop (36gsm); Lining: 20D nylon (38gsm) Pertex Quantum outer with recycled nylon lining
Construction: Trapezoid boxwall baffle with differential cut, with chevron baffle on upper torso
Zip: Two-way YKK three-quarter length main zip with anti-snag zip insert
Length: 215cm/84.6 inches (Regular); 230cm/90.6 inches (Long)
Rating: -9°C/15°F
Sizes: Regular/Long
Supplied with: Stuff sack (unsealed seams) and storage bag
Women/Men’s version: both
URL: rab.equipment

The shell is made from wind-resistant Pertex Quantum, with a fluorocarbon-free DWR, while the lining is a 100% recycled 20D nylon. I found it as comfortable as the Nemo Disco 15, though not quite as luxurious as that of Therm-a-Rest’s Hyperion.

A down-filled collar positioned within the bag, just under the hood, cinches in with a drawcord at the right shoulder – inevitable, given the left-side opening, but still easily fastened – and I found it effective in retaining trapped warmth. The hood’s own drawcord is similarly right-placed and, as the cord lock is sited on the inside of the collar, easily operated without causing a claustrophobic feel.

The bag’s three-quarter length main zip also has a draught-excluding down-filled baffle. The YKK zip’s anti-snag tech proved highly effective. A zipped internal pocket at the chin proved handy for my phone – not because I expected late night calls but because the battery lasts longer if kept warm.

Rab markets the Rab Alpine 600 as a three-season bag with a sleep (not comfort) limit of -9°C: that’s Rab’s own estimate – the EN Temperature rating is -5°C, with an extreme limit of -12°C. I’m a warm sleeper, usually content with a bag rated down to 0°C for three-season use so, at 1.132kg, this is somewhat heavier than I’d like to carry into the summer fells.