Fiona Russell finds the Rab Women’s Ascent 700 to be an ethical, female-tailored bag with good warmth and comfort.
The Rab Women’s Ascent 700 features in our guide to the best sleeping bags for hiking. It is 15cm shorter than the men’s and has a narrower shoulder width and foot area, which gives a 50g weight save. However, the same down fill weight is maintained, even though the total area of the bag is smaller, resulting in a warmer women’s bag overall.
- Price: $315 / £270 (Buy now from Ultimate Outdoors)
- Weight: 1243g
- Materials: 650 fill power RDS-certified European duck down with Nikwax PFC-free hydrophobic finish; shell: 100% recycled 30D Pertex Quantum with PFC-free durable water repellency; lining: 100% recycled 20D nylon | Temperature: Rab sleep limit: -9C
Features: wide mummy shape, trapezoidal box wall construction, 3D-shaped neck collar, three-quarter long main zip with down-filled baffle, anti-snag zip insert and anti-snag internal zip guard, zipped internal stash pocket, angled foot box, drawcord stuff sack, zipped cotton sack with water-resistant base for home storage | Sizes: regular, 200cm long, user height 170cm maximum | Men’s version: Yes
The bag feels light but cosy, and with a comfort rating of -9C it provides confidence for warm nights even if, like me, you are a cold sleeper. Further warmth comes from the puffy neck baffle, which can be loosened or tightened to suit, and a down-insulated baffle on the two-way zip. Note that there is only a left-hand zip choice with this bag.
One feature I really appreciate (because I’m very short-sighted) is the zipped stash pocket at neck height where I can put bits and pieces that I want to easily locate at night. Rab has also ticked the ethical and eco boxes with RDS-certified down, 100% recycled fabrics and PFC-free DWR as part of the Pertex outer fabric.
Whilst it’s good to see a female-specific bag in Rab’s 3-season range, I’d like to see a longer option available. The height recommendation of 170cm (5ft 7in) was only just long enough for me. I’d also like to see a more sophisticated stuff sack, especially a compression-style one to minimise packing space, although Rab does include a storage sack with a water-resistant base.