In the June 2016 issue of The Great Outdoors Chris Townsend tested a range of bags for spring to autumn. Find out why he chose this as a Recommended buy
The Antares is designed to be attached to a sleeping mat and has two broad bands on its base to fasten round the mat. I haven’t really liked previous bags with this design because I couldn’t sit up in them comfortably due to the mat and I could feel drafts through the uninsulated bottom of the bag – so I was delighted to discover that Therm-a- Rest has solved both these with this bag.
The connecting bands are made from very stretchy fabric so I can sit up in the bag without the mat coming with me and the base of the bag is lightly insulated to cut out drafts. Unlike previous bags of this type you don’t have to use a full-length mat either as the section with less insulation on the base is the same length as a short mat, meaning that the head and foot are fully insulated. Because it’s designed to be used with an attached mat, the Antares is roomy – you need to be able to easily turn over in it.
The hood fits well and is easy to adjust, as is the draft collar. The zip did snag slightly a couple of times but was easily freed. The lining has a reflective coating which does crackle slightly though this didn’t disturb me. It’s meant to add to the warmth. The down is treated with a Nikwax product to make it hydrophobic. The Antares is expensive but also lighter than many alternatives for the warmth. As long as you’re happy with a bag that needs to be attached to a mat it’s a good choice.