I have a thing about my feet: they have to be warm, they have to be cosy yet, not too hot. And boy oh boy when they get too hot, they explode…almost literally. However, when they get cold, I suffer through my back. It sounds like I am a hypochondriac, but I am just explaining that to keep my body at a perfect temperament I need to be at perfect temperature!
So when camping in the Outer Hebrides, for the production of my book ‘Harris Tweed, from land to street’ throughout last year, in sun, sleet and SNOW, I really was fortunate to have a sleeping bag that provided me with warmth. The bag in question was given to me as a leaving present in 1993 by my colleagues of the then agency Tony Stone Images (now part of Getty) and has been utilised somewhat!
However, this year I decided that it was time for a change and what with the advancements of technology in materials, I thought I would brave (and I really do mean brave) a new bag. Petrified to go to anything other than a minus 6 in temperature, I would need to find a bag that not only was smaller, lighter in weight and warmer, but also had that wonderful zip to allow my feet to kick out the bottom when they got too cosy.
Welcome the Rab Ascent 700 Woman’s sleeping bag: allowing comfortable temperatures of –12 degrees centigrade/10 degrees Fahrenheit, 1310g/46.2oz, it certainly is a bag to be taken seriously. Made of Pertex® Microlight inner and outer fabric with a duck down fill power of 650 80/20 and hand filled in Derbyshire, something, that I find very satisfying to learn. It is cut as a mummy shape and has wider space for ‘our’ hips. And yes it has a fabulous double zip so my feet can hang out the end if they want to. There is the usual internal pocket, which I must say I never use as once I put my car keys in there and regretted it throughout the night! (partly because I kept on setting and un-setting the alarm). Finally there is an internal collar with pull cord to really make you snug and warm.
This bag comes with a stuff sac and a large white cotton bag that they advise that you store your bag in when not in use, to allow the down to breath and puff out. It is also great for washing the bag too.
So. Where, or more importantly what conditions have I used this Rab bag? Well, lots of places and in hot and cold conditions, but not in snow as yet. I have slept beside race tracks, in manor house gardens, on the floor of a friends houses and in the countryside. Admittedly, not nearly as abrupt as I am used to….so far… but I am confident that this bag will deliver warmth in cold temperatures for my fussy temperament.
For more information on this lightweight and really very compactly packed sleeping bag please see the Rab website and tell them where you found out about them…….I think I might try out some of their clothing line next… it will be like being covered in your duvet. Mmm mm. Snug as a bug.