GEAR TALK: Rab Alpine 400

(the morning sun waking up the test person)

As those who have read my Holland Kustpad- expedition story knows, I was freaking close to become a frozen Finn. Well nothing dead serious but it wasn’t nice to suffer from too light sleeping bag. So that has been my number one gear improvement since then, and for few months now I’ve been a proud owner of a British made Rab Alpine 400.

A WORD OF WARNING: This might be the most lame gear review ever since I tested the bag at my very own porch:)

I thought a nice three season bag would fill my needs and having that idea I began searching. The usual bags I found from Finnish outdoor stores did not really satisfy me so in the end I had two options found from internet, this Rab and Ultralite by Western Mountaineering. Thanks to Hendrik from Hiking in Finland, I’ve been aware of Rab products. And lucky me, one special store in Helsinki actually had this bag in their stock so I marched to Camu. The bag felt awesome and it came with a good special offer price tag back then and deal was made in no time.

The Rab website gives you the detailed product info of Rab Alpine 400 but here are the highlights:

Comfort 0°C, limit -6°C and extreme -23°C

Weight 930 g

Fill power 800 90/10 goose down

 

It was love at the first touch I would say, the Pertex fabrics were silky soft and super comfortable. I never have had a real down bag before so can’t compare that much but when I was inside the bag for the first time and closed the zipper it felt like in heaven surrounded by the softest cotton clouds. Or something similar…

The materials feel well made and the zippers too. You can feel the quality though I was able to broke one of the tightening straps of that compression sac. The sleeping bag itself has 3/4 main zip so it should work well as a summer blanket too. There’s a small handy pocket inside the bag for your keys or phone.

So for neighbours delight I spent the other night sleeping in our porch. I thought to test how warm it feels since the night temperatures are still drobbing close to zero. In the end it was +3 or +4°C during that night. I was quite unsure what to wear so I started with full long underwears, fleece and a hat. Soon I realized that the long neck under shirt was enough, that warm it was! The nigh went okay though a bit hard the floor and the birds woke me up around six for the first time.

Maybe the Alpine 200 model would have been enough for my needs but the coming trips will eventually show that. So far I’m pleased with this one, it also fits nicely in my Osprey Exos 58, sideways to the bottom.

(the bag comes with a nice storage sac)

Two weeks until the Cleveland Way-expedition and our tent has already travelled to UK:) My idea was to go only with the carry-on baggage (my backpack) there since without the tent I should be able to take everything with me inside of the plane. No sharp objects, no weapons, no liquids and the backpack should meet the size restrictions of Easyjet. I’ll buy the gas and food in UK then. But when coming back I guess I have to check in the backpack because of the tent poles&stakes. I have got a bit mixed information about that, the aviation security said should be okay, Easyjet wasn’t quite that sure… does someone have experiences?

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7 thoughts on “GEAR TALK: Rab Alpine 400

  1. Rab make great kit – no mistaking that. I think the Summerlite is also a contender for this sort of 3-season bag but it does not have quite the same range. Lighter though. Nice review and I like the styling of your blog!

  2. As Maz said, I’d look at a Western Mountaineering bag for three-season use, but I much prefer using a quilt these days. The rating of the Rab bag seems a little optimistic to me – for a 0C comfort rated bag to be an -23C extreme seems quite a stretch. My WM Antelope is designed for -17C, but to be honest if I was going any lower I’d want an additional overbag.

    Nice blog!

  3. Maz and Mark, thanks guys for your comments and thoughts! What comes to the choice between Rab over WM, the cheaper price and been able to try the Rab one here made a difference too.

    Yep, the -23C extreme sounds a bit exaggarated, but in the other hand I’m no winter camper (yet):) So I didn’t pay that much attention to the extreme end. Hopefully it will keep me warm there at the limit point of -6C when needed. We’ll see:) As a rookie outdoor enthusiastic, I haven’t yet thought about guilts and tarps but maybe later:)

  4. Review is a review… even on the porch. Love the updates. I personally have a WM Ultralite. Walked with it for the first 2 months on the Appalachian Trail. Walked 1500 miles in 6 months last year with my wife. Loving what I am reading here. Having travelled through Europe most of 2007, I am ready to go into the back country now. And since my wife’s family is from Corsica, your trail data helps. Plus we lived in Rome… just makes for some great information for me to feed on.

    Wallace – Supa Chef
    Hike, Bike, Dale!

  5. Hi man! Thanks for your comment and nice that you have found something worth of reading here:)

    You have some awesome stuff in your blog too, especially the Appalachian Trail-stories. I have to read them through some nice day, most likely after finishing Bill Bryson’s famous “Walk in the Woods” which I’m currently having in my hands:)

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