Rab Quantum Top Bag AR, first look

This is Rabs update to their previous top bag. The most obvious difference is the hood, in that it has one. It’s designed for adventure racers so there is as little faff and weight as possible. This translates right over to lightweight backpacking of course. No insulation on the bottom other than under the head and feet where’s a bit of Primaloft, the top has 200g of down. There’s no zip, a drawcord around the hood, an adjustable sleeve to keep your sleepmat in position and that’s it. There’s no temperature rating on it as you can’t rate a top-bag with the EN test. Which does render the test pointless then.

I like top-bags. The Big Agnes kit really changed my mind as it works so well (more on them soon, I’ve got new ’08 test kit on the go as we speak).

The Rab bag is the lightest one I have and I won’t be camping as high as usual so I’m taking it on the WHW with the Exped Synmat. I’ll be fine in that combo. Getting in and out of it in the bivvy bag will be a learning experience though…

9 thoughts on “Rab Quantum Top Bag AR, first look

  1. Sweet,i have been comfortable in my old style top bag at about freezing,in a MLD bivy under a tarp,with clothes i think -5 would be acheivable(warm hat aswell) i like top bags aswell also taken a shine to the US style quilts that can be adjusted to give a snug fit or be quite loose,havent had it in seriously cold temps yet as i am still in camp high and wild winter mode,just back from an overnight in snowdonia,900m,bloody windy(would guess 60mph)used a montbell ul downhugger bag,-9 rated at about a kilo,not bad!

  2. MLD stuff is good. I’ve got some of the pack accessories on the go just now. The quality is much better than most of these wee US independants.

    The Rab bag looks nice. It’s the most compressible bag I’ve seen with the top of the range down fill and Quantum fabric.
    It should be warm, but as you mention with the hat thing, there will clothes used to extend it’s range a bit.

    I’m getting a proper look at MontBell soon. Their stuff does look fantastic. What’s the fit l ke on the bag, height wise?

  3. spec says 6f 4 ” ,i am 6f med build and it fits fine,doesnt feel too big,the elasticated stiching really works,one thing that stands out is the ballistic nylon shell,you can see the down through it buts its amazingly strong,its my only bag with a zip and although strictly for winter its a definate keeper.

  4. That’s similar to the new BigAgnes bags and the ME Xeros, the fabric is so thin it’s almost transparent.

    Down bags are definitely on a real upward design curve at the moment.

  5. Assuming that MLD=Mountain Laurel Designs – we’ve been trying out a pair of the reeediculously light eVent shell mitts.

    Work really nicely. Kept my hands warm in the cold even without a liner glove (and my hands get cold easily).

    And as you say – nicely made bits of kit.

  6. Jeez, is this good timing or no?
    I use a Macpac topbag and it’s so sensible, it should be banned – at least the guys that sell full bags say so. BUT in the Gorms over the Easter weekend, it was a bit pushed . Then I got thinking I need serious warmth, but don’t like the weight/packsize issue, nor spending a wee fortune on compressing down under my rearend. Are these Wee Aggie bags any good? Whats the word to the wise for our hills in winter?

  7. I used an ’07 B.A. Zirkel bag through the winter and it was plenty warm. The two track mat I used with it has to be the warmest mat I’ve used so far. (I speak a bit about them on here on the South Glen Shiel Ridge trip reports).

    I’ve got the ’08 versions in for test and they’re tweaked and lighter for the same performance. I’ll write them up when they’ve had a few trips out.
    I love their kit, it’s top notch.

    Give the distributors a shout and see who’s got what and where http://www.isoactive.co.uk/ there’s a link to the UK version of the B.A. site on there as well.

  8. Aye, looking good on the South Shiel Ridge. Thanks for the link, will follow up. All that Big Aggie say on their web blah blah is what I have found over the years with the Macpac topbag. I’m curious, is there a market for your last year’s model?

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