- Build Quality
- Ultra warm bag for longer trips in seriously bad UK weather … think Cairngorm Plateau in storms!
- Ideal for really bad UK winters and use at high altitude across the world
- Excellent build quality, thick baffles, and good hood design
- May suit women who really feel the cold better than some bag … lower rated Andes 800 women specific bag also available
- Too warm for most people in most UK weather
- Weight could be trimmed with a higher quality down
“You get what you pay for” … or so my Uncle John has always said. After spending some time with the Andes 1000 from Rab I tend to agree. 800 fill power 90/10 goose down, with chest baffles running lengthways, ¾ length YKK 5 coil main zip, trapezoidal baffle chamber etc … the list goes on. Safe to say this is a very well spec’d bag then and offers a reasonable price for the spec with an RRP of £460.
In reality though, for most people, in most UK conditions, this bag is too warm. BUT … if you really do feel the cold though then this ultra warm bag will keep you toasty in the most extreme weather that the UK can throw at it. Comfort rating for women is down to -17C with the lower comfort rating for men an incredible -26C. In my opinion this makes it a more realistic prospect for women who sleep cold, because it’s not that often that most men will genuinely need this bags warmth in UK temperatures .. after all the coldest temperature ever recorded was only -27.2C! (UPDATE … with the recent cold spell we have had the chance to comfortably take this down to -15c with one of our female team in it wearing just merino baselayer, Smartwool socks and a Helly Hansen hat – and the temperature rating remains accurate)
This bag is cut quite generously for most people and even as a big guy there is ample space inside, maybe even enough to accommodate another insulation layer – but you would never need to wear another layer in this bag in the UK. For someone less than 6’3 and 18 stone you will find plenty of space to wear another couple of layers for use in very cold climates. My other half, who sleeps colder than a mortuary fridge, said this bag rocked her world though and it was her pick of the bags on test for when it’s really cold. The Pertex endurance fabric did it’s job of keeping condensation at bay, and the hood and neck baffle are two of the most comfortable on test. It was possible to get this synched right down and totally eliminate any draft or heat loss. The drawcord design is well thought out and in practice you don’t get any irration from the toggles. The luxuriously thick side baffle also eliminates any cold full stop, and in terms of comfort this really does make for a great nights sleep.
The footbox on this is naturally angled and it’s well packed with down too … we preferred the Marmot Plasma 15 footbox but both were comfortable and warm, and in reality the two bags are targeted at opposite ends of winter bag usage. As with the chest area on the Andes and Expedition ranges the footbox shares the same longitudinal baffle design to help reduce the migration of the 800 fill power down.
There are of course some compromises. The weight is 1730g, which makes this the heaviest bag on test. Unsurprisingly. That said it is lighter than the Vango/F10 Endurance 1300 (RRP £550) which has a similar temperature rating and we would pick the Rab over that model. We had the less warm Endurance 800 model (RRP 400) in for test, which weights 1650g with stuff sac and has a lower temperature rating of -17c. Obviously the Endurance 1300 is targeted at big mountain use too and whilst it does offer some different features to the Rab it’s not worth the extra money and in reality even if they were both the same price we would still pick the Rab Andes 1000 over it.
If you sleep cold, or want a UK winter bag which will double up for trekking holidays in some of the coldest parts of the world then this should be on your list. Alternatively if you are one of those affluent types who have the cash to spare, and want a really cosy bag for the next time we have a ‘serious’ UK winter, then I’d go ahead and buy one anyway. You can get bags with similar temperature ratings that are lighter than this but then you really are starting to go up the scale in terms of expense … it would be good to see Rab try to trim a little weight from these models in the future though and with a bit of extra effort that should be easily achievable. The Expedition range uses a slightly higher quality of down for instance and whilst I appreciate that they have to differentiate the product lines it would be possible to do that and still use the same higher quality down in both of the top two lines.
Ultimately though when it’s really cold and miserable I tend to prefer to carry any extra weight with the aim of getting a good night’s sleep. If the cold really bothered me (which fortunately most of the time it doesn’t) then I would rather carry another 0.5kg than have a poor nights sleep. So there you go .. the warmest bag in our winter sleeping bag review, the heaviest bag within our winter sleeping bag review and get’s a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us. It does what it says on the tin and if this fits your specific needs then it offers good value for money at this temperature rating.
BUY THIS IF ….
- You will be using it in very cold weather (Think Caringorms in blizzard conditions in a very cold Feb)
- You are female and generally really feel the cold
- You will be using the bag both in the UK and in colder climates abroad
- Female? Check out the Andes 800 specific female model as detailed above though check the sizing if you are tall
- Look at less warm bags within the Rab Andes range or look at the Expedition range if you need more space for layering inside the bag or even great warmth
Visit www.rab.uk.com for more information.