Model: Ascent 500
4 “After 115 straight nights on the AT—and lots of humidity—this bag still looks and feels like I got it yesterday,” one tester says. Credit the Nikwax hydrophobic down treatment, which kept feathers fluffy though the most challenging conditions of the test. The Pertex Microlight 30-denier nylon shell also emerged relatively unscathed.
3.5 Rab uses 650-fill duck down stuffed into horizontal trapezoidal baffles. This design uses a little more material than traditional box construction, but the staggered seam lines mean no cold spots. “The 24°F temp rating is accurate,” our tester says.
2.5 The trim, semi-rectangular shape leaves plenty of room in the footbox (or extra space to store gear). But most testers wished for more volume through the shoulders (it’s the narrowest here at 29.5 inches) and hip area.
3 The Ascent is the most compressible in the test (10 by 8 inches in the included compression sack). Nitpick: The ¾-length zipper is snag-prone and limits venting on mild nights.
$245; 2 lbs. 5 oz.; 24°F; us.rab.uk.com
1=save your money / 5=perfect gear
Overall score is not an average of others scores; it’s a gut-level assessment of performance and value.