Rab Neutrino SL 200 sleeping bag

I wasn’t going to blog on this as I’ve not used it yet and Rab have stopped making it. However, there’s been quite a lot of interest on Twitter, so I thought I’d better do a little “first look” post.

Why buy yet another sleeping bag? Well, I’ve been looking at quilts and top bags for a while. I rejected the idea of a quilt as I’m a restless sleeper and the likely problem of draughts. I also don’t like the idea of strapping the quilt to a mat so it’s impossible to sit up. Top bags have more appeal as they are enclosed like sleeping bags but only have insulation on the top. Given that the insulation on the the bottom is largely superfluous, this seems like a good, weight saving idea. The Neutrino SL has been around for a while, but Rab have decided to discontinue production, so it was now or never.

I was also prompted by some favourable comments by Martin Rye who bought one recently. Martin alerted me that Ultralight Outdoors Gear only had one bag left in stock, so I took the plunge. Interlink Express failed to deliver it on time, claiming that I was out when I was in, but finally it arrived yesterday. My first impressions are highly favourable. Unusually, it weighs slightly less than the advertised weight at 573g versus 588g. I hope they’ve not skimped on down! The loft is very good and the down quality compares well with my Western Mountaineering bag. The material is very soft to the touch.

The bag is quite long at 210cm, 15cm longer than my Alpkit Pipedream 400, so it should suit tall people. The foot and underside has some Primaloft insulation that extends for 65cms to just above the back of the knees. The underside then extends for 95cms without insulation but with a sleeve for a sleeping pad and an additional four loops for shock cord. As I intend to use the bag with my Exped mats (Synmat UL and Downmat UL), I’ve attached some shock cord to the lowest pair of loops, using a small carabiner on one side for ease of attachment.

Moving up, there is a very plush down filled hood. The baffles around the hood appear to be overfilled to form a kind of collar. I experimented with a Thermarest (old style) in the sleeve and it was a very tight fit. I don’t think I’d like to use it like this as you would have to unzip it to sit up. I’ll either not tether it or I’ll use the piece of shock cord.

The Neutrino has a half zip which is double ended but has no zip pullers. I rectified this using a bit of grey cord that I had. Zip pullers make it much easier to keep the zip away from the draught tube. The draught tube is quite narrow but adequate and has a Primaloft fill, which is more sensible than down in my view as it is stiffer. Unlike some bags, the hood velcro closure keep the zipper end away from your face. Lastly there’s an elasticated draw cord to cinch the hood. The hood itself is a good shape.

The Neutrino comes with a cotton storage bag and a very well specified dry bag which has an internal drawstring and roll over top, but is a bit heavy at 67g. All in all, it seems to be a very good bag and should probably match my Alpkit Pipedream 400 for warmth (assuming a good insulating mat). At 573g, there’s a useful 167g weight saving and it packs down into an appreciably smaller package. The proof of the pudding will be when I use it, which is unlikley in the short term as we are still nursing our dog, who is doing well, but will need another month or so of care.

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13 thoughts on “Rab Neutrino SL 200 sleeping bag”

  1. Wahey! I bought the same bag, for all the same reasons, just a month ago. I’ve had it out for a weekend, temperatures were only down to around 11 °C, so it was hard to tell how capable the insulation was. Very comfortable, and I love the excellent dry bag it came with.

    1. I’m looking forward to using it. I was surprised at the quality of the dry bag, but everything I have from Rab has been high quality.

  2. It sounds very good. I own one from way back, mine originally had a mesh back! I got Rab to replace this though. I’ve used it down to nearly zero and was reasonably warm. Having the down on top works really well in my opinion.

  3. Had mine years 🙂 One fave piece of gear I own, Robin.

    It won’t take an Exped mat for sure. Sleeve’s not cut out for it. So I used an OMM mat to keep it stable and then sleep on top of an Exped mat (nowadays at least).

    Another bonus for you on these bags (think I mentioned it to Martin), is they make great liner bags too. In winter, if the cold is a bit too much, slip this SL inside and you’ve then bumped up your warmth. Beats a silk or fleece liner anyday

  4. Great piece of kit these, I’ve got to admit I didn’t get it at first and sold my first one to a certain Ian Wood! I then bought another one, (that makes it an expensive purchase!). Like Ian I’ve found mine comfortable down to 0c, Ian will remember a rather chilly night high on the HRP! The design has changed over the years, my present one (un-modified) dating from about 7-8 years ago with 200g of down weighs in at 442g. Progress? Mine hasn’t got a hood though!

      1. No mine hasn’t got the primaloft Robin. Its just a simple pertex quantum back with a down filled footbox which extends approx 50cm from the bottom. The only other luxury is a drawcord round the top.

  5. Robin, I got the exact same item about a year ago and use it in conjunction with a Klymit Inertia X-frame which is narrow and easily slides through the sleeve. If I also add an OMM Duomat as a torso mat and a light down jacket as a duvet I am definitely comfy down to 0c.
    I worked out that the bag when packed is approximately 5 litres compared to my Pipedream 400 (10 litres) and 600 (15 litres).
    I just wish Rab still made their bags in regular and long versions as the length of this one is a bit long for my liking. I think part of the reason I still covet my Alpkit bags is that their general length and size are just right for someone of just under 6 ft which is a fairly average height.

    1. I agree on the length. For me it’s a bit long. Good to know it works well. I am surprised that there’s next to no info on the Internet about the bag.

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