The Therm-a-Rest Antares is like Marmite, as you’ll either love it or hate it. It’s designed to work with a Therm-a-Rest sleeping mat, and has straps on the base that allow you to slot a mat in without the mat sliding away or you slipping off it. This is a nice theory as it means there is no need for insulation and all those baffles along the base of the bag as the mat provides all the necessary insulation. To that end the Therm-a-Rest Antares is well-designed. The mat fits in well enough and you get a long side zip for venting the bag. The zip runs pretty smoothly too, and there is a hood with a drawcord. But my love affair starts to end when I actually use this bag. Firstly the shoulder baffle has no drawcord, so you have to draw in the hood to trap air inside. But more importantly for me at least is that if you roll over and want to sleep on your side in a foetal position, then you have to roll inside the bag, rather than just roll over and take the bag with you. This does not suit the way I like to sleep, or my build, but of course slimmer folk may find it works; I just find it frustrating. Also for a bag rated as having a-8 deg C lower comfort limit it is not actually that light in weight.
Weight (with stuffsack) 959g (982g)
Length x shoulder width 200x80cm
Packed size 17x27cm
Outer fabric 30D nylon
Inner fabric 30D nylon
Insulation down, 750 fill power
Comfort -2 deg C
Lower comfort limit -8 deg C
The Therm-a-Rest Antares is a unique sleeping concept, but for me the theory does not match the user experience. It will depend how you sleep as to how much you like this bag.
Review by Graham Thompson
Just missed out on being in Trail magazine June 2014