Rab Quantum 800 Endurance 2009

Quantum sleeping bags are designed to be the lightest available for today’s weight-conscious adventurers. Rab’s Quantum 800 Endurance is packed with top-quality down that provides a comfort rating of -18 deg C while the Pertex Endurance shell provides lightweight and water-resistant protection for the insulation. The bag is cut slightly narrow to optimise efficiency while minimising weight and bulk.


Compared to the other sleeping bags featured here the Quantum 800 is the lightest, yet it still gets a manufacturer’s temperature rating of -18 deg C. To maintain warmth without cold spots there is a classic box wall construction, and the 800g of down is well distributed around the bag. The trick to the weight difference comes from a number of areas. Firstly the bag uses top-quality down, so you need less of it to stay as warm. The shell fabric is also very thin, and that too saves a little weight. However perhaps the biggest contributor to the weight saving is the keener sizing, for this bag is narrower and slightly shorter than the others featured here. The bag also benefits from a very light stuffsack, which again shaves a few more grams off the overall weight when packing this in a rucksack. However the stuffsack is not the compression type, which means that this bag is not quite so easy to squash down as others.


On the hill
The bag feels very light as soon as it is removed from its stuffsack, while the soft lining feels particularly nice against the skin. I used this in the Lakes in the mixed weather of November and found that it did not feel as warm as other bags with similar temperature ratings. You get a shoulder baffle and a zip baffle, but there is less insulation in these than in other bags. The narrow profile across the shoulders also meant that insulation in this area was a bit more squashed, and I certainly felt a little restricted in this bag. I’m not particular big, being somewhere between medium and large in clothing, but I definitely would prefer a little more elbow room! Down tended to be escaping in a few places through the stitching, which was unique to this bag. Like a lot of the alternatives the material is water-resistant but not waterproof, so I ended up with some damp down on nights out in this bag. Great for smaller people than me if you don’t need the warmest bag. 


Size 215x75x50cm
Fill weight 800g
Fill power 700+ (EU)/850+ (US)
Comfort temperature rating -18 deg C
Packed size 25x22cm compressed
Weight of bag 1336g
Made in shell: Far East, filled in UK
Stores in the UK 40
Stockist details tel. (01773) 601870; www.rab.uk.com

Verdict: The Rab Quantum 800 Endurance is ideal if you don’t need the warmest sleeping bag, and rate weight and packed size as priorities, but it’s smaller than others so better suited to smaller people.