Rab Neutrino 400 Review
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Rab Neutrino 400
Check Price at REI
|$520.00 at Backcountry|
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|$348.68 at Amazon|
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$245.00 at Backcountry
|Pros||Lightweight, thoughtful design, effective neck baffle||Spacious dimensions, super comfortable, great loft, lightweight, made in the USA||Spacious hourglass shape, innovative venting "gills", waterproof footbox, sturdy compression sack||Decent weight, respectable warmth, awesome bargain||Great price, respectable weight, simple design|
|Cons||Expensive, narrow foot dimensions, annoying drawcords||Expensive, awkward hood, good but not great zipper||Below average warmth-to-weight ratio, bulky packed size||Average materials, limited features, basic design||Subpar warmth, annoying hood drawcords, no storage sack, mediocre versatility|
|Bottom Line||A lightweight and high-quality sleeping bag that's just a step behind our favorites||The best ultra-premium bag that combines warmth, low weight, good packability, and luxurious comfort||Premium down in an hourglass shape that offers the roomiest lower body dimensions||An exceptional deal for a capable and sturdy backpacking sleeping bag for those looking to get outside without breaking the bank||An acceptable sleeping bag at a rock bottom price|
|Rating Categories||Rab Neutrino 400||Western Mountaineer...||NEMO Riff 30||Mountain Hardwear B...||REI Co-op Trailbrea...|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Features & Design (10%)|
|Specs||Rab Neutrino 400||Western Mountaineer...||NEMO Riff 30||Mountain Hardwear B...||REI Co-op Trailbrea...|
|Insulation||800 FP Down||850+ FP Down||800 FP Down||650 FP Down||Synthetic - Polyester|
|Compressed Volume||8.9 liters||7.2 liters||7.2 liters||7.5 liters||9.8 liters|
|Measured Bag Weight (Size Long)||1.91 lbs.||1.62 lbs.||1.91 lbs.||1.98 lbs.||2.74 lbs.|
|Manufacturer Claimed Weight (Size Regular)||1.84 lbs.||1.50 lbs.||1.80 lbs.||1.79 lbs.||2.50 lbs.|
|Compression/Stuff Sack Weight||2.0 oz.||1.6 oz.||2.4 oz.||1.6 oz.||1.2 oz.|
|Manufacturer Temp Rating||20 F||30 F||30 F||30 F||30 F|
|EN Temp Rating (Lower Limit)||20 F||Not rated||29 F||30 F||29 F|
|Fill Weight||14.1 oz.||13 oz.||10.2 oz.||15 oz.||21.1 oz.|
|Compression or Stuff Sack Included||Waterproof Stuff||Stuff||Compression||Stuff||Stuff|
|Shell material||20D Recycled Pertex Quantum||Extremelite (12D)||Ripstop nylon (20D)||20D Nylon Ripstop||Polyester w/ DWR|
|Liner material||20D Recycled Nylon||n/a||30D Nylon Taffeta w/ DWR||30D Plain weave nylon||Polyester|
|Small Organization Pocket||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Zipper||3/4-length / Left Side||Full-length / Side||3/4-length / Side||3/4-length / Left Side||3/4-Length / Left Side|
|Shoulder Girth||63.8 in.||64 in.||62 in.||62 in.||62 in.|
|Hip Girth||52.8 in.||Not stated||54 in.||53 in.||56 in.|
|Foot Girth||40.9 in.||39 in.||59 in.||Not stated||Not stated|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rab Neutrino 400 is a great all-around sleeping bag with recycled materials, an effective draft collar, and good ventilation, but its 800FP down insulation can't quite keep up with the 850FP and 900FP down found on other high-end bags.
The 400 in the name Rab Neutrino 400 signifies the 400 grams of down insulation it contains. In English units that translates to 14.1 ounces and that quantity is actually a little less than average for a bag with this warmth. That might be because the down is lofty 800 fill power. This insulation, combined with a cozy neck baffle to seal in heat, earns the Neutrino a 20F temperature rating. In our tests, the rating seemed to be accurate.
The Neutrino 400 features a streamlined mummy design with a strong taper from the head to the foot of the bag to minimize materials and overall weight. On our scale, a size long weighed in at 1.91 lbs. That's nearly the same weight as our favorite 20F bags from Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends. However, we believe those bags provide more warmth than their 20F temperature ratings while the Neutrino merely meets it. Therefore, we think the Neutrino has a great, but not best-in-class, warmth-to-weight ratio.
All of our testers were fans of the supple 20-denier recycled nylon used to line this bag. They also appreciated that the outer shell incorporates recycled Pertex Quantum. We were less pleased, however, with the taper at the foot of the bag. This taper is stronger than that seen on many other sleeping bags and several testers complained that the foot box felt uncomfortably constrictive. In contrast, the upper body dimensions seemed rather spacious for a lightweight model.
We were able to squeeze the Rab Neutrino 400 down to an impressively svelte 8.9 liters of volume. That's near the top of the field for bags that offer the same amount of warmth. Keep in mind that we achieved those results with a third-party compression sack. The Neutrino comes with its own sack but it's a roll-top waterproof design. The waterproofness may be desirable to some but the roll-top closure makes it fairly hard to pack it down fully.
This bag's lightweight design and 20F temperature rating limit its versatility to some extent. The lightweight design sacrifices the bag's spaciousness and we worry it's probably too constrictive for extended trips. At the same time, the 20F temperature rating and minimal venting possibilities make this bag too warm for many summer backpacking applications. Instead, it's a bag that's best suited for ounce counters or mountaineers looking to shave a little weight for colder trips during the shoulder seasons or at high elevation.
Features & Design
Our favorite feature on the Rab Neutrino 400 is the neck baffle. This baffle wraps 360 degrees around the collar of the bag to snuggle your neck and shoulders and prevent heat from escaping out of the main body of the bag. There is also a small stash pocket adjacent to the baffle to stow a headlamp. Unfortunately, the stash pocket isn't large enough to store most larger smartphones.
The critical question for a premium sleeping bag like the Rab Neutrino 400 should not be: is the bag good? This bag is unquestionably good. The critical question instead should be: how does the bag compare to other premium sleeping bags? In this regard, it also does pretty well--it performs better than most similarly priced bags. But compared to the absolute best premium bags from Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends, the Neutrino is a clear step behind. For this reason, we don't consider it an exceptional value for the price.
With impressive warmth, minimal weight, and recycled materials, what's not to like about the Rab Neutrino 400? On an objective scale, not much. This is an excellent sleeping bag. On a comparative scale, however, this bag reveals a few subtle flaws that include a narrow foot box and limited versatility. If you're going to spend serious money for a premium sleeping bag, you should get the best, and the Neutrino isn't quite there. You should give it serious consideration if you find it on sale, but at full price, we would opt for a best-in-class model from another company.
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