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Rab Solar Eco 2 sleeping bag review

You want a three-season sleeping bag to keep you warm on cool summer nights, without the faff of a down-filled bag – but compact, reasonably lightweight, and eco-conscious. Rab's Solar Eco 2 ticks all the boxes

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
Solar_Eco_2_AscentBlue_QSS_10_ASB 2

Our review

Lightweight and compact sleeping bag for the eco-conscious camper
Pros: Compact when packed
Lightweight (for a synthetic bag)
Easy to wash
Durable
Insulate even when damp
Cons: Small hood
Hand wash – Rab does not recommend machine wash

At less than a kilo and just 35cm x 20cm packed, Rab’s new Solar Eco 2 is both lightweight and compact enough for backpacking, making it our top synthetic bag choice for multi-day trekking. (A sturdy compression sack with two cinches helps reduce its volume.) But it’s a good option for all manner of camping trips and other travel adventures.

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Unlike down bags, this fully synthetic bag will continue insulating even when damp – a big bonus on a rainy multi-day hike. And when you get home, it’s also easier to wash than a down bag (though note that Rab recommends handwashing the bag, and using special Nikwax cleaning and proofing fluids to restore the fabric’s water repellency).

The comfort rating of -2C is enough to keep you cosy on all but the chillier spring and autumn nights. The insulation is even, with no obvious cold spots. And when the temperature warms up, the zip reaches down to your ankles, allowing you to let as much cool air in as you want. Inside the bag feels reasonably spacious, and the mummy shape doesn’t constrain your legs.

It’s a relatively eco-conscious choice, as both fabric and insulation are 100% recycled – which has a much lower carbon footprint than virgin polyester. The outer fabric is treated with a durable water repellent that – unlike some used by other outdoor gear makers – is free of harmful fluorocarbon chemicals. And while synthetic fabrics are essentially plastics – with all the issues they pose for the environment – they are extremely durable. With care, this bag should last for years.

Design-wise, simplicity rules: a shoulder baffle can be cinched over your shoulders, to keep cold air out. Another cinch tightens the hood, which could be more generously cut – but there is just enough to cover your head. A smallish internal pocket is big enough for a wallet and a mobile phone.

Facts at a glance:

  • RRP: £145
  • Weight: 980g
  • Pack size: 35cm x 20cm
  • Comfort: -2°C
  • Fill: Stratus, 100% recycled polyester
  • Fabric: Recycled polyester Atmos outer fabric
  • Pockets: one zipped interior pocket big enough for wallet and phone

For more options read our buyer’s guide with detailed reviews


Also consider…

Nikwax Down Wash Direct and Down Proof

The Solar Eco 2 sleeping bag may be filled with synthetic insulation rather than down, but nevertheless Rab recommends hand-washing with Down Wash Direct and then re-proofing the bag with Down Proof to restore its water repellency. Both products are from British firm Nikwax.

Mammut Perform Fiber Bag -7C

If you feel the cold and want something warmer than the Rab Solar Eco 2, then try this versatile synthetic bag. At 1100 g the weight is pretty low for a three-season synthetic bag – arguably light enough for multi-day backpacking. It stays warm even when wet, and is machine washable and easy to dry. Use the 160cm zip to let in cool air when you need to. It’s a bit bulky when packed, but should still fitted into the bottom part of a 65-litre volume backpack. JP

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For more options read our buyer’s guide with detailed reviews