The Robens Icefall Pro 600 is a very warm sleeping bag with the new MicroThermo Ball insulation – a potential replacement for down.
New technologies keep getting better.
There are some fantastic synthetic fillings available, and the latest is the new MicroThermo Ball filling. An artificial filling that has some of the good properties of down. But why is down so good for sleeping bags?
Benefits of Down Sleeping Bags
Down is the fluffy under feathers, typically from ducks or geese. Nature has evolved these feathers to be fantastic insulators by trapping tiny pockets of air.
And no matter how much you squash the features, they tend to spring back.
This makes them great for sleeping bags:
- You get well-insulated sleeping bags using less material.
- The sleeping bags can be squashed down very small, making them ideal for backpacks.
- They last a long time as they keep springing back, despite being repeatedly squashed into a sleeping bag stuff sack.
Unfortunately, manufactured materials don’t squash down as well. You tend to need more synthetic material than down. That means sleeping bags with synthetic material are larger and heavier.
Down isn’t all wonderful, though.
If it gets wet, it no longer insulates well, although many down features are treated with waterproofing these days.
Another issue is that down must be harvested for geese or ducks. Wherever you stand on the ethics of that, there is one indisputable fact: it makes down very expensive.
It may also be a problem for anyone with allergies.
The filling in the Robens Icefall Pro 600 is the new MicroThermo Ball synthetic material.
Unlike previously manufactured fillings, the MicroThermo Ball springs back.
You can feel it if you squeeze the material between your fingers: it fills back out, like down.
And what’s more, unlike down, it is naturally waterproof. And, it’s non-allergenic.
The result: a warm sleeping bag that insulates very well and in a much smaller pack size than other equivalent synthetic-filled sleeping bags.
Robens Icefall Pro 600 Review
Robens sent me over a review sample of this sleeping bag to try it out.
While you can get slightly smaller packs with some down sleeping bags, the Robens Icefall Pro 600 bag comes in a size that will easily fit in a bottom of a backpack.
Robens class this Icefall Pro 600 as a 2-3 Season sleeping bag, but it should still keep you warm when the needle drops below freezing.
To me, this feels like a four-season sleeping bag. Both in looks with the amount of insulation, and when using it. It’s quite warm 🙂
After getting the sleeping bag out of the stuff sack, the bag filled out straightaway. I was very impressed with how such a large insulated bag could fit in such a small pack.
Another feature of this sleeping bag is the central zip instead of running down the side.
This works very well and makes it easy to sit up in your sleeping bag with the zip slightly open to free your arms, but keep the rest of the sleeping bag in place. That is something that’s not easy to do with a side-zip sleeping bag.
The zip is covered with two large insulated baffles so that you won’t be losing much heat through it.
The sleeping bag is mummy-style with a hood. In addition to the expected drawstring around the hood, there is another inside the bag to pull insulation in around your shoulders to help keep more of your body heat inside the bag.
There is a further drawstring around the waist.
The feet area is a box section with added insulation, so your feet won’t feel cramped or cold.
As well as the compression sack, the sleeping bag has a mesh sack. This is for storing the bag uncompressed at home.
I found this a really warm sleeping bag for a 2-3 season bag.
The quality was great, and it packs down to a reasonable size for such a well-insulated bag.
I’m going to be using this bag a lot more, and so if I find any issues, then I’ll update things here. But for now, this definitely gets the thumbs up.
- A very warm sleeping bag.
- It packs down well and lofts out when unpacked.
- Comfortable; it's a mummy bag but with plenty of room.
- Extra pull-cords and baffles to help keep your body heat in.
- Not using down.
- Looks well made.
- A bit more pricey than most family camping bags, which is to be expected for high-end technical camping gear.
Price Guide: Robens Icefall Pro 600 with MicroThermo Ball – Finally, a replacement for Down?
Specification: Robens Icefall Pro 600 with MicroThermo Ball – Finally, a replacement for Down?
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