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Rab Superlite Shelter 2 Silbothy Review

Updated: Jan 7

I have been using the Rab 2 person bothy bag for 6 months now. This is the first bothy bag I have ever owned so do not have any good reference when comparing it to how other similar bags work. I can say however how I have found its performance in a variety of alpine situations and how it compares with a standard bivvy bag.

What is a bothy bag good for? The bothy bag is essentially an emergency shelter. It works well to keep two people warm in wet, windy cold conditions. For the bag to function properly you need to be seated. In my experience if you plan to bivvy for an extended period of time and you wish to sleep as part of that bivvy then go for a bivvy bag or a tent. The bothy bag works well in situations where you have been unexpectedly caught out for a night or two or when you need to take a couple of hour rest or brew stop. Due to the fact that you have to sit upright in the bag I have never managed to sleep when using the bothy bag.

I have used the bothy bag in the mountains on three climbing trips. I have taken it on many more but usually it just sits at the bottom of my pack. The first occasion we were climbing in summer in Chamonix. My friend had the Rab Silbothy and we used it to sit out a 5 hour thunder & lightening and rain storm on the North Face of Les Droites. During that storm we sat side by side on a one foot wide ledge. I stayed warm and dry and this was the experienced that convinced me to go out and buy one for myself. At 240g, there is now reason why you should not include this at the bottom of your alpine climbing pack just in case things don't go to plan.

Next up I took the Silbothy on a trip up the Hooker Glacier at Mt Cook in New Zealand. It was the end of winter and we were planning to spend a few hours in a hut with no sleeping bags. The bothy bag would serve two purposes one to wrap around us in the hut while we got some sleep and secondly as a back up shelter if we got stuck on our climb. I can confirm that the bothy bag is not really the most suitable item for a sleeping bivvy. Due to its shape it doesn't really work when two people are lying down. For this situation we should have gone with the double bivvy bag.

Most recently we took the bothy bag on a climb of the Supercaneleta on Mt Fitz Roy in Patagonia. This time its use was planned and we spent 2 hours sitting in the bag at the base of the climb brewing up and eating. It was very cold on this particular morning and as a three man team we had one person in a traditional bivvy bag with two in the bothy bag. Myself and Jono were the two in the bothy bag and we staying much warmer than Steve who was alone in the bivvy bag. I have found that the bothy bag doesn't breath too well but this has not caused any major issues as fresh air usually comes in from the bottom keeping it fairly dry. For its size and the instant warmth you get from sitting with a partner inside the bag I think this is a must have item for any alpine climbing. Especially in winter where if you are single pushing a big route and not taking any bivvy gear a bothy bag could make the difference when it comes to keeping all your fingers and toes should you get caught in bad weather.

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May 08

I alao have used a bothy bag a few times . I find it is possible to sleep a bit in the in a reclining position if can set up on sloping ground and if you have one around double capacity or so. Like a a 2 man for one person or a four man for two people etc. I will never go on a winter kind of weather day trip without a bothy bag and strongly recommend its usage. If you have never used one, it is far warmer and better than any other emergency shelter in my experience and is warmer inside than you imagine it can be. In some super wet rainy conditions it can be d…


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