A versatile bag
First we’ll get the disappointing stuff out of the way. This sleeping bag isn’t the cheapest, doesn’t use the highest lofting down, nor is it most compact. Because the 500 is relatively lightly filled, the down can move leaving areas where you can see through the walls of the bag. And it can leak down: we have had 3 Ascent bags, and over the more than 2 years we have had them, in total they have lost roughly a good single handful of down. So if you want a bag only for lightweight hiking and camping, you would probably chose another bag.
Now why I really like it: I bought a couple of 500s which we have used for 2 camping trips to Holland and Southern England in May and June, and also as back-ups during a six-week trip around Australasia. After uncomfortable cold experiences in years gone-by, we always use 3 and 4 season sleeping mats when camping. And because I dislike having to wash whole sleeping bags, we have always used silk liners in the bags, which are easier to wash. Under these circumstances, whenever we have used the sleeping bags, they kept us warm and comfortable. The bag is very roomy, and the down allows sleeper to perspire without getting wet and uncomfortable. And when after a hard night’s rain the tent inner was surrounded by an inch or so of water and we had to strike camp, even though parts of the sleeping bags got dipped in the water, that didn’t soak far in and dried out relatively well.
But their main use is in the cooler months during motoring trips away from home, as supplements to the bedding in hostels and B&Bs. Because of its long zip, a bag can be mostly opened out to serve as a cover or duvet. And the bags can be zipped together. So two bags can become one large bag, which can be also be used as a luxurious double thickness duvet. Or the bags can be joined along just one zip and spread out to be a double duvet.
So all in all a very versatile bag for a travelling lifestyle. I wouldn’t want to rely on a single 500 to keep me warm in close-to-zero and sub-zero temperatures, but that is what our third Ascent, a 900, is for. (And the 900 can be zipped to the 500s.)