Thanks everybody who entered :o)
The Big Agnes Competition closes on the 30th May (although I’ll be in the mountains this week and it’ll probably run on a little bit). Holly will pick the winner from her baby bowl as soon as she’s in the right mood after that.
We’ll be doing the trip to the winning hill in June with Big Agnes herself, a proper photographer and allsorts.
A Primaloft filled sleeping bag for writing a hill name and pressing submit, it’s a good deal. Lot’s of great entries in, keep them coming. It’s a very good chance to make life difficult for me as well..
He went, he tried. He’s heading for ebay..It’s Matt C…
Guest Review: Big Agnes Lost Dog 50° Top Bag
This review is going to leave me sounding a bit ungrateful.
I enjoyed ptc*’s competition and I was gobsmacked when I won, and excited when the postie delivered this bag. First impressions were favourable – a small, soft bundle, nicely made – and then I began to wonder when I would use it….?
Let me come clean here. In 30 years of backpacking I’ve always used down bags – first a Slaters 3 season, followed by a Rab, and then about 10 years ago I discovered PHD, of which I now own 4! Always simple mummy bags, always no zip, and always light – the coolest, the Pigolo (+10C), is sub-400g, and the warmest, the Minim 400 (-4C), a mere 650g, identical to the Lost Dog. So when and why would I choose a +10C rated, 658g, synthetic top bag, especially as it also pretty well forces you into using a full length mat rather than a weight-saving 3/4?
Anyway, it seemed only fair to give it a go, so I chose a couple of nights campsite camping, mid July in the Yorkshire Dales. I teamed the bag with my full length Thermarest Ultralite (the purple one that pre-dates the Prolite range), and which fitted perfectly, easily inserted through the retaining straps on the bottom of the Lost Dog.
Now this wasn’t a massively scientific test. I don’t know how cold it was overnight, but it wasn’t cold – I was standing around in a t-shirt and unzipped windproof until I went to bed. I sleep pretty warm (the Minim 400 is my winter bag), and I slept, as usual, in undies and socks. The bottom line is that I didn’t have a warm comfortable night, either night. It wasn’t awful either, but I had that feeling of being not quite warm enough all along. Now I think I’d have been ok in my Pigolo so I’m left thinking that the Lost Dog overdoes its claimed rating, something which I’ve heard isn’t unusual for synthetic bags.
So what lets this bag down? First the Primaloft insulation just seems incredibly thin, lying inside the bag it felt as if I had scarcely more than the two layers of nylon above me. And second the design – the bag has an elastic drawstring across the top but you can’t form a snug seal across your shoulders because of the mat. And if you want to get your head covered you just have to duck down inside the bag, but the end still doesn’t seal well against draughts.
Other little niggles – well, you can’t lie on your back and bend your legs upwards because of the rigidity of the mat. And, although the bag has a full-length zip it isn’t two-way so you can’t unzip from the foot end…. hmmm, perhaps they just knew that overheating would never be a problem? ;O)
So, while top-bags have been an item of curiosity to me in the past, and I don’t know whether any other models get around these shortcomings, I’m afraid that on the strength of the Lost Dog, unless I’m heading somewhere tropical I’ll be sticking to my trusty down bags. Sorry ptc* :((