Sleeping Bags

I’ve spent a lot of time in sleeping bags in recent months, and very little of it has been seen on here, the current issue of Trail mag has a sleeping bag review I did over the first few months of the year. The bags are all down filled and come in at under a kilo. It’s a cracking selection of bags, the general quality was uniformly high and the group was very close, the winner came from a mix of the specs and simple usability as well as price.
I’m pleased with the way the review came out and I hope it’s a useful one as buying down bags is such a task without good points of reference.

I’ve got a few down bags in for test on here which I’ll be covering over the next few weeks and it’ll be something new and different including a bag/quilt hybrid and a bag with a six inch zip.
I’m tackling all the gear stuff imminently, next up should be some rather nice binoculars that’ve just arrived from the Netherlands.

12 thoughts on “Sleeping Bags

  1. Nice review in Trail but ever so slightly disappointed that you didn’t get a chance to review what is, IMHO, simply the best range of down bags – the GoLite Adrenaline series.

    Maybe next time.

    Mur

  2. Aye got to agree there Mur, been using an Adrenaline 3 for a few years, reviewed it for Trail when I did a Cairngorm thing a while back, it’s a great bag. An updated version was expected for this review but it was a no-show. That happends a lot, nothing sinister in it, stock availability and deadlines etc

    Michael, it’s a refreshing unpretentious bag, and the EN ratings do not lie. It’s a real sleeper, I think the price actually puts folk off as they think it’ll be rubbish, it’s just a bit heavy.

  3. Ach, I’m totally bamboozled now. I need a new bag for spring/summer/autumn, cos my current one weighs 1.4kg (although it is purple and lime green!) but I’m in a quandary about which way to go. Do I go superlight and superexpensive with a PHD ultra or go cheap and cheerful and a bit heavier with the Gold Kazoo? My shorlist is down to about ten bags. I’m not getting anywhere fast.

  4. Hey guys,
    first entry from me here. following your blog quite a while now. nice pics btw!
    @michael: did you already keep an eye on the cumulus lite line sleeping bags? sure you did but you never know :)

  5. Michael, I couldn’t answer that one either. Nothing’s perfect, sometime I’m glad of the extra bag wrapped around me sometimes I wonder why I bothered.
    Next trip will be a tough choice, it’ll be about 20degC. warmer at camp, no idea what to pack.
    PS, Got Sea to Summit and Terra Nova bags in to help muddy the waters.

    Hi Mastan, good to hear from you. I liked the Cumukus bag a reveiwed for the mag, it was just a little neat on me, good spec though.
    Hopefully I’ll see more of their stuff and I’ll be able to feature it on here.

  6. I feel like I need to get this off my chest. I am new to the forum (have been following the blog for years though), and I feel like you guys can offer a comforting shoulder.

    The other day, I spent the night away from home. I stayed the night at my climbing partner´s den. Literally, a den: he lives in a lean-to in the forest, about a 30 min walk from our university campus (permanently). To go into the details of why and how would take too long, but the outcome of that overnight stay was that I almost did not dare to return home to the husband the next day. And no, it is not what you might think. It is even worse: somehow, I managed to burn a hole the size of my head in my Mountain Equipment down sleeping bag. And the size of my fist on the inside of the bag. Yes, it went straight through. Must have ended up too close to the hot coals of the wood fire. Luckily, my friend has a good ventilation system (ie. we opened up the whole thing), as the lean-to (and myself) smelled like fried duck. The reason I was afraid to return home is that my husband is this gear freak who is absolutely paranoid, especially when it comes to all things down. I picked up the bag from ebay, but still: I love that bag.

    My question is: can it be fixed, you reckon? None of the baffles were damaged (thank the lord), so I thought I should just buy a down pillow and slaughter it to replace the missing down, and then sacrifice – very old, very well used – Montane light speed jacket to patch the holes. Or are there professional down sleeping bag fixing companies? Would ME help me out you think? Or is this a very good reason to start looking for a new bag (I don´t really have the money to spare at the moment, plus, as I said, I love my bag). Should I just get over it and give it a nice burial? Feels like such a waste to be throwing out all that down. Must be quite a few ducks in there.

  7. Firstly: Hello!

    Second, brilliant story :o) I sympathise, I tore the side of my OMM Finch down vest on a barbed wire fence years ago and the first I knew about was the cloud of down around me as it all spilled out and floated away. I patchd it with duct tape and it’s still going strong today, it’s my daily winter wear for my day job.

    Your bag? I’d say fix it if the cost isn’t more than a replacement would be, there are companies that can do it. You might not get the same fabric to patch the holes, but how cool would it look with patches? Proper badass ex-expedition gear, that’s the look you’ll get.

    I’d get in touch with ME and see who they recommend that’s close to you, I know they use Scottishmountaingear up my way but they’ll have a wider support network.

    If you think the bag isn’t worth the cost of a pro repair, there isn’t anything to stop you trying it yourself. You can get technical fabric samples online and then just use non-cotton thread to stitch it all up, carefully. Replacing the lost down is trickier, you’d need good quality down to match the test and make sure the bag’s still compressible.

    Let us know how you get on, and send some pictures of the damage!

  8. Thank you for the sympathy! Needed some moral support. I will contact ME, but i think I will try to fix it myself if I I need to sent the bag abroad (I live in Norway). Will post a picture online soon. For now I am using a very old and very heavy synthetic haglofs bag, as my husband refuses to let me use his down Western Mountaineering bag. Strange.

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