.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Which sleeping bag....................?

I've been busy making a list of the down sleeping bags I am considering to replace my Vaude synthetic bag.

There's nothing really wrong with the Vaude bag - it has served me well. It's warm and cosy but it's not lightweight (maybe 1.4 kg, more with stuff bag) and it doesn't compress very small. In fact, it takes up the whole space of the bottom compartment of my rucksack.

{Vaude Kiowa 200 sleeping bag}


So here is the list of candidates. They are all 3 season down bags. Now I do have a bit of a problem with feathers, after all they really belong on birds! I don't like the idea of supporting the meat-eating industry nor do I like the idea of live birds being plucked. However, I have to admit that if I could save a good deal of space in my rucksack, and carry 500g less, but still be warm and cosy, I might be tempted to buy one of these bags.

  • Mountain Equipment Xero 550
  • RAB Neutrino W 400
  • Mountain Hardwear W Phantom 15
  • Golite W Adrenaline 3
  • PHD Minim 400 (short, with zip)
  • PHD Combi bag (short, with zip)

So how do I make the decision? Should it be by price, size, compressibility, durability, or even colour?
After all, I am a Libran - HELP!.............

16 comments:

The Odyssee said...

Hi LAura, Choices, choices.
In my opinion your 1st four bags are too heavy.
The choice should be made on down quality and down fill.
There is too much involved to write up here but it will be on the internet what it all means if you want to get technical.
However PHD minimus 400 is a great bag and i would go for this one. I know your reasons for maybe choosing the combi so you could go for this one.
There are no Cumulus or Western Mountaineering bags on your list. Have you discounted them for a reason?
Oh and yes, go for the dryshell outer on the PHD’s if you go for them.

Louise said...

Am I first here again? Well, there's a surprise... I have a down bag, but it's not on your list. Mine was chosen for price first, then weight and compressibilty and it's certainly made a difference to my pack size. It's a Vango Venom 300, but as price was my limitation I had to go for a cheaper brand. Nevertheless, it's perfectly cosy and I look forward to snuggling into it on a chilly evening!

Laura said...

Alan - thanks for your helpful comments. I have no reason for not including the Cumulus bag, but the WM seemed inordinately expensive. Also rather pricey is the PHD with all the variations I would like. My favourite at the moment is the Rab Neutrino W400....
Louise - this time I'm going for weight, then compressibility,(I think!) Before the Vaude bag I had a Lafuma Down bag, I could feel every feather (shudders), so I decided I would spend more this time. Therefore I hadn't even looked at Vango but it is interesting, especially with your recommendation................

Laura said...

Just remembered why I didn't put a Cumulus sleeping bag on my list - the Lady versions are heavy as they have a fleecy insert in the foot box.....

-maria- said...

I don't know much about the sleeping bags on your list, but I ordered a Cumulus down bag just a few days ago. But yes, I chose down instead of synthetic because of the compact size, weight and warmth. I do feel some pain thinking about the poor geese, but... :/ I'm trying to think that the down bags usually have a longer life span, so it's not that often I need to buy a new one.

Can't really say much about the Cumulus bags yet, the estimated delivery time from cumulus.pl was three weeks (my bag will be a customized = shortened model), but when it arrives, there will be an initial review on my blog :)

Greg said...

I'm also looking for a new bag but would not consider one rated above -4 degrees or weighed more than around 900 g.
My last bag was brilliant, the Rab quantum 400. So when I replace it it must be for a better spec and not a worse one.

Martin Rye said...

PHD Minim 400 would be the pick for me on that list.

Gayle said...

I'm not familiar with all of the bags on that list, but for what it's worth, I've got a Rab Quantum 400W, a PHD Minim 300 (zipless) and a PHD Minim 500 (short zip - which I've not yet unzipped, but I'm sure it'll come in handy sometime). The PHDs are my favourites, and the advantage of the 300 and 500 (rather than the 400) is that they feature in the PHD sale.

Although it doesn't get much use (because I reckon the Minim 300 is almost as warm for less weight and pack size) I rather like my Rab bag too. For me, though, the PHD ones fit better (being a slimmer fit than the Rab).

Laura said...

Thanks for all these brilliant comments. I am currently thinking that I have time to wait till the PHD sale and see what becomes available from them.
In the meantime any other thoughts from readers will be most welcome to help me make up my mind.......

David Albon said...

I too can recommend the Rab Quantum 400 - now replaced by the Neutrino 400. I've had it on my five Challenges and it is fabulous!

I don't mind carrying the small extra weight of a full-length zip as this means I can use the bag over a wide range of temperatures. Too warm - unzip and use as a quilt. Cold - batten down the hatches!!! You simply can't do that with a zipless/half zip bag even if you do save some grams...

Right, now I'm going to read your 2010 TGOC account.

Humphrey Weightman said...

Dear is cheap. In your position I'd have PHD make me up a custom bag. They'll do you any combination of fill, outer, hood, zip, length. It'll last you forever. I've an example they made me in 1999 which has had heavy use and shows no sign of wear.

Laura said...

Thanks Humphrey - my granny always said 'buy cheap, buy twice'!
If I can cobble together the money - who needs food anyway? - I'll definitely be tempted by a PHD bag - I was put off by the apparent narrowness - I am not a narrow person - but a wider option on the do-it-yersel thingy might be the way to go.
I'm now seeing a connection - less food means I won't need the wide bag! Doh!

afootinthehills said...

Last comment seems to have gone astray. Anyway, Rab Quantum 400 has my vote, but it's heavier than the PHD of course.

Laura said...

Thing is - none of them are as heavy as the one I'm currently using! And I would also gain some space I think.
I dream of carrying my tent inside the rucksack instead of on the outside....so untidy!

Brian Cowling said...

Hi.

I'll be trying out a Golite Adventure 3-Season Vario Semi-Rectangular Sleeping Bag next month. It's the equal heaviest item in my colder weather kit at 1140gm including Exped Dry Bag (my TN Comp in Exped Bag is 1140gm too) but it squashes down quite small in the Exped Bag. I can't get a good nights sleep in a mummy shaped sleeping bag; I need to move around in the bag rather than with it. Used the Golite Adventure 1+Season last summer and I had sweet dreams in that.

Brian

Laura said...

Hi Brian - thanks for your input - I'd be interested to know how you get on with that option - I too have a bit of trouble sleeping in a bag without tying myself up in knots!