Hood and centre zip
After my recent trip to the Lakes it was clear that my Marmot Hydrogen wasn’t up to dealing with temperatures below freezing, even bolstered with a bivi bag, a primaloft top and, well, I should state that I wore all my clothes including gloves and a wind shirt. I wasn’t cold but it is uncomfortable sleeping with that many layers on. I could of course packed my Rab Ladkh 800 it’s rated to -15c but it’s bulky, heavy, and been adopted by Penny. Earlier in the year I doubled up sleeping bags but that method is even heavier and bulkier that the Ladkh. An upgrade of my sleeping bag was needed particularly as I’ve slot on the Challenge. I know only too well what the weather is like in Scotland in May from experience and from listening to Bob’s podcasts.
So on my return to London I set about a search, my criteria were simple the bag should be OK for temps down to -10c, weight less than a kilo and be cheap. First port of call was the guys at Alpkit but they were out of stock of the Pipedream 600, and weren’t going to have any in until March 2010, fine for the Challenge but not for the intervening months. Next was PHD and I had a crack at making my own. I kept it simple short side, zip no collar just like the Marmot but with more stuffing. The result was an eye watering three hundred quid plus price tag. I then checked out Cumulus, one model fitted the bill but was a bit over budget.
I did a round of the high street stockists of Mountain Equipment, Rab, The North Face and Mountain Hardware, and only the Mountain Equipment Xero 550 made the grade but was more over budget than the Cumulus.
Back online I dropped by BPL UK and they have a small range of bags and the Golite Adrenaline 20 grabbed my attention. At £190.00 it was the cheapest I’d found so far, it weighs 900g ands is rated to -7c, not the -10c that I was looking for but close enough. I found a review done on the bag by Chris Townsend, which confirmed that it would be a good choice. Unfortunately Bob and Rose were out of stock, I had a long chat with Rose about other options but none came near.
Pertex Endurance capped foot
Back online I found that Mark Richardson had stock so promptly ordered one, not as cheap as BPL but still within budget. I’ve not had the chance to use the sleeping bag in its intended environment but I will confess that I did spend one night in it indoors. The lining is silky smooth, and bag is topped and tailed with Pertex Endurance which is waterproof. I don’t know why other sleeping bag manufacturers don’t adopt this approach because many a time I’ve found the foot of my sleeping bag damp, and this was a perennial a problem with one of the tents I used to own. I tested the material and the water beaded off nicely. The foot of the bag is shark tailed which matches the natural angle of the feet when at rest on your back. And it has a half zip on the front of the bag. How I get on with this unique arrangement will remain to be seen.
I hope to get out in the next few weeks to test this, the Scarp and the Golite Peak so more to follow.