(Not so) Lightweight sleeping bags

A quick update to my post on the perfect Camino sleeping bag:

In my quest to find my own perfect, lightweight, warm and cheap synthetic sleeping bag, I did (over)order just a tiny bit. Sleeping bags are personal things and have to feel right, both in the warmth, the material you will cocoon yourself in and the design – width, length, zip placement etc.

So I ordered an ultra lightweight and very reasonably priced Highland Trekker Ultralight with a stated weight of 480g for a comfort temperature rating of 14C, which sounded almost too good to be true. Well – guess what. It was. The bag, without its compression bag, weighed 530g, just over 10% more than stated. Add compression bag and it goes up to 600g. A whopping 25% increase in the stated weight … OK, so that’s still cheap, light and very packable, I will agree. I mean, just look at the size of it!

trekker

But there was one thing I didn’t like – it was was very staticky. No problem, I thought, I’ll just stick it in the machine and give it a quick wash with softener, that normally sorts static out. However, a quick look at the care label turned up confusing advice: there was a 30C washing machine icon but the care instructions advice was to clean any spills, dirt etc off it with a damp cloth, and also using a liner inside to keep it from getting dirty! Which would add another 150-300g. Now in my mind the main benefit of a synthetic bag is that you can wash it without ruining it! If you can wash it, you don’t need a liner, saving more weight. On the positive side it has a centre zip which I quite liked – open it up, turn the bag and you have a footwarmer with duvet upper. Just how I like it. It also seems quite warm from just sitting with my legs inside it in my living room.

Update to add: After clearing the cleaning instructions up with the seller, I decided to keep it, machine washed it at 30C (which went very well) and it seems a lot less static already.

I also came across the Gelert X-treme Lite range online, which is the same make and design as my down one. I can do the turn-around-footwarmer-duvet thing with it and the size is just right, so I ordered the 800 version. With a stated weight of 800g for a comfort temp of 5.8C, it would be a lot more warmth for the weight. I had learned my lesson and weighed it first inside its compression bag – 1030g – and without – 945g … Again this is too much of an increase for me, especially since I already have a synthetic winter bag good for 0C weighing 1kg in the compression bag! Another return from me.

And I have sent an email to a seller who offers the smaller X-treme Lite 600, supposedly weighing a mere 600g for a comfort temp of 12C, asking them to weigh it before I commit because I don’t want any more disappointments.

Am I being unreasonable here? Maybe so. Both these bags, as well as lots of others, are more than good enough for a week’s walk or more. I just don’t like specs that don’t correspond to reality any more than I like maps that don’t correspond to the terrain. I have not linked to any sellers because it’s not their doing, it’s the manufacturers that (deliberately?) mislabel their goods and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

Rant over, the search continues!

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