Thursday, September 11

Sleeping Bag: Ultra-Light. Ultra-Cheap, but will it work?

Fancy a 3 season bag that weighs less than 750g yet costs under £75? OK. Well how about less than 500g, and £50? Have I got your interest yet? How about lighter and cheaper still?

Regulars to this site will know a kit test is not my usual style. However the offer of a 378g sleeping bag costing £25, one produced by a UK company, was rather too tempting to ignore.

The postman called today with a small package. A very small package indeed.

Initially reaction? 'What the .....? I've bought a large block of lightweight tin foil"
(And yes dear reader, I did say bought. Albeit at a friendly price for a no-strings-attached review)

Like Dr Who's Tardis the brick unfolds; And unfolds; And keeps on unfolding until there is a rather large, rather wide sleeping bag. Nothing of the simplistic fragility found with a Survival/Space Blanket. More durable and with a clear sleeping bag design.

The only way to really unfurl it for a photo was to quickly slide down inside, and push it into shape from within, to provide an indication of it laid out. Clearly not laid out too well to be honest, with the evidence of the vacuum packing yet to be sorted out (But you'll understand of course - I had to I have a quick play first!)



Initial feelings duly jotted down I'm confident enough with the bag to test it at a Dorset BackPackers Club meet later this month. Plus it provides a chance to get feedback for a product that can be see and handled for real. Some alternative views from those for whom this approach could be so beneficial.

Suffice to say - it has potential. Now can it match up to its maker's claims?

More here on the Furtech website, if you can't wait until the detailed test report later this month.

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Comments:
I have questions already :-)

I'll wait until you've had a proper play then the grilling will start :-)
 
I'm not as polite as George is..I want more details as you could imagine. :-)
- It looks as it has no hood, right?
- No neck baffles or zippers, right?
- From the photo is seems to be cut rather narrow, right? Does the material offer some flexibility?
- I'm wondering how moist it might get inside after a nights sleep bit your tests will tell.
- A subjective opinion what would be a comfortable outside temperature to use with normal "night clothes" would be great after your tests
- How durable is the material and how easily can it be repaired (Duct-Tape?)? Flame retardant?
- Do you need to dry it out in the morning like a down bag?
- Any "loft" change when the bag gets wet? Will it be still usable then?
- How fast will the bag dry out if he gets wet?

This should keep you busy... Sorry but I guess you expected no less from me. ;-)
 
It's a Blizzard Bag isn't it? Standard issue for Winter MLs. I keep meaning to get one. They're impossible to pack down again but they're life saving and can deal with really low temps.
 
LH - well I can give you a few teasers to keep you quiet for a bit ....

- No hood
- Neck baffle, of a sort. No zip
- Cut very wide - unlike a mummy design plenty of room to stretch your legs out
- Material feels very flexibile based on limited trial so far
- Moistness? Test to come
- Temperature - Thats going to be very interesting based on my intial reaction on getting inside. Felt like my body heat was reflected straight back at me
- Durability - Thats my key question. Looks like a bit of duct tape will get around tears, but I don't want tears in my sleeping equipment....
Flame retardant - I'll check that out for the test report
- Do you need to dry it out in the morning like a down bag? We'll see
- Any "loft" change? I don't think loft is going to be relevant due to the material used
- How fast will the bag dry out if he gets wet? Hmmmm

All this is a gut reaction awaiting confirmation of a real outdoors test
 
Alistair
Blizzard sleeping bag. The packing down is defnitely a challenge. I'm going to see what state it gets into after its had a nights sleep bashing, and then I'll talk with Furtech to see what their advice is
 
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