This post deals with my thoughts on sleeping systems and by typing this, it helps me distill my thoughts so I will make the right decision – I hope ! As always I am glad to hear reader’s comments.
My criteria is
1. Good users reviews
2. Good value
3. Does not add significantly to weight compared to my existing system.
4. Ideally British designed (and manufactured) if possible, but not vital. I just like to support British companies and we do design some of best gear, even if we don’t always make it here now !
My current system is an Alpkit Pipe Dream 400 down sleeping bag and a Themarest Prolite mat.
This combination to my mind is lightweight, packs down to a good size, good value and does the job to give a comfortable and warm night’s sleep. As I said in my previous post, I have not been out in any serious way past early November, so this has proved more than satisfactory for the temperatures encountered.
To my mind there are several ways that I could go – using existing gear, purchase some additional items to boost the rating and finally looking at purchasing a winter bag or quilt.
Extend the season of my current sleeping system.
The Pipedream 400 is rated down to -3 degrees and weighs 750g, I could add to this in several ways
1. Wear my PHD Minimus Jacket in the sleeping bag ( I will take this anyway so I am adding no weight)
2. Buy PHD down trousers – cost £142 and weighs 280g to wear with Jacket.
I not certain what this will add to the sleeping bag rating, but I am making the assumption of an extra 5 degrees – to bring it down to -8 degrees
3. Buy a lightweight foam mat , such as Multimat Adventure cost £19.99 weighing 175g to go under my Prolite mat.
Additional cost £161.99.
Additional weight 455g
Buy new sleeping bag for winter period
I think that a bag with a rating of between -8 and -10 degrees along with the mat system should be enough for most nights.
Three sleeping bags look likely options:
Alpkit Pipedream 600 – priced at £150.00, weighing 950g – currently out of stock (seems to happen a lot!). Could use my eldest son’s one ( I got him one two year’s ago for a school trip to the Peruvian Andes).
PHD Minimus 500 – priced at £282 weighing 785g
Cumulus Quantum 450 – priced at £264 weighing 770g
Additional costs of between £150-282
Extra weight with addition of Multimat is 170g and 185g with the Cumulus and PHD respectively. With the Alpkit bag option an extra 375g.
Look at a different sleeping system such as a Quilt system
Two products have caught my eye:
I am interested in looking at the Themarest system utilising the Prolite mat on top of a Multimat Adventure with the Haven top bag. The Haven bag is rated down to -6, weighs 624g and costs £144.49.
This is interesting, as it is lighter than my existing bag and movement within the quilt will less restricted. The rating is not quite what I ideally what, but I guess the wearing of a down jacket would make up for this. I would probably need to add at 185g, the sleeping sheets that fix on to the Prolite mat to make the system more comfortable.
The total extra weight compared to my existing system would be 234g and cost £184
Golite 20 degree Quilt
A good write up on Hendrick’s blog on this. The quilt is rated at -7 degrees and weighs 561g. But at present, no-one UK and Stateside seem to have stock of this product. Bit concerned about the unknown on Quilt sleeping systems. What I may do is to look at a Quilt system for lightweight summer use . I understand that there will be an interesting new range from Themarest next year. If this is right for my needs, I will look at this system for colder weather at a later date.
Having reviewed things in my mind, the option which makes most sense to me at present is to purchase the Cumulus Quantum 450. This is a bit lighter than my existing bag and all I will carry extra is 175g for the Multimat Adventure.
The PHD bag also is a good option as it is similar weight to my existing bag and is designed and made in Britain.
All I need now is to figure, how to carry the mat as it will take up extra space. This will be discussed in my next post – Backpacks for winter use.
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