21 January 2009 19:13
What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?
It all depends how warm you want to be and how small you want the sleeping bag to pack. Warmer sleeping bags tend to be pricier as the insulation material is more expensive and they use more of it. Any bag that uses down insulation will cost more, but be smaller and lighter when packed. Synthetic insulation is cheaper, but will give you a bigger and heavier bag when packed.
I'll assume you want a general sleeping bag for spring, summer and autumn, and you want to carry it in a rucksack. A bag of this type would generally be called a 3-season sleeping bag and have a temperature rating of around –5 degrees C. This is the temperature at which the bag is comfortable when fully battened down with the hood up and drawcords tightened. If you don’t do the bag up fully or open the side zip, then it's good for 0 to +5. It is best to err on the side of caution and go for a bag warmer than you need (unless you're aiming to travel as light as possible) - and bear in mind women generally feel the cold more than men.
Examples of good 3-season bags in your price range are:
The North Face Blue Kazoo, £140, a down-filled bag which weighs 1424g and is a proven performer.
The Alpkit Pipedream 600, £125, a 991g bag that won Trail Best Value in April 2008 – it’s low price because it is only available over the internet direct from Alpkit.
The Mountain Equipment Sleepwalker III, £90 weighs 1990g and was Best in Test and Best Value in Trail, March 2004.
A Rab Atlas 500 - a 1200g down bag with a £150 price tag.