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mathewm7229

By mathewm7229

21 January 2009 19:13

What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?

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GrahamThompson

By GrahamThompson

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. 

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Jordanesq

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Jordanesq says

Re: What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?

Yes, buy from Alpkit. The products are quality.

25 September 2009 13:40

Screaming Tree

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Screaming Tree says

Re: What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?

I'll second Alpkit, great service & products

24 September 2009 18:47

Stig

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Stig says

RE: What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?

I've been researching this for months and have looked at bags the length and breadth of the UK literally. I have come to the conclusion that down bags just don't cut it in the UK due to the amount of moisture, condensation and rain that we have (also the feathers start to poke through after a while so no good for allergic people either!). Sleeping bags always brush up against the tent inner (unless you're in the middle of a pile of snoozers in a 5 man or more tent) therefore they will always get damp and condensation on them. Good down bags have moisture proof outers on them but just think about your best Gore Tex or E vent jacket, they get damp on the inside from sweat or minor leaks and this is just bound to happen in your sleeping bag too causing serious damage by 'clumping' the precious down. Pack size is paramount in a bag and that is where down bags really come into their own however, the latest synthetic technology is producing some very packable, lightweight, water tolerating fillings. In terms of pack size versus weight I believe that Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags are very hard to beat with their Thermic Microfil. The Lamina range pack down almost as small as down bags and loft incredibly well to keep you warm. One idea I have been experimenting with is using an ultra small down bag such as Rab's Topbag inside a synthetic bag when the winter kicks in. This 3 option system (synthetic, down or both) gives options that allow for year round use in the uk and still only takes up the same amount of space as a heavy weight down bag or mid weight synthetic one (but the packing is more versatile as you have 2 smaller bundles as opposed to one larger one). Synthetic bags can be washed and dried using home equipment whereas down bags must be professionally cleaned.

22 September 2009 19:52

tdaver

tdaver says

Re: What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?

It is a bit vague, but if i had £150 to spend on a sleeping bag, it would have to be an Alpkit sac (Again).

The Pipedream range is light and reasonably cheap - considerably cheaper than similar RAB or PHD bags, though arguably the quality is lower. Mine was the Pipedream 400, retailing at around £110 - but currently out of stock. It's good to -3C, with the rest of the range being warmer still.

Of course, it depends what you need it for. They have even cheaper, but slightly heavier down bags available for under a ton. Yes down isn't good in the damp, but it's probably not a good idea to get a synthetic bag wet either.

The mystery prize goes to the PipeDream 200 - the 1/2 bag that you wear with a down jacket. The best thing is that the foot zips out and you can go walkies in it.

www.alpkit.com/images/pipedream/pd200_sat.jpg

13 February 2009 21:31

Andy Say

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Andy Say says

Re: What is the best sleeping bag for under £150?

You might want to refine that a bit?  Do you want down or synthetic (and they both have pros and cons); how 'warm' do you want it to be; what pack size / weight do you want (backpacking, car camping, hostelling?).

There's an enormous range and like so much outdoor kit it tends to be 'horses for courses'.

23 January 2009 11:56

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