The perfect winter sleeping bag would have down insulation for its efficiency and a waterproof shell to ensure the down stays dry. And that’s exactly what you get with the Crux Torpedo 70. The shell is made of eVent waterproof and breathable material, and the seams are taped – which means your down stays dry no matter how damp your tent gets.
The Torpedo is unique among the bags we tested as while most claim to have a waterproof material to keep the down dry, none of them has taped seams. Normal stitched seams are as watertight as a teabag, so if you want to keep your down dry, you need to seal the seams – and that is what makes the Crux bag different. The material used on the shell is eVent waterproof and breathable fabric, which has been used in waterproof jackets for a number of years. To keep the weight down the bag uses the latest bonding technology, which means that seams do not have bulky tape to seal them. There is a three-quarter length side zip to vent the bag as well as draught collars along the zip and around the shoulders. The use of 850+ fill power down, compared to the 800 or 750 fill power used in other bags, adds even more efficiency to the product. This is a top-quality bag for the toughest of conditions.
On the hill
Crux recommends this bag for summer mountaineering up to 6000m, so it should be more than capable of handling a few days’ winter camping in the Lakes. I used this in a single-skin tipi where the inside of the tent was damp with condensation. The waterproof shell was perfect for this situation as I simply did not have to worry about the down getting damp. I was however concerned that the waterproof fabric would not be breathable enough, but on this and other trips there was no sign of condensation developing inside the bag, meaning the fabric is in fact breathable enough. This bag is only given a -11 deg C temperature rating by the manufacturer, so it is the least warm bag we looked at by some way; however for me it was warm enough. Others may want to choose the Torpedo 900 with a comfort limit of -18 deg C, which still only weighs 1500g. Both of these are still very light, especially as you get that waterproof shell.
Size 200x80x50cm medium (small and large also available)
Fill weight 700g
Fill power 850+ (EU)
Comfort temperature rating -11 deg C
Packed size 26x25 cm compressed
Weight of bag 1464g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 25
Stockist details tel. (0113) 250 8833; www.crux.uk.com
Verdict: The Crux Torpedo 70 is great if you need a waterproof shell for winter camping when a wet sleeping bag is likely, but you do pay for that performance with a lower temp rating and a high price tag. It won ‘Best in Test’.