There’s comfort built in to the Mountain Equipment Snowline sleeping bag, thanks to the EXL system, which allows elastic threads to hold the inner of the bag closer to the body for fewer cold spots. At the foot a ‘shark’s toe’ shape means the top is longer than the base, for added comfort. The sculpted hood fits like a jacket hood too.
The Snowline has been popular with Trail for many years, thanks to its attention to detail, comfort and price. The bag features the unique EXL system, which adds 2 deg C of thermal efficiency according to the manufacturer. The bag also uses good-quality down, but some others do have more. The outer material is Drilite, which is water-resistant to help protect the down from condensation inside a tent. There is a section of Polarloft around the face to add a little more comfort to this area, while a well-filled shoulder baffle and zip baffle keep more draughts away. The foot has a 5cm extension on the top to create a ‘shark’s toe foot’ profile that stops your toes from squashing the insulation when resting in a natural position. Mountain Equipment adds its own ‘sleep zone temperature rating’ to the usual EN13537 labelling to give you a little more information. Add in a weight of 1498g and a price of only £325 for a bag that’s comfortable down to -17 deg C, and it looks very hard to beat.
On the hill
I’ve used this bag in all sorts of locations including some winter camping trips to the Cairngorms and I’ve always found it works really well, andw it has been the mainstay of my winter kit for many years. In short, if in doubt I take a Snowline. It is warm enough for me in winter, and I’m sure that the EXL system adds a notch of extra warmth compared to bags of the same temperature rating. Initially the elasticated stitching inside the bag does feel strange but I find that I soon forget about it and fall asleep. The shark’s toe foot is no doubt a good design, although as I tend to curl up I’m not sure if it adds much to my comfort. The sculpted hood fits like a jacket hood around the head, which is ideal for keeping you cosy. The water-resistant shell works well, but it is not seam-sealed so the down may still get wet. A thick shoulder baffle and good overall warmth made this a favourite for winter camping for me.
Size 220x80x50cm standard (XL and small also available)
Fill weight 750g
Fill power 700+ (EU)
Comfort temperature rating -17 deg C
Packed size 25x23cm compressed
Weight of bag 1498g
Made in China
Stores in the UK 46
Stockist details tel. (0161) 366 5020; www.mountain-equipment.co.uk
Verdict: The Mountain Equipment Snowline is a classic sleeping bag that has won Trail tests in the past and remains a superb option if you want all-round performance, but it is not waterproof. It won ‘Best Value’ in our test.