On paper the Vango Venom 600 packs a mighty punch. The temperature rating for this bag is similar to the top-end bags in our test, being in the -3 to -9 deg C comfort range; and while it’s a little heavier than bags with much higher price tags it does have a good packed size, making it very suitable for stuffing into a rucksack. It features down insulation with a fill power of 700, while higher-priced models have down with a fill power of 800 to 850 – so it needs more of it to create the same degree of insulation. It features a box wall construction, but you don’t get the slant wall of higher-priced bags to limit heat loss through the seams. All these details add up, but the biggest drawback is that you only get a short side zip that extends to the hip area, so you can’t vent your legs in this bag. Having such a short zip should reduce weight though. The Vango Venom 600 generally has less well-placed down, with much smaller baffles behind the zip and around the shoulder, than higher-priced bags, while the hood is nowhere near as cosy as the top-price bags. This all adds up to not feeling quite so comfortable and cosy in use. The benefit of course is the relatively low price tag, which may be enough to sway you in its favour.
Weight (with stuffsack) 1182g (1229g)
Length x shoulder width 210x76cm
Packed size 19x33cm
Outer fabric Polair 30D mini ripstop nylon
Inner fabric Polair supersoft mini-ripstop nylon
Insulation 95% down, 700 fill power
Construction box wall
Comfort deg C -3
Lower comfort limit -9 deg C
The Vango Venom 600 is good on paper and on your bank balance, but the features and user experience don’t quite match those of higher-priced bags.
Review by Graham Thompson
Published in Trail magazine June 2014