New winter weight sleeping bags for Jon
I've been saving my shekels so I could buy myself a 3-4 season sleeping bag. I have Summer and Base Camp bags but needed one for winter and the shoulder tramping periods from May-September.
|My summer sleeping bag: Domex Packlite (large size)|
I wanted a down bag as I will be mostly in huts over these periods and they are so much warmer and lighter than comparable synthetic bags. Alas, they are very expensive, with prices ranging from $400-$1200 depending on brand and what type you buy.
The Macpac Escapade 700 XL
Recently Macpac had a 60% clearance sale so went down for a look at their wares. Macpac is one of the better New Zealand outdoor clothing and equipment firms. I brought one of their Escapade 700 series sleeping bags for a very reasonable price. Normal retail is $540 but on sale I managed to buy it for only $275.
|Macpac Escapade 700 XL|
XL sized for comfort and fit...
The bag is an extra long, dimensions are 242x86x56, weight is 1.3kg. The outer cover is Pertex with a 80/20 blend of duck down as the filler. The loft rating is 600, which means it should be good for temperatures down to -2 degrees Celsius.
|Big Blue Escapade at Nina Hut, Summer 2016|
With my silk bag liner and the addition of thermals as sleep wear it should be good to -6 or-7 degrees at least. One good feature is the ability to unzip this and use it as a quilt, which is what I often do over the Summer.
|Escapade 700 XL|
Being realistic, buying a $1000 ultra light sleeping bag just isn't on my books, that's more than I spent on gear, food and trip cost for ALL of last year. This is not the cheapest, lightest, smallest or warmest down bag but I think it has a fair mixture of all those attributes.
Update 2017: I have been using this bag for a couple of years now and have few complaints about it. This is a high quality bag which fills its role well, it is now my 'go to' bag. It packs down to reasonable size, it is roomy and for around the same weight as my Packlite is immeasurably warmer.
|My Escapade in Mid Robinson Hut, 2015|
|The Escapade on a trip to Magdalen Hut, Winter 2017|
The Escapade is good but I'm currently researching sub 1 kg down bags as I transition to ultralight tramping gear.
My Te Araroa Trail sleeping bag
I'm section walking the Te Araroa Trail so I wanted a much lighter sleeping bag to fill the niche for those kind of trips. Late last year I took advantage of a sale at Bivouac Outdoor to buy a lighter weight down bag.
My new sleeping bag is an Exped Lite 500, weight is 970 grams, temperature rating down to -4 degrees and packs down to a smaller volume than my Macpac bag.
|My new Exped Lite 500 at Speargrass Hut, March 2018|
Here is a blog post about my Exped Lite 500.
|The Exped Lite 500 down sleeping bag|
This has now become my defacto go anywhere bag.