Author Topic: Decent but economic sleeping bag for European summers (10C at night)?  (Read 1072 times)

Title says it really. I'm looking for a bag suitable for a trip to Corsica end of May. Temp at night is likely to be 10°C at night. We'll be base camping but walking/public transport to get to the campsite. So that means rucksacks for both myself and my partner (plus toy sack for young child). Must be compact and light when packed. Preferably available in an extra long version. Price = add cheap as possible that still works with carrying everything on my back (I'll be chief mule).

I know this is a cycling site but there's enough regular posters who know a bit about camping to be a good source of information and recommendations.

One thing I don't trust temperature ratings. They hold true initially but IMHO the sleeping bag becomes less effective after a few years. Plus some outright lie! So I would appreciate your experiences of any recommended bags.

Sleeping bags should now be rated to EN13537 which is a standard and for each bag will give four ratings: upper comfort, comfort, limit and extreme. Comfort is the rating for the "average*" woman, limit the rating for the "average" man. In practice, choose the "comfort" rating if you are a cold sleeper, "limit" if you are a warm sleeper. The "extreme" rating is basically survival mode and should be ignored for all practical purposes. Some manufacturers/shops split the comfort and limit values to give a sort of average. EN13537 is sufficiently useful that even some American manufacturers use it.

Many (most/all?) synthetic fillings will lose effectiveness over time, say a few years. The fibres in the insulation become brittle and snap so don't trap as much air (which is what actually provides the insulation). Down keeps its effectiveness for much longer - the downside (ho ho!) is that you need to take a bit more care in use and avoid getting it properly wet during use, depending on the shell materials they can cope with small amounts of damp. Down also costs more, especially the better fill ratings like 850+ fill power which also tend to have a better down to feather ratio which also pushes up the price.

Warm, light/compact, cheap: pick two.

In your case with a young child I'd go for zipped synthetic bag rated to the 5-8C range. Synthetic because it will deal with campsite spills better; zipped to give better temperature regulation across a wider range; 5-8C to allow for the degradation of the filling over time. I'd also get a decent compression sack for it so you can get it as small as possible for your pack. The last synthetic bag I bought was a Snugpack but that was twenty years ago, all my recent purchases have been down bags, it's still going but is probably in a sad state.  You don't actually state what "cheap" means to you - my idea of cheap might be completely different to yours. Alpkit bags are regarded as decent - https://www.alpkit.com/products/mountain-ghost-140

For late spring to autumn use I prefer a quilt but not everyone gets on with them and they are usually down (there's a few US manufacturers that do synthetic ones). They are lighter for a given temp rating and have a better range of usable temperatures.

*average in this case is a mannequin stuffed with temperature sensing electrodes and dressed in a shell suit  :D

Karla

  • car(e) free
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For a summer bag, I have a Snugpak Travelpak.  I've had two: I lost my first one some years ago so bought another exactly the same. It packs down small, it has a midge net, the stitching has been flawless on both of mine and at £40 RRP or £30 on OutdoorGB, it's an excellent buy.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
I have recently bought an Alpkit quilt. It probably doesn't fit the "economic" descriptor in the thread title, but I'm sure it will be plenty warm enough for Pembrokeshire in June. It's a lot lighter and packs up smaller than a sleeping bag, and I ought to be able to get my shoulders in...
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PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
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Have a look at your local Sports Direct - we got some real bargains when kitting up for my son's DoE expedition

Decathlon do a couple that would fit your bill at £30-£40 dependent on the warmth rating required.
Super compact as well.

OP probably already gone, but if they already have a liner, possibly this for a mere £12.99

https://www.aldi.co.uk/adventuridge-sleeping-bag-left-zip/p/096174211301801

You might try a Snugpack travel pack 1 (under £30).  I have the travel pack 2.   It says confort to 2deg C on the 2 season.  I slept comfortably in 3 deg C (thermals and socks on but no hat) on a bed, it was a test  drive of the bag earlier in the year.  I did not want to find the bag was less than specified, I am geting on a bit (63).   So the bags seem to have credible ratings based on my one off test and the comfort level for the 1 season is 7 deg C.

another vote for the snugpak, I had one and used it for best part of 20 years, until it got a bit cold, and stupidly replaced with it with something 5 times the price that is really no improvement apart from the I like the colour.

However also look at the Aegis Max a duck down Alieexpress / Amazon chinese thingy circa 500 g , no persoanl experience, as yet myself but seen a few yOu TUbe reviews on it.
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vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Aldi have an "ultra light" sleeping bag at the moment, I think it was 12.99
Claimed weight is 720g, so it's pretty light.  It has compression straps to get the size down as well

I didn't get one as I already have similar
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Got them two years ago and each year they come out and are basically the same. They're bulky and not very good. They're cheap for a reason! The ones we got only get used as an extra layer early spring if it gets cold when car camping.

IMHO if you're on a two week trip that's your main annual holiday then it's worth not risking your trip with a cheap and nasty Aldi sleeping bag. Even if your budget is too small for much else.

I have come up the opinion that Aldi started to grow in the UK quite a few years ago. When they were growing in number of stores, market share and overall UK presence they also happened to have some very good special deals. Over the last couple of years or more even their cycling deals have left a lot to be desired compared to their earlier deals. The quality, design and quality has significantly b dropped IMHO. Right now I would not even buy their moon light clones, even planetx can do those better, cheaper and more reliably. I've had refunds on more also special buys over the last couple of years than I've had over ten plus years of buying for various outdoor activities from other cheaper sources.