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As I have mentioned in other reviews, I have asthma. In my case it is inherited and I knew from seeing my dad decline that it would only get worse - as it has. I always wanted to travel and because I knew my health would get worse, I knew I had to go traveling while I still could.
I have also always been careful with my money so that even though I never earned what I should have I was able to take some very long trips to some very remote parts of the world and get some great memories from those trips.
I bought this sleeping bag to take with me on a nine month trip around South and Central America.
Because I would be taking it on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - and so would be camping at high altitude in the Andes - and that I would be going south to the glaciers, I knew I needed a four season sleeping bag which would keep me warm even when the temperature is freezing. Because of the asthma feathers in the form of a down filling was not an option, even if I didn't want a bag which would dry easily.
I would be woman hauling the bag in my trusty rucksack and needed plenty of space for a sleeping roll, clothes and other necessities as well so it needed to be light and easily compressible. I knew I would be taking it into the jungle and that it would be incredibly hot and humid so the sleeping bag would get muddy and would, therefore, need to be able to be washed and dried easily.
I saw this sleeping bag in the now defunct YHA shop. It was expensive. I paid £100 then and it now retails at shops like Black's at £130 and around the £120-£130 mark online.
I already had a cheap bag from Asda which I had bought for caravaning in this country and for guests. This bag was barely up to either task. I had been lent an arctic sleeping bag for a previous trekking trip to Nepal. That had kept me warm in a tent where ice formed on the inside from our breathing, but contained feathers and had not been good for my asthma or proved easy to dry. Neither bag was an option for the Big South America Trip and such a wide range of environments and temperatures or my allergies.
So I bought this sleeping bag and it proved to be one of the best investments I have ever made.
It kept me warm on the Inca Trail. It is a 'mummy' style bag, narrower at the bottom and widening to keep you snug around the arms and shaped into the head and curved over the forehead to keep your body heat in and so keep you warm and comfortable even when it it is icy outside. Fully zipped in, I slept well and stayed warm even at high altitude.
When the tent leaked and everything got soaked, it dried faster than I did. When it was hot and humid in the jungle I unzipped it and slept on the opened out bag and did not boil or be too hot to sleep even though this is a four season bag and I was in a tent in the Amazon jungle. I was also able to wash it off in the river before getting back to civilisation and laundrettes as the artificial cover and filling is machine washable as well as willing to put up with rivers and scrubbing brushes.
The sleeping bag comes with a compression bag which lets you stuff the sleeping bag into the larger bag and then press down and pull in on the strings to reduce the height of the stored bag into a small enough area to fit at the bottom of my rucksack as well as my top cupboard - where it currently lives. The compression bag has survived trips around the washing machine at the full 'kill all germs' temperature as well as the sleeping bag itself has - which is really well.
I woman hauled this bag up Mount Roraima in Venezuela and it was light enough to carry on my back while climbing up a waterfall and to swim across a river on a makeshift raft after a downpour made the ford un-walkable. It did thousands of miles on my back and vehicles. It has been thrown into riverboats, on and off buses and still looks good as well as functioning beautifully. Even though I am a very small person and have bad lungs, this sleeping bag is light to carry, silky to the touch, warm and cosy to sleep in and lasts and lasts.
I have since taken this bag up Kilimanjaro. I slept in it at over sixteen thousand feet and slept warmly. It got me back from the first stage of hypothermia after I got to the lower hut soaked to the skin before my dry clothes and sleeping bag arrived with the porters and I got clinically chilled.
The waterproof compression bag has a place you can write your name so that you can spot your own bag when the porter bring it with a lot of other similar ones on expeditions, which is reassuring.
I take it with me when staying with relatives where I will be sleeping on the floor and am warmer than I would be in a borrowed summer duvet. In that period before the heating goes on in my building it keeps me warm on the sofa.
This is an expensive sleeping bag. No doubt whatsoever about that.
But this is one of the best investment buys I have ever made.
It has done everything I have ever asked it to do and in the worst conditions possible. It has kept me warm when it was freezing and gave me a soft sleeping place when it was hot, all without aggravating my asthma.
I live in hope that I can get healthy enough that I can take it out for at least one last trip. I'm pretty sure it keeps whimpering about Iceland when Game of Thrones is on. If I can get healthy enough for a volcano and glaciers fix, this bag will be the first thing into my rucksack.
I know it won't let me down and I am sure it will not let you down either.
Mammut Ajungilak Kompakt Winter. The multi-award winning legend: Ultralight, extremey compressible and outstanding weight/insulation ratio. Best in class in terms of package size.- Filling MTI® 13 - Lower comfort temperature for women to the EN 13537 in °