* Prices may differ from that shown
I feel a little bit sad that both of my boys have grown out of their "childrens" sleeping bags, and the time came last summer when they were both due for an upgrade. An upcoming camping trip forced my hand to buy new ones and having searched with no merit for a suitable replacement on the high Street, I turned to the internet and found something that caught my eye. The Ultracamp single adult sleeping bag seemed to fit my specifications perfectly and as they came in different colours, they seemed ideal. I ordered a red and a blue one and so far I have been very happy with my decision.
~*~ The Design ~*~
I am going to review the red bag just for ease of writing, but the word "red" can easily be swapped for blue as they are essentially the same design, this sleeping bag is also available in navy blue with a green checked pattern inside. The outside of the sleeping bag is predominantly red with a foot wide grey stripe down one side on the zip edge. It has a black zip and beaded detailing in yellow around the top edge. The inside of the bag is in the same grey as the stripe - overall I think that this bag has a simple design and the colours work well together to make it look good.
~*~ Specifications ~*~
The Ultracamp sleeping bag has a 100% polyester shell and lining, although the lining is not as shiny and slippery as the outside. The fabric does not feel cold to the immediate touch which I like as in the past I have experienced chills just getting into a cheap sleeping bag. The filling is 100% polyester hollow fibre and at 400g per meter square, it feels super insulated and keeps you at a good temperature throughout the night. When folded as a bag, the overall dimensions are 86cm x 220cm which is generous and gives you plenty of space for manoeuvre inside, but this can also be used as a duvet in which case it folds completely flat and the zip comes totally apart so there isn't even a notch at the end.
The sleeping bag comes with it's own pull cord storage bag which has integrated straps on the sides so that the bag can be squashed down even more which is a real bonus. Just in the bag, the dimensions are 46cm tall with a 28cm diameter, but pulled tight the bag gets to approximately 39cm tall, but is does become slightly misshapen and it is quite hard work getting it down to this size.
~*~ My Thoughts ~*~
Without hesitation, I love these sleeping bags. I like the simple design but I especially like their performance and all of the little extras that come with these bags to make them, extra special. The zip is smooth and is dual ended which means that the bag can be left open at the top and bottom, so if you want to air your feet, or you are on the tall side, there is no need for complete restriction and I also like the fact that it can be laid completely flat to use as a blanket. There is a double insulation lining at the zip opening so drafts are kept out and heat is kept firmly in, and a Velcro tab at the top of the zip prevents the zip from coming undone by movement in the night.
There is a pull cord around the top which pulls tight if you want an extra bit of security against bugs and also to keep heat in - I am not a massive fan of the mummy type sleeping bag as I find the top too claustrophobic, but with this bag you get the added bonus of being able to tighten it up, or to leave it flat if you prefer.
On the inside of the bag at the top on the front there is an integrated pocket which I think is a genius idea - it is velcroed so items can't fall out easily and it is about the size of a paperback book. This is a perfect place to store valuables such as money and jewellery in my opinion as you would instantly be woken by anyone trying to tamper with this pocket, and it is also unexpected so a chance thief would possibly not even hazard a guess that this discreet pocket exists.
Overall this bag weighs in the region of 5kg, and also it is quite large even when squashed as much as possible so it might be too heavy for backpacking - I have no experience of travelling around carrying my belongings, but it does seem a little bulky to fit this purpose well. These bags have been used in a variety of ways and have never failed to deliver - they have been used both inside and outside so from temperatures ranging from about 8 to 20 degrees and they have always provided a good night's sleep - the bags have a season rating of 3-4 which means that they are suitable for use in temperatures of up to minus 10 but I cannot verify that because if it was minus 10 I would be tucked up at home in my high tog duvet with electric blanket! I use them if I am staying over at a friend's after a night out whilst sleeping on a sofa and I have always found them snug and comfortable as they are a generous size and the fabric feels soft and warm and a big plus for my is that they are quiet and not at all rustly with movement.
After much use neither one of our bags has suffered and ill effects, and there is no sign of "bobbling" on the inside which I have come across in the past and it has made bags unusable. The bags have been washed at 30 degrees as instructed and have not faded in the slightest and the lining has remained perfectly flat and intact, they also do not take long to dry - about two hours on the line on a warm day is sufficient.
The Ultracamp sleeping bag absolutely reeks of quality both in design and performance and I am delighted at my purchase. A slight issue is that the red one cost £5 more than the blue one, and I don't really see why, but even at the higher price of £24.99 I think that they offer good value for money and are still very reasonably priced. As stated, I purchased mine on Amazon but they are also available on other internet sites and good camping stockists.
Also posted on Ciao under my username chilcott1