When I was just getting starting in all this, I once considered the Vango as my way into a lightweight, down sleeping bag. What put me off back then was the negative reviews of people claiming the temperature rating was ludicrous and the basic build of the bag just wasn't suitable or 3 season camping.
I opted to take the bag and test it, more out of curiosity than necessity, and decided I'd take the bag on wild camp with Paul in September and decide for myself. My thinking was that Charlotte might be able to use it if she fancied a summer wild camp or, more likely, I could and she could use my Cumulus bag.
The bag arrived and I set about my usual obsessive ritual of weighing it and taking some photos. The bag retails at around £100-120, described as a 3 season down bag and it weighs in at 828g on the alittlebitaboutnotalot digital scales.
A minor niggle was the loose threads and wonky stitching which serves to make this feel cheaper than it need be. In every other respect its of a fairly decent quality.
Paul and I headed for the Lakes in September and at the last minute I decided I'd bring it on account of the forecast temperatures and the fact I was using the Trailstar and would therefore have my Borah Gear bivy bag to top things up.
The weather was overcast but fairly warm for the first night and although to cleared to leave us with a beautiful full moon, I was a little too warm when zipped inside my bivy. I'd guess the temperature was around 13-15 degrees that night so it was never going to be a problem for this bag, bivy or not. In a way its a shame the temperature was a bit lower or closer to the limit so I could make an assessment on what the real useable temperature (for me) would be.
The second evening, the weather was atrocious and luckily, owing to a slightly later then planned departure from the Newfield Inn, a our plans changed at the very last minute and we abandoned our planned evening at Blind Tarn. That night the temperatures were only slightly lower but the wind and low cloud made everything wet and neither of us were that excited about pissing around finding two pitches in the fog, wind and rain - I think we might be gong soft!
|Picture courtesy of Paul Beeby|
I think if you can find this bag for around £100, its certainly good as a light, packable bag for travelling, festival use and the occasional stopover where you wouldn't drag out your best Alpkit, Cumulus or Mountain Equipment bag.
Now, if I could just get Charlotte to read this review, nurture the inter-girlfriend rivalry mechanism and get her to come wild-camping with me - this review could have much more far reaching implications than I ever imagined!
P.S. As soon as I get my act together I'll post a couple of trip reports - one of which was absolutely stunning!