Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Sleeping Bag Encounters of the Out of Stock Kind

The ongoing upgrades to my kit list took a drastic hit yesterday when Alpkit confirmed that they wouldn't be getting any more Pipedream 400 sleeping bags in until November. Normally this wouldn't have been a problem but with my Birthday fast approaching and the October trip planned for the weekend before, I'd taken the executive decision that I'd treat myself to a new warmer, lighter sleeping bag. I have spent a small portion of my life deciding on what I needed and how much I'd need to spend to get it. The Alpkit bag was an attractive and very viable option for obvious reasons so I was sold on the dream that this little problem was sorted. Not so.

Now I've had to have a re-think and its a serious one because nothing touches this bag on spec for the same money. Increasing the budget now I know the Pipedream is out there means I'm looking for something that is either lighter/smaller/warmer - or all three. Enter the Cumulus Quantum 350. Its slightly more expensive but on paper weighs in at 665g, has Pertex Quantum fabric and packs down really small. Why did they have to go and do that!

Now I have a dilemma because my current bag weighs nearly two kilos and is now the weakest element of my kit and in fact the only item letting me down on weight and, more importantly, a warm nights sleep. I've read a few reviews on the Cumulus bag and from the limited number I've found they are well made and perform well.

Its on offer at the moment with £30 off, surely this is a sign from the God's that we're meant to be together.....and by the 2nd October....clearly

16 comments:

baz carter said...

Go for it - you know it makes sense! On paper the bag has a great spec better than the Alpkit one I'd say. And just think you'd shed 1300g and create a huge wodge of space. A no brainer as my boss would say.

The Dude Abides said...

No matter what bag I get I think the space I'll save will make a huge difference.

My Golite Lite-Speed pack is 49litres and on the Coniston trip the bottom of the pack was becoming over stressed with the sheer bulk of my naf Vango sleeping bag!

My only reservation is that I haven't found many reviews on that particular bag. Ownership seems pretty low given that the bag has been around for a while.

baz carter said...

Cumulus have a limited distribution network so ownership is probably low because of that. I found a couple of reviews that were very favourable. You try posting a question on the various outdoor forums or checking their gear review areas.

The Dude Abides said...

Hi Baz,

I've posted a few questions and checked out what reviews are out there. the Cheaptents blog has a useful review of the Ultralite 200 which is encouraging - not that I'd expect it not to be seeing as they sell it!

I think I'm pretty much sold on it to be honest. I may dig deep tonight after a few beers and do it!

baz carter said...

I was in the same situation a few years back. Was going to get an Alpkit bag, no stock. Looked at Cumulus started thinking about the purchase... popped into Costwolds and they were selling a Marmot Hydrogen for 120 quid - out the door I walked with a new bag and a saving over the Cumulus. Otherwise I'd telling you that they were great bags or not.

The Dude Abides said...

Flipping heck what a bargain. Cheapest hydrogen I've found is £200.

I'm going to go for it Baz because I don't see how I can go wrong. It stacks up on paper, goes down real small and will be warm enough for use all year round (with additional clothing). Its the last big thing I need to complete my lightweight conversion so its done.

Shuttleworth said...

Where are you getting it from and how much is it setting you back ;)
I nearly bought a bag in the PHD sale,but when I added a zip and the postage it was £30 more, and I couldn't justify it. I'll probably have to wait for Alpkit.

The Dude Abides said...

I really wanted to find a stockist within a reasonable distance to get a feel for it myself. However this isn't possible so I'm going to have to take the plunge without this privilege and use an internet retailer.

Its all coming together though now as the material arrived for my lightweight tent footprint so I'm on a roll with my preparations. Just need to remember not to pack at 11pm the night before the trip!

mikeyt said...

word on the forum grapevine is that Cumulus bags are awesome - not heard a bad word.

outdoors magic website has lots of positive stuff to say about them

great value for their features, so an extra £30 off sounds lik a bargain!

mikeyt said...

@shuttleworth, just seen your comment and same thing with me when I looked at the phd's - but wanted £50 for a hood, zip and postage, nah!!

The Dude Abides said...

Well guys, its done. I bought it today and I'll let you know my thoughts when I get it. These bags could use a detailed user review.

Shuttleworth said...

You've got me interested in tehse now, especially as Alpkit are now saying next year before more Pipedreams :(

The bag is rated as -3, with clothing added will this be enough to see you through a winter such as we had last year, or will you still need somethig warmer?

Have you seen any reviews of the bag? Are peole using them all year round?

The Dude Abides said...

Its rated to -6 according to the Cumulous:

http://www.cumulus-sleepingbags.co.uk/CumulusQuantumSleepingBags.htm

I'm hoping to use this throughout winter and as you say just add layers. When I camped on Fleetwith Pike in early March I had on a base layer, microfleece and trousers on inside the vango!

Shuttleworth said...

Where did you order it from?

The Dude Abides said...

Morning.

I ordered it from The Big Adventure Store (never used them before) and I'll let you know the initial impressions once it arrives.

Regards
Marcus.

Shuttleworth said...

Cheers!