Saturday 10 January 2009

Gear Review – Cumulus Quantum 350 (update)

I thought I’d post a review of this down sleeping bag now I’ve had chance to use it on a few occasions.Given that the last trip was fairly wintry, this review has come a bit sooner than expected.

I've used the bag several times now, once at around 3C and this latest time at what I'm guessing was somewhere around -3. The bag on both occasions performed perfectly and I was warm whilst inside. To be honest I expected the night on Yewbarrow to go smoothly as it wasn't forecast to drop below zero that night. The wind was blowing a gale though so life inside the tent was fairly brisk despite the weather man and I thought the conditions were a good measure of general conditions on the hill.

The last trip was particularly cold with the water in our bottles freezing inside the tent so was another good test of the lightweight bag's ability to keep me warm. This time is was essential for me to keep as much heat in as I could and so before I settled down I took the time to work out the hood. Like most things that don't work out in my life - the last time the hood didn't work too well turned out to be my fault! The bag was new and I was an idiot and was too gentle to tighten the draw cord properly. This time I was keen to keep the cold out and pulled that thing with the appropriate amount of gusto and guess worked! Unlike my initial review suggested, the hood fits around my head nicely and was enough to form a nice seal against the face! Inside that bag - life was good.

I'm not particularly an expert on down bags (not least because this is my first) but I do know that this bag is ridiculously light and still very warm below freezing. I would think that with a few clothes on and perhaps matched with a down jacket, this bag would work well in very cold temperatures. Those crazy guys at Cumulus say the bag is good for a comfortable sleep down to -6C and I reckon with a down jacket it would be good down to at least double that. Ridiculous when you consider the bag only weights 680g!

If you need an ultralight light bag for 3-4season use – get one. I can thoroughly recommend it.


John Hee said...

thanks for the follow up. I see they are down to around £220 at present -I'm sorely tempted

Marcus said...

John, the big adventure store has them at £202.49 including delivery - what more motivation does one need!