Just as Imelda Marcos had way too many shoes, I’ve got way too many sleeping bags: seven of them. I can’t fully explain how I got into this position. In mitigation, one bag is 20 years old (an ME Annapurna) and really ought to be given to a charity shop. However, the others fall into the usual pattern of dissatisfaction and bargain hunting. I have two synthetic bags (ME Sleepwalker UL, ME Firewalker 2), which I used as base camp sleeping bags before I started backpacking again in earnest. The Firewalker was a half price bargain I couldn’t resist.
My next purchase was the unbelievably expensive Western Mountaineering Highlite, one of the lightest bags on the market, but really only a summer bag. Having found it a bit “lacking” on a wild camp in Snowdonia, I bought a warmer bag, the Cumulus Ultralight 350. This is a very good bag with a sophisticated trapezoidal baffle system and has served me well. However, I sleep cold and it doesn’t have shoulder baffles. I’ve never been too cold in it, but it’s not been below freezing yet.
After listening to Bob’s 2006 TGO Challenge podcasts, I decided that an Alpkit Pipedream 600 would be a “good idea”, so I got the second iteration with the posh red piping. Originally, this year, I was going to go to Scotland in early May, but instead I went in late May, so I took the Cumulus instead. It was fine, but had it been much colder (it got down to 2c), it might have been chilly (no neck baffle!). When Alpkit launched their latest Pipedream 400, I couldn’t resist it; the same weight as the Cumulus, but an extra 50g of down and a neck baffle. They’ve also improved the hood. So there you have it, the man with seven sleeping bags; more money than sense!