The Imelda Marcos of sleeping bags

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!


17 thoughts on “The Imelda Marcos of sleeping bags”

  1. dont worry Robin, I have 5 sleeping bags. its a calling not an obsession!

    The pipedream 400 is the best of my bunch too and so far its a brilliant bag. All i have to do is test it in really cold weather now……

  2. That’s right your not. I only have four though so not quite as mad?

    They are a RAB Ladkh 800 about ten years old only goes out in the cold.. or at easter when the ex missus used it.

    An Angilika(?) kompakt lite again about ten years old summer bag that rarely get used.

    A ME Skyline a lightweight(ish) summer bag suffers from not having a hood. But great for lowlevel summer weather.

    Finally a Marmot Hydrogen this is my latest got it half price and have used this spring/autumn this year.

  3. sounds like a challenge to me and also I have now got another excuse to replace the old worn out ones

    wife…”why have you got another sleeping bag?”
    me “Robin Evans challenged me to a sleeping bag duel”

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  5. weeeellllllll, actually I did a check on what bags I have and it turns out I have 7 in total

    Alpine Dream 500
    Pipe Dream 400
    Jack Wolfskin one kilo
    a YHA bag of indeterminate age and season rating
    a Coleman Hampton double bag
    a Coleman Hampton 230 bag
    Wynnster Superlite 800

    so maybe I need a 5 season bag now…..

  6. with my seven I can insulate a small Innuit family. I was out walking today and mused that perhaps it will need a really good bag to do some winter wild camping……!

  7. Can I recommend the Pipedream 600? Then you’ve nearly got the set!

    I did think about e-mailing Chris Townsend to see how many he’s got.

  8. Mmmm…

    Western Mountaineering Summerlite
    Alpkit 400
    Rab 600 QE
    ME Lightline
    ME Red Dragon
    Buffalo pile bag

    pah…only 6

  9. Ok here goes

    Synthetic bags

    Vango Voyager 50 1 season
    Vango Ultralite 900 2-3 season
    Vango Ultralite 1100 3-4 season
    Vango Q7 lite 2-3 season
    Vango Predator 350 3-4 season
    Vango Omega 350 5 Season
    Mountain Equipment Firewalker I 1-2 season
    Snugpak MOD ISSUE 4 season

    Down Bags

    Stormlite Rolling Clouds 1000 4 season
    Alpkit Skyehigh 1000 4-5 season

    Sorry folks !!!!

  10. It’s all about colour co-ordination, red bags look terrible in blue tents, blue bags look bad in red tents, gotta be right, and any bag looks terrible in a green tent!!!!!

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