Chris Townsend tests out a new three-season sleeping bag
Summiteer is a new outdoor company whose initial products are four sleeping bags with fills of 400, 600, 800 and 1200g of 750 fill power goose down. The bags are made in China from ethically sourced down (the interesting and honest blog post on the Summiteer website on the difficulties of ensuring this is worth reading).
I’ve been trying the Glow Worm 600, which is described as a 3-season bag with a comfort rating of 0° and a lower comfort rating of -5°C. The bag has box wall construction, a neck baffle, a shaped hood with extra baffles round the face, and a 3/4-length zip with an anti-snag strip and an insulated baffle inside.
The shell fabrics are quite substantial. Given the resistance to air being forced through it when stuffing the bag I suspect the outer is either lightly coated or calendered, though no information is provided on this, which should make it fairly water-resistant.
The Glow Worm is available in two sizes – regular (210cms) and long (235cms). I tried the regular size, which weighs 1214g and comes with a compression stuffsack weighing 86g.
Whilst the Glow Worm is mummy-shaped, like most sleeping bags, it’s not as tapered as most and is roomier around the legs and feet. The upper isn’t close-fitting either so there’s plenty of room to wear extra clothes inside if needed. Against that there’s also more air space to warm up.
On the first trip where I used the bag the temperatures were mild for November, never falling below +7°C. With the zip partly undone and the hood folded under me I wasn’t too hot but didn’t need a bag this warm. My second trip gave it a real test though as the temperature fell to -7°C. The air was damp with frost forming inside my tent flysheet. I was camped on snow and my sleeping mat proved barely adequate too. In the Summiteer I was perfectly warm wearing just light clothes so I reckon the temperature rating is pretty accurate. I was also comfortable in the bag but did find the zip caught occasionally on the fabric despite the anti-snag strip.
As the hood is shaped and fits snugly round the face you can’t get out of the bag without undoing the zip quite a way. Struggling to do this when the zip jammed required a fair bit of contortionism and wasn’t fun. I’d rather have a hood that opens flat so you can get out of the bag without having to undo the zip.
The Glow Worm is relatively heavy for the warmth provided but is also excellent value for money. The name is appropriate too as the bright orange outer really does glow in a dark tent. This bag is a promising start and I’ll be interested to see what other products Summiteer comes up with.