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Sleepless Nights Over Sleeping Bags

Please somebody help me! I have got myself all entangled in sleeping bags. If I don't figure a way out of this mess I may suffocate. 

OK I am being dramatic but I'm so confused over the right sleeping bag for camping on my bike. My current one is warm but too bulky. Fine for a weekend away when space is not at a premium. But as I am off to Spain at the end of this month for 2 weeks then space or a lack thereof is very important. 

The bag still has to be 4 season warm as I am hoping to be up in the Pyrenees Mountains. After much head scratching I am down to two possibles. The Vango Venom 600 or the Vango Fuse 6. Does anyone have either of these? If so can you be so kind as to tell me your opinions and if you also have pictures of the pack and pack sizes that would be fabulous. I know it says on specs the pack size but I have found out to my expense that what is said and what is real are not the same thing.  

I currently have a Highlander Serenity 450. It is a good sleeping bag, fairly warm for even a cold toes like me but is it simply TOO BIG. 

Now us seasoned campers all know that the temperature rating on a sleeping bags are a bit on the optimistic side. OK a lot on the optimistic side. The comfort rating of say minus 5 really means you won't die but you will be miserable even with all your layers on. 

My Highlander claims to pack down to a fairly manageable 32cm x 26cm. I guess they have the Hulk to do this for them because as you can see from the photos I get nowhere near that. I get 43cm X 29 cm and even at this bulky size this is still causing the compression sack to rip under the strain. 

The Specifications listed on the bottom of a sleeping bag stuff sack
The packed sleeping bag next ot a tape measure
Spec versus reality 

So this is why I would love your real life experience of either the Vango Venom 600 or the Vango Fuse 6 as specifications are not the full story.  

The large packed sleeping bag and the small packed sleeping bag liner
My current sleeping bag along side my fleece liner which at 30cm x 16 is around the size I would love my actual sleeping bag to be.

If you'd like to get your product reviewed on Bikes And Travels contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

Rod said :-
Sorry Ren, I have only used cheap Tesco sleeping bags so I can not be of any help.
I can of course be annoying! IT LOOKS LIKE YOU NEED A TRAILER.
10/05/2018 21:31:44 UTC
Snod said :-
If it helps (which it doesn't!) I do like my Snugpak Chrysalis 3, though it doesn't pack down all that small. An Exped Synmat is wonderful too, though expensive.
10/05/2018 21:40:57 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oii!! This is SHARON's blog not Ren's. I'll have you know I have seriously considered a trailer too.
11/05/2018 07:42:34 UTC
Rod said :-
My apologies, I missed that this was Sharon's blog.
A 250 Kawasaki is quite capable of pulling a trailer!
Sorry Sharon.
11/05/2018 09:57:23 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hehe! Cheers Rod.
11/05/2018 11:09:48 UTC
Andy Gray said :-
Hate to say it but down packs down smaller for a similar rating. Yes I know it's expensive but it's an investment.

Also someone else's idea of warm may not be yours - some people sleep hot & others cold. I sleep very cold.

What you need is a big birthday so Ren can buy you one as a present. Got my -16C rated Critereon Traveller 750 for my 50th and I now use it all year round.
07/06/2018 18:52:22 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I'm sure Sharon will be along soon to tell you all about her final decision...
08/06/2018 10:58:24 UTC
Dave said :-
I'm probably way too late to post this, but ... I'm 75, done a LOT of camping. My latest 'flame' in sleeping bag is a Marmot Ultra Elite. It's softer than my down bag, it's more compressible, it's lighter. Years ago I went to a kayak race, but arrived after dark. It seemed I also arrived after hordes of other enthusiasts, as all the 'normal' places to set a tent were taken. Looking skyward, I figured that setting my tent in the slight swale amid the shrubs would be o.k. and I could move next morning when I could see there the heck everything, including me, was.

Midway through the night it rained. It poured. My tent was right in a micro creek and I was in it. I laughed at the fact that, despite it clinging to me, because of it being wet, the synthetic bag was actually warm. I'd slept in a wet down sleeping bag before, ant the truth is - I didn't sleep, because I was cold.

I picked up the Marmot bag a couple of years ago and it's top shelf, to me. I've spent a lot of time trying to find out what the insulation is, because it's so effective, so I can find a jacket with such fill. Honestly, it's amazingly soft and light, and the rating is, I'd say, pretty light. I never went camping with my Suzuki GW250F, but I intend such when I get my 750 this spring, and I'm hoping to do a few overnighters with this bag.
23/12/2022 05:37:44 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Hi there Dave. It's never too late to share information. I've not come across Marmot before and their website informs me they're a US company. A cursory look on Google suggests I can get them here in the UK though. They ain't cheap! I hope they're as good as you say.

Which 750 have you got?
23/12/2022 09:07:45 UTC

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