Vango Ultralite 900 Sleeping Bag.
I've had this for a while now but I’ll start this like every other review I do; with a disclaimer, that this Vango Ultralite 900 sleeping bag was sent to me by Rachel to review. Rachel works for a company called Silverfox Travel & Outdoors and she contacted me. We had a discussion over a few emails and she suggest that I could choose a sleeping bag from the website. I picked the Vango Ultralite 900 sleeping bag and Rachel was kind enough to send it to me and I get to keep it. I have no vested interest in Vango, the company that Rachel works for, Silverfox Travel & Outdoors or the sleeping bag itself other than to share my views and opinions; good, bad or otherwise.
I had the Vango Ultralite 900 delivered to my work to save some hassle if I missed the delivery at home and jaunt over to Lanark and back. It was delivred pretty quick and all compressed up in it's stuff sack. Compressed down like that it's pack size is about 25 cm by about 20 cm. Which is pretty reasonable for a synthetic sleeping bag. Not really being able to look at it properly at work I left it alone.
Once home I got in about and had a good look over it and a thorough read of the attached bumpf on the tags. As well as going through the now standard Tookie Indoor Gear Test™ with the help of my daughter. On first inspection that sleeping bag looked well made, a few long ends of some threads but nothing loose or not finished. I fiddled with the zips and closures. Pulled on all the toggles as well as climbing in and out of the bag. My daughter did the same.
As always I find a standard sleeping bag big. Being 5'7" on a good day. It does have it's advantages in that I can snuggle right down into the sleeping bag or stick I can just stick an insulated jacket or fleece down the bottom and eliminate that wasted space. In the house it did find the bag to be very warm but I do run hot. Even the small Bunten found the bag warm when she was doing her test. I think what helps this was that it has a really good neck baffle to keep the heat in and the drafts out and the hood seems to work well. However it does have a two zip that can be used to vent the bag.
The sleeping bag is made from Nylon. 40 denier ripstop on the outside to make it hard wearing and mini ripstop on the inside. This is very soft and comfortable next to the skin. The bag is insulted with Insulite® Superfine synthetic insulation. This is a blend of spiralised, siliconised fibres. The bag also incorporates Vango's Thermal Embrace System. Which comprises of elasticated threads with an off-set double layered construction. This always you to move freely and also helps to eleminate the dreaded cold spots.
The bag is rated down to -5°C, with and extreme of -22°C and has a maximum comfort of 18°C, personally at that temp, in that sleeping bag I would be far too warm. Again on the converse of that I would have to have all my clothes on for that. It does mean that it's a sold rated 3 season bag and 4 seasons at a push in my opinion. All their temperatures are independly rated against the EN 13537:2002 standard.
According to Vango the Ultralite 900 is designed for wild camping and long distance backpacking. Personally the weight and pack size go against that for me. I would want something lighter and of less volume for that kind of activity but then that's where prices start to rise rapidly. It is good value for money.
I found using the bag to be fine. The only real issue I had is snagging the zip. Having said that I having found a sleeping bag yet that I haven't managed to snag the zip. Except maybe my top bag but that doesn't have a zip. I did find the bag to be very warm for me at times and having to strip down to my underwear in the middle of the night as I was sweating. That led to a really cold morning trying to get dressed.
There's no signs of wear other than where I keep snagging the zip on the fabric on the inside. Bearing in mind I've only had a few nights in this bag but it seems to hold up well to general wear and tear.
After being compressed it lofts quite well after a good shake which might not be too practical in a small one man tent but left alone for a bit it's just fine. It's really comfortable to sleep in. Nothing to get snagged in and all the toggles are easily adjusted from in the bag for the hood and the baffle.
This is really more of a my opinions of the Vango Ultralite 900 sleeping bag than a comprehensive review. That would need a few more good nights in the bag. The bag has some really good features for the price and looks to be a durable sleeping bag, time will tell but I'm happy to use it and I will. Maybe not for humpfing around the hills when I've got lighter bags available with the same temperature rating. However it would be a good all round bag for someone starting out.
You can view the full set of photographs on flickr here Vango Ultralite 900 Sleeping Bag. This will get updated from time to time as I sort through any photographs with the bag in it.