One of the big three bits of camping gear, you need to choose carefully. If you’ve got money to burn, then you’ll have no problem choosing the best bag, but expect little change from £400. If you’re a little more budget conscious then you’ll have your eye out for a bargain. Something that’ll keep you warm for most UK conditions bar deep winter, yet be reasonably lightweight. And did I say it has to be cheap?
The Alpkit pipedream 400 is all this. Weighing in at a decent 850g it isn’t the lightest down bag, but is realistically rated as good to -3c. There are few bags out there that go lighter than this (PHD and Yeti spring to mind), but rarely much below zero and the price rises significantly. The current price of the bag is a miserly £130, with two colder weather versions available too. This is because Alpkit only sel from their own website, so you’re effectively cutting out the retailer. Don’t take the low prices to equate to low quality either. Not only do you get a compression pack with the bag, but a huge cotton bag to store your down bag properly when not in use.
Unfortunately, everyone else has seen how good these bags are. So much so, that Alpkit are unable to keep up with the demand and you’ll need to put your name on a waiting list in order to be the proud owner of a Pipedream. Surely this makes this one of the most sought after and exclusive piece of outdoor kit out there?
Over five year’s use has had it’s toll on the bag though. I’ve had to cut open the baffle when I managed to trap myself inside it one summer, this is now sewn up in a fashion. The fabric is slightly rustly in places after an incident a few years back with an overpacked pack and a platy of amaretto (or a platy that previously contained amaretto and a sleeping bag that consequently contained it). I’ll drum up the courage to clean it again soon, but i’ll put my name on that waiting list just in case!
Summary: Quality lightweight sleeping bag at a bargain price. I don’t know if it’s me or the zip, but I keep getting the fabric stuck in the zip!