The Vango Wilderness 250 is a hollow fibre filled synthetic bag that seems to be designed for Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions. It’s cheap and everything else about it can be preceded by ‘reasonably’ or capped off with ‘for the price’. It weighs a ‘reasonable’ 1.5kg, which is three times the weight of a season equivalent down bag, though maybe only a sixth of the price! As it’s synthetic, it’s also quite bulky, but the compression sac at least helps alleviate this bulk. It’s only once you get to autumn and winter bags, then synthetic bags become ridiculously bulky. One advantage they have over down bags is that they cope much better in damp conditions, which seem to have been the norm over these last few summers!
The bag is fully featured with a full zip, draw-cord closure for the hood and a chest baffle to help keep warmth in. We also really liked the microfibre fabric which has a cosy feel to it – unlike the slimy Pertex of lighter bags. It also felt durable, this bag will take some punishment, ideal for kids and teenagers.
Most important however, is how well did I sleep in the Vango Wilderness 250? The bag states a suggested temperature rating of 3 – 20°C, which we had assumed was a bit optimistic. Yet I felt exceptionally warm in this on a cool July evening (with a keen wind whistling through the tent!) and I didn’t zip it up until late at night. So we don’t think the low rating is too far off, making it suitable from late spring to early autumn on a good year. If in doubt, then buy the warmer Wilderness 300, which only costs a few pounds more.
The Vango Wilderness 250 sleeping bag is highly recommended for budget conscious campers with plenty of room in their pack! If you’re used to down bags, with their lack of bulk and weight, as well as the emptying effect they have on your wallet, then you’ll be disappointed.