Chris’s Townsend tests out a brand new down sleeping bag by Mountain Equipment
Mountain Equipment has a new Extreme Light range of sleeping bags described as ‘the lightest, most efficient bags we have ever developed’ with weight savings of up to 30% over other bags.
The bags in the collection have very light 10 denier shells, 800+ fill power goose down fill, elasticated top seams, slant wall baffles, and ground level side seams. The 7-baffle hood is described as low volume and the 4-baffle footbox is anatomically shaped and offset.
There are three versions altogther: the -14° rated Fireflash, the -9°C rated Firelite, and the -1°C rated Firefly. I’ve been trying the Firelite which has 469g of fill in the Regular size (there is an XL version as well). The bag weighs 760g and comes with a waterproof stuff sack and a mesh storage bag. It has an almost full-length zip with a thick baffle behind it. The cut is reasonably roomy – I could wear insulated clothing inside if necessary. The elasticated seams means it hugs the body quite well, cutting out cold spots. The shell fabric is very soft and comfortable and feels quite tough.
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This last winter hasn’t been the coldest and the first few times I tried the bag the temperature barely dropped below zero. I didn’t need the hood and indeed left the zip partly undone. Finally, however, a camp in Glen Feshie produced a cold, clear and frosty night.
I camped on snow and slept with the tent doors open on a Therm-A-Rest Prolite Plus Small self-inflating mat with an OMM DuoMat under my feet. The overnight temperature fell to -8°C. I was perfectly warm and comfortable wearing just thin base layers inside the bag and felt I’d have stayed warm if it was a few degrees colder. For a bag at this weight I’m impressed.
I think the Firelite is a superb sleeping bag providing astonishing warmth for the weight. It’s expensive but then it is one of the best.