Vango’s Venom 300 (not a name I like for something I’m going to sleep in!) is excellent value for money. It’s also light weight and packs up small. The lower cost is achieved by using lower fill power down and less of it than in more expensive bags. Less down helps keep the weight down too. However, it also means the bag isn’t as warm as alternatives. To be fair, Vango do describe it as 2-3 seasons. I think that for all but the coldest sleepers it should be okay in temperatures down to +5ºC. 

The bag is quite close-fitting, though not so much as to be restrictive. I can’t turn over in it though, the bag turns with me, and this reveals a problem with the design. There is more fill – 180 grams – in the top than the base so the latter isn’t as warm. If you sleep on your back and keep the base under you that’s not a problem. But if you turn on your side or your front and the bag moves with you the warmer top ends up at least partly under you. I think bags with more fill in the top than the base should be roomy enough to turn over easily inside them so the base stays where it is.

I found the Venom 300 comfortable with a well-fitting hood. The zip is only half-length so the lower part can’t be ventilated if you overheat, though this is only likely in the hottest weather.

First published: July 2013