The lightest model in Vango’s Venom series of bags, the Venom 200 is by far the best value of the down sleeping bags tested. It’s very light and packs very small, making it good for summer backpacking. It comes with a waterproof roll-top stuffsack too, something more expensive brands should emulate. The design is good with a shaped hood, a shaped foot and a thick baffle behind the zip, which itself has a reflective tab for finding it at night. The fit is quite close with enough room not to feel restrictive but not much empty space. The construction is stitch-through rather than box wall but I think this is fine in a summer bag. The shell fabrics are soft and comfortable. The temperature ratings seem about right for all but the coldest sleepers. For people who do sleep cold – or for late autumn and early spring use – the Venom 300, which weighs 850g and has a comfort rating of °5C, or the Venom 400, which weighs 950g and has a comfort rating of 2°C, would be worth considering. They’re both still quite light and at £150 and £170 well-priced.
First published: July 2014