Sometimes the unexpected comes along and gives you a wee kick in the butt. A couple of days ago I decided to check on the sleeping bags which I had not inspected since last year when I took the picture you see on this page illustrating my layer system.
As you can see, at that time everything was fine. This year I picked up the synthetic bag and it was immediately clear to see that the insulation had collapsed. There was no loft at all and the bag was only about 10-15mm thick all over. Not good...
I know synthetic bags have a more limited lifespan than down but I was shocked to see how suddenly it had failed.
To be fair, the bag is over 12 years old so I should not have been surprised but I usually hammock in the summer and my sleeping bags only really get used in winter. Over the C-19 lockdown these bags had not been seen at all.
They are stored in large drawer / boxes where they are loosely packed and not compressed so this must have been some kind of natural breakdown of the fibres. Hey ho...
I was certainly glad I had checked when I did, because had this been just a week before the trip things would have been somewhat more urgent.
As it is I have ordered another synthetic bag, I still like the idea of having a combination, and this bag has a much better temperature rating ( Comfort -35c Extreme -45c ) Such ratings are usually optimistic to say the least but it should certainly out perform my old bag and depending on conditions the bags can either be used individually or in combination to cover a wide temperature range.
It is of course a bit heavier and bulkier but as I get older I appreciate a comfortable nights sleep a little more than I used to. I will be able to report more on it’s performance after the trip of course.