Why We Chose The Gruezi Biopod Downwool Ice 185: New form of insulation, some out-of-the-box thinking on the features, and extremely packable
Gruezi are one of those brands that we really like here at Outdoors Magic; one that’s tried to do something differently but without resorting to gimmicks. They’ve gone and created a brand new form of insulation, one that blends down and wool together. And the result is actually very impressive, making us wonder why it’s taken so long for someone to try this.
It was in 2017 that this Bavaria based company first burst onto the outdoor scene, picking up one of the main prizes at the OutDoor Show in Germany. This would turn out to be the first of many over the next few years, with the most recent one being an Outstanding Outdoor Award at the ISPO summer show in Munich.
So, why so good? Well, they’ve created something that really works; a sleeping bag that not only provides excellent warmth but that’s able to handle moisture as well – and all at a surprisingly light weight.
Who Is The Gruezi Biopod DownWool Ice 185 For?
With its comfort level rated at -1C and limit at -8 this is one of those sleeping bags that’s probably best labelled as a three-season option. That said, it will still do the job over those milder winter nights we often get in the UK.
At 1,400g, the warmth-to-weight ratio of the Biopod DownWool Ice 185 is pretty good. It’s not in the lightweight category but it’s by no means heavy either. In other words, it’ll serve well as an option for trekking with.
Blending 70% duck down and 30% wool, the idea behind Gruezi’s fill is that it solves the moisture problem that fully down filled sleeping bags have (while also offering a natural alternative to the fully synthetic options out there).
Even condensation in a tent can drastically reduce the effectiveness of a down sleeping bag when it comes to insulation. The main solution to this in the past few years has been to add a hydrophobic treatment from the likes of Nikwax. This, however, doesn’t permanently solve the problem. It needs to be reapplied and reapplied. Gruezi’s idea is that by adding wool to the down, it not only brings extra warmth but it also helps to draw moisture away from it, like some kind of natural dehumidifier.
Contained within a nylon outer and inner lining with v-shaped baffles, the DownWool mix really does just feel like normal down. There’s certainly none of that itchiness we often associate with wool products.
The down fill, by the way, is all responsibly sourced and comes with RDS certification. You can also rest assured that there are no nasty PFCs used in the outer lining’s water resistant treatment.
The out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t stop with the fill either, there’s also the way the main zip is shaped. It runs down the side of the bag and then curls over the top of the bottom end, the idea being that when you get a bit hot you can unzip and poke your feet out while keeping them rested on top of the bag. They’ve also made the zip all white so you can see it in the darkness of your tent – nice little touch, that.
Other details on the Bipod Downwool include a zipped pocket on the outside to keep a headtorch or your phone and then a Velcro sealed pocket on the inside also. There’s also a fabric flap where you can insert a pillow (or your down jacket).