Mountain Equipment have made the ideal summer sleeping bag here - a great lightweight product that will handle all but the most extreme cold, and keep you warm and comfortable whatever the weather throws at you and your tent.
The British brand has a heritage which stretches back to its foundation in 1961 and a long experience of making all sorts of excellent gear for the outdoors. Their extensive sleeping bag range includes everything from an £800 model designed for polar expeditions to a super-lightweight bag built for camping in California temperatures.
The Helium 400 obviously sits somewhere in the middle. It’s impressively lightweight (at 855g this weighs roughly the same amount as a standard loaf of bread) and packs down small, to 24 x 20 x 17cm, saving space in your backpack or bike panniers.
“It’s not just the materials or the performance that have earned this a coveted place in the summer Outdoor 100 however, it’s the bag’s design."
At the same time however, its pure duck down insulation, with a minimum fill power of 700, provides some serious warmth. This will keep you perfectly comfortable at temperatures down to minus five degrees C (Mountain Equipment have rated this as the bag’s “good night’s sleep" temperature) which is more than enough to handle summer, autumn and indeed most winter conditions in the UK.
The Helium 20 outer shell is lightweight, durable and highly breathable, while the ‘SuperSoft 30’ material on the inside is both breathable and soft to the touch.
It’s not just the materials or the performance that have earned this a coveted place in the summer Outdoor 100 however, it’s the bag’s design. This features a five baffle hood designed to fit snugly round your head and face keeping the warmth in without constricting you, and a four baffle foot box to keep your toes and feet snug and warm. The baffles are arranged in such a way that it’s difficult for the down to move around, so you never have to worry about it all bunching up down the end.
The zip is easy to manipulate even with lightweight gloves on and finishes in a “lode lock", a magnetic fastener which you can snap shut easily with one hand if necessary. The zip nestles into the collar too so you don’t have any cold metal touching your neck.
All in all, this is an excellent sleeping bag and one we’ll definitely be throwing into our bikepacking panniers when we head out on adventures this summer.
Mountain Equipment Helium 400 Sleeping Bag