The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Ooops - Slipped And Bought A New ...

My sleeping bag collection currently comprises:
Marmot Angel Fire – good to -9*
Rab Quantum 400W – good to -5
PHD 300 (Short) – good to 0
(Those are the official ‘good to’ figures; for me the PHD one is about right, the Rab one a iny bit optimistic and the Marmot one a bit more optimistic.)

The Rab and PHD ones I like a lot. Admittedly, if I had had the PHD one first, then I would have also got a Minim 400, rather than the Quantum 400, but there really is little about the Rab about which I can complain.

For a while now I’ve been lusting after a Minim 500 in Drishell and with a half zip to replace my Angel Fire. Theoretically it should be good to the same temperature, but the important factor for me was that the Minim weighs in at just 850g. Off the top of my head I thought that the Angel Fire weighed in at something like a bulky 1150g.

On Friday morning I nearly succumbed whilst browsing the PHD website. I got as far as adding the bag to my basket and proceeding to the check out, but when it came to clicking the button to complete the order I had an attack of conscience and started questioning whether I really needed to spend £200 on yet another sleeping bag just to save 300g and a bit of bulk – particularly when I haven’t used the Angel Fire very often (although that may be because it’s so big and heavy). Being very restrained, I left the online store without making a purchase.

On Sunday, I carried all of my down sleeping bag collection downstairs and started some serious contemplation (but it didn’t involve a spreadsheet, so I didn’t stoop to my usual levels of sadness).

The decision was made when I stuffed the monster bag into a stuff sack and weighed it – something that I don’t believe I had ever done before. Perhaps I was just in denial and wasn’t prepared to carry more than the advertised weight and thus convinced myself that it wasn’t heavier than that. Either way, I was shocked to place it on the scales and to find that it was nearly 1.5kg! That’s more than a quarter of the entire base-weight that I carried on Friday and Saturday!

The decision was made. The Angel Fire will be disposed of and an order was placed for the Minim 500.

So, in the last month that means that the kit collection has swelled by: a TN Voyager Superlite; a pair of Scarpa ZG65s; an OMM AR25 and a PHD Minim 500. Good thing that I’m now a gainfully employed person, eh?

(*Hmmm, just noticed that the Angel Fire, which was definitely advertised as having a comfort rating of -9 when I bought it a few years ago is now only stated to have a comfort rating of -3. I may have felt that -9 was an overstatement, but it's definitely warmer than that!)


  1. I have a similar dilema - having PHD Minimus, Minim 400 plus a few older synthetic bags (for the children & car camping). I'm sure I don't get out as much as you and Mick but the Minim 500 is so appealing! Sale nearly over though.

  2. Hi Gayle,I was just wondering what you thought about the OMM 25L rucksack-Do you plan to use it for day walks or is it for a very lightweight overniter?THANKS

  3. PhilW - Go on, you know you want to! But, if you manage to resist in this sale, the chances are you'll have another opportunity in the summer sale.

    Jeff - I got the OMM 25L as a winter daypack, when my 14 litre just isn't big enough. I had originally thought that I would use the Jirashanca 35 litre for that purpose, but it's just too big. The AR25 is good, nice and comfy, and I am pleased with it - but having used Mick's Osprey Aura 25 for my mid-week walks all winter, whilst he's been working, that would have been my first choice. Unfortunately, my budget didn't extend to £80 for a daypack, so I went for the second option which was the AR25 (second hand off Ebay for £30).

    Unlikely that I will use it as an overnight pack. I can squeeze everything into my Jirashanca, but I don't think I could do comfort in a 25 litre pack, so it will remain a daypack.