Now is the time to be considering your summer/spring camping equipment.
In this blog we are looking at three sleeping bags from the Mountain Equipment Starlight series which we stock at e-outdoor, these are lightweight sleeping bags that are ideal for backpacking and lightweight camping.
Since Mountain Equipment began in 1961 they have been making gear for the most inhospitable places on the planet. Places where you learn a lot, and all they have learned, lives in their gear.
Starlight Sleeping Bags
The Starlight sleeping bags are specifically designed to cope with unpredictable, damp or even wet conditions (sounds like some British summers eh?) They are insulated by Polarloft™, a synthetic fabric that keeps its warmth even when wet, with an offset layer construction to help retain warmth. They are highly compressible and all fit into their own lightweight stuff sack, the Starlight Micro has an especially small pack size taking up minimal room in your backpack.
The outer fabric of the Starlights is Helium™ 50D Polyester/Nylon, this is both comfortable and highly durable. Strong enough to cope with the rough and tumble of the outdoors but comfortable enough for a good nights sleep. The inner fabric is Supersoft™ 30D which is durable, breathable and soft to the touch.
The hood of the Starlight sleeping bags is anatomically shaped to maximise heat retention, reduced seaming gives better water resistance, increased warmth and reduced weight. All the bags are Alpine fit with a Sharkstoe™ foot box to prevent heat loss and support to your feet. The zip is full length with an internal baffle and integrated collar.
What is the difference?
The three bags are the Starlight Micro, Starlight I and the Starlight II. The Starlight Micro is the lightest sleeping bag of the three, and has the smallest pack size, its recommended comfort temperature is 14°C. The Starlight II is the heaviest and its recommended comfort temperature is 3°C. The three bags offer a range of working temperatures to suite your activity or time of year. The Micro would be excellent for backpacking in warmer temperatures (possibly abroad) where small pack size and minimal weight are important. The Starlight I is a 2/3 season sleeping bag for the warmer months of the British year, or for hut to hut tours. Its pack size is about a third more than the Micro but it still weighs under one kilo. The Starlight II offers the most warmth, it is though the heaviest still maintaining good compressibility with a similar pack size to the Starlight II. A good sleeping bag that can be used up to the edges of the winter season.
Of course none of us wants to sleep in damp or wet conditions, but sometimes it is unavoidable especially in this country (Britain). If you enjoy sleeping under the stars or your tent has heavy condensation, if you like to stay in bothies or mountain huts, then damp is a real factor to take into account. Unfortunately most down sleeping bags (except Hydrophobic) do not cope with wet, they compact and loose their insulation value, leaving you cold and damp. Synthetic insulated sleeping bags are much better for retaining warmth in damp/wet conditions.
What appeals to me about these bags is the fact that I do not need to worry about keeping them completely dry when using them, it gives a greater freedom of use, opening up more sleeping situations to me. Also synthetically insulated sleeping bags dry quicker. I particularly like the small pack size of the Micro Starlight. Space in your backpack is a premium when travelling, especially abroad, having a sleeping bag that is light and takes up little room is very attractive.
All three bags are Alpine fit which is quite snug, this helps to retain your body warmth, but if you are like me and move around a bit in your sleep they can feel a bit restrictive.
Mountain Equipment have been manufacturing outdoor gear for over 50 years, they have a reputation for quality and expertes. While the sleeping bags are in the middle price range I think they are a good investment if you are a regular backpacker or traveller.
|Starlight Micro||Starlight I||Starlight II|
|Pack size||22 x20cm||27 x 21cm||29 x 22cm|
Buy from e-outdoor