If you like to buy British, this article is for you. Today we are looking at a range of 4 season sleeping bags from UK businesses. All of the sleeping bags featured in this article are mummy sleeping bags because most 4 season sleeping bags are mummy shaped as they tend to be warmer (and lighter) than rectangular ones.
Mummy sleeping bags aren’t for everyone though. They are very close fitting to minimise the amount of dead space, and therefore air, that your body has to heat up – it’s mainly this that makes them warmer. Also, the fact that they taper in towards the feet, means they tend to be lighter than their rectangular counterparts, simply because there is less material. The down side of this is that mummy sleeping bags can be claustrophobic to some as there isn’t much room to move once they are zipped up. If the idea of being trapped in a narrow sleeping bag causes your palms to sweat, you need to check out our article on Camping quilts available in the UK. Camping quilts provide warmth without the straight-jacket effect. Another option is to go for a modular system where you use something like a camping quilt alongside a blanket to provide the warmth you need.
Do you need 4 season sleeping bag in UK?
It really depends on the weather and where you’re planning to camp. If it’s winter and you’re wild-camping, up a mountain or just a long way from civilisation (and/or your car) then yes, it would be very sensible to have a 4 season sleeping bag in the UK. However, if you’re a fair weather camper and you camp on campsites, then a 4 season bag may not be strictly necessary.
One alternative to a 4 season sleeping bag is if you have a 3 season sleeping bag plus something like a sleeping bag liner, bivvy and/or a good blanket. A modular sleep system may also be an option. To some extent, how warm you sleep comes into play too. For example, if you are a cold sleeper then a 4 season sleeping bag for UK winter camping is a must.
It is definitely better to be too warm than too cold in winter. If you’re in freezing cold weather, it can be really dangerous to be in a tent all night without an appropriate sleeping system. In the UK, the temperature may be 10 degrees C at night sometimes, so a 4 season bag will likely be overkill. However, the temperature can also drop to -10 degrees C in harsh winters, particularly if you are up in the mountains where wind chill can really bite. Bad weather can also come in fast in the UK. Always check the Mountain Weather Information Service if you are heading out into the UK hills/mountains in winter.
Are sleeping bag temperature ratings accurate?
It depends. You might find you need to take the manufacturers’ temperature ratings with a pinch of salt. The more expensive brands tend to be more accurate, but with a cheaper sleeping bag you might find the temperature comfort rating to quite a few degrees C out. So for example, if it says the comfort rating is -2 degrees, you might find that you get cold in the bag at about 3 or 4 degrees. The reasons for this vary wildly though. Yes, the sleeping bag manufacturer could just be being over optimistic, however, factors like whether you sleep hot or cold, what you’ve eaten, what your weight and health is like, what your sleeping pad is like (is it insulated), what you wear in your sleeping bag, and what you’re sleeping in (tent or bivvy, for example) all greatly affect your warmth in the night. Only experience will tell you what works for you as it tends to be really subjective.
The 4 season sleeping bags we are comparing:
- Alpkit Pipedream 600
- Berghaus Elevation 600
- Highlander Serenity 450
- Mountain Equipment Helium 600
- OEX Leviathan EV 900
- Rab Ascent 900
- Snugpak Softie® Elite 4
- Vango Cobra 600
- We have only included 4 season sleeping bags from UK companies that use either ethically sourced down (RDS certified, or CODEX approved) or synthetic fillings.
- The sleeping bags are listed alphabetically.
- The information is taken from the manufacturers’ websites.
- Some manufacturers give good detailed information and some are a bit hit and miss. You’ll notice this as you look at the specs below.
- Some manufacturers give the standard ‘comfort’, ‘limit’ and ‘extreme’ ratings, whereas some others have their own rating system. Again, you’ll see this in the specs below.
4 season sleeping bags from UK companies
DOWN OR SYNTHETIC FILLING
DIMENSIONS (Length x Chest width x Foot width)
WERE CAN I CHECK THE PRICE?
Alpkit Pipedream 600
90/10 Grey goose down -
Reg: 1.085kg / Long: 1.145kg
Reg: 190cm x 75cm x Not given
Berghaus Elevation 600
700 fill power 90/10 fill
220cm x 80cm x 50cm
Go Outdoors, Millets, Blacks
Highlander Serenity 450
450gsm spiral Hollowfibre
220cm x 80cm x 55cm
Mountain Equipment Helium 600
582g of 90-10 Pure Duck Down with a minimum fill power of 700
Mummy, alpine cut
OEX Leviathan EV 900
900gsm / 600 fill power hydrophobic duck down
217cm x 75cm x not given
Rab Ascent 900
650FP European Duck Down 900g
185cm x not given x not given.
Comfort not given
Snugpak Softie® Elite 4
220cm x 75cm x 42cm. Max user height 190cm.
Vango Cobra 600
90/10 700 fill power duck down
So that’s our range of 4 season sleeping bags from UK businesses. We have provided the details offor one sleeping bag from each brand. Some of the businesses have a number of 4 season sleeping bags, so it may be worth having a check on the manufacturers’ websites.
As mentioned, a mummy-shaped 4 season sleeping bag can be quite claustrophobic, but if you’re not bothered by that then this style of sleeping bag will probably provide the warmest and lightweight option for winter camping in the UK. If you’re planning on wild-camping up in the mountains or backpacking any sort of distance, then the warmth to weight ratio is obviously a consideration.
It’s worth mentioning too, that if you’re really happy with your 3 season sleeping bag and you don’t have the budget for a 4 season bag, you can make your 3 season sleeping bag suitable for winter use (depending on the location and weather of course) with the use of a blanket or a lightweight sleeping bag liner. Check out our article on Fleece sleeping bag liners to get an idea of what’s available.