Snugpak Softie 9 Sleeping Bag

I used the Lime Green Left Hand Zip. Other colours are available.

Prices range from £98 to £129.95 from a quick google search,

I took this on our 4-night wild camping trip in Scotland, Loch Doon and then onto the Isle of Arran in October.  It was again tested by my Sister in St David’s in Pembrokeshire at the end of November.

The sleeping bag is a bright Lime green, it came with a free pillow, the bag is available with either left or right side opening and in two lengths.  The pack size/weight (weight is 1500g) is larger/heavier than what I would normally want to carry in backpacking to camp, climb and scrambling in the mountains and wild camping.  However, with the promise of a fairly low comfort rating -5°c without the down bag price tag, I was excited to try this sleeping bag in the cold nearly winter weather.

The fabric is very bright and eye catching and soft to the touch, a double zip means you can fully open the bag, the foot box is also large.  You have two draw chords to adjust the hood and above the shoulders.

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What Snugpak say about the Softie

Softie 9 in Green includes a free Snuggy pillow, find out more about the Snuggy pillow here.  If you’re planning several expeditions in different conditions, you need a versatile sleeping bag that will do a great job no matter what the temperature. The Softie 9 Hawk is a multifunctional, three season sleeping bag that covers temperatures down to -10°c and can be easily increased to a four season bag by adding a Snugpak liner. This sleeping bag is also one of our incredibly lightweight, micro size packs at just 19 x 21cm when fully compressed, making it the ultimate easy carrier.

The Outer Fabric (100% Nylon) is called Paratex Steelplate this is used on the cream of Snugpak's products giving a great balance between aesthetics and performance.  Paratex Steelplate is lightweight, tough, highly breathable, high wicking, windproof & water repellent.
The Inner Fabric (100% Nylon) is called Paratex light is lightweight, highly windproof, water repellent fabrics, exceptionally breathable and able to wick moisture away from source.  Insulation (100% Polyester) is made of randomised fine filament fibres create extra voids and loft to trap more warm air, whilst keeping the same weight as a standard insulation.

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Night One, Loch Doon

The first night in the beautiful Dark Skies area of Loch Doon by midnight it was -2°c at ground level, with no wind and beautiful clear skies.  We were sleeping in an MSR Mutha Hubba tent, my insulated mat had a temperature rating of -9°c.  I was wearing fresh Summit Merino Socks (so not damp), my Palm Bheri thermal fleece lined leggings (similar to Rab Flux Pants), a midweight thermal top and a merino beany hat.

Sliding into the bag, I awaited the warmth, it didn’t arrive so I put my Berghaus hooded fleece jumper with extra-long sleeves on, the sleeves have holes in the cuff that you can put your thumbs through.  I tucked my hands under my armpits and put my legs on the dogs.  During the evening I awoke because I was cold especially my elbows and my knees, when my knees get cold, they’re very uncomfortable and painful.  Pulling my Rab down jacket over my stomach, I then pulled the bags hood up and over my head so that my face was completely covered.  I slept on and off until 6:30am awaking because I was cold, the weather on Arran wasn’t to be so cold.

 

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Night Two, Isle of Arran

We landed in Arran around 11am the sun was out, we went to look at the beach (at the rear of the mountain rescue) it was close to the route we would be taking up to Glen Rosa. Everywhere was pretty quiet being the end of October, we went to grab lunch at The Wineport and then popped to Arran Brewery grabbed a couple of Ales. We headed off on our hike looking for somewhere suitable to pitch up, we walked up to the blue lagoon and the light was starting to fade, it had been a glorious day.  Due to it being so quiet we decide to pitch next to the Lagoon, the Lagoon is set between two ranges there was a steady wind blowing from the top of the valley towards us, however there was no frost or any icy chill in the air.  It was a fair few degrees above freezing lows of 4°C, tonight I had decided to sleep in my Rab Down jacket, I ate my dinner in bed and then lay down, I was tired from the lack of sleep the night before, I fell asleep early, I was warmer than the evening before, however I was wearing a very warm coat my legs were still cold and my elbows, I still awoke in the night and put my gloves on, I had to huddle up all night.  Around 8am the next morning the sun was blazing so I took advantage of the heat and stayed in bed for an around 45 minutes to warm up fully.For the last two nights I changed my bag.

Next Trip, St David's Pembrokeshire

My Sister used this bag on our trip to St David’s in Pembrokeshire at the end of November 2018, we camped in a polycotton tent, near the coast. The first night was a completely clear with no wind and with lows of around 5°C.  I hadn’t mentioned my experience with the Softie 9 bag to my sister.  We both slept on identical Mats suitable for temperatures down to -20°C, I slept with a different brand bag on the first night and I was warm.  Wearing my thermal leggings and a thermal baselayer top with some thick clean merino socks, my sister wore Identical clothing to mine.  She experienced the exact same thing I did in the Softie 9, she was really cold across the elbows and the top of her arms and experienced a disturbed night’s sleep, trying to keep warm.



Our Conclusion

The problem seems to occur wherever the bag becomes slightly taught, my Sister and I are both around 5’8” not overweight and no broader than the average man.  Wherever or whenever the bag was slightly stretched be it by our knees or elbows, we ended up cold in that area.  It's a disappointment because I wanted to like this bag, the build quality on inspection looks good, the fabric is nice to the touch and it’s not noisy.  I was hoping for it to something that I could use throughout the winter.  I’m passionate about the environment and keeping my carbon footprint down.  This bag would have brilliant especially because it’s made in the UK in Yorkshire and the price point is good.

For me this wasn’t a comfort level of -5°C and even with the Liner I wouldn’t use it in temperatures of -10°C, I had relayed that I run cold and I was told that this would be suitable for Scottish Winters.  I haven’t located the ISO standard or EN 13537 Standard information on the bag or website, so that it can be compared against Sleeping bag standard tests.  I’m glad I had my down jacket and other things to hand, mostly I’m thankful for my dogs because they really saved my feet by allowing me to rest mine on them and keep them warm.

After having mentioned that I feel the cold and Scotland can be chilly in October, this bag just wasn’t suitable for me.  People who I’ve spoken to, that own this bag like it but they haven’t used it down to anywhere near freezing, so I can’t say if it’s just me and my sister.  This bag would be fine if used in early autumn but wasn't suitable for temperatures that are near freezing.

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