When the Vango Ultralite Pro 200 landed on my doormat I was pretty excited to get out to the hills and test it out. However, life intervened and my first chance to test this sleeping bag out came on a cold blustery December night in the Lake District – one that really pushed its limits.
First though, lets have a look at the bag itself. It’s a three-season mummy shape sleeping bag, which means that it’s good for spring and autumn nights or a mild winter night – a far cry from what it was actually tested in. It has a hood and an extra lining around the shoulders, which helps to keep heat in. A two-way zip is handy for if you take it out in summer and get too hot.
It’s made from synthetic material rather than down but it certainly felt fluffy enough to be down. This, I believe, is down to the 4T synthetic insulation in the bag which helps to improve ‘warmth to weight ratio by trapping air in its patented channel structure’. Thinking to my various down coats I’ve worn over the years I feel that synthetic technology has really caught up and really does keep you warm, especially if you’re likely to get a bit damp – it’s Britain and so, yes, there’s a high probability you will get a bit damp. Therefore we can also add water resistance to the tick list on this bag. I didn’t actually get the chance to test this out as we got our spot in the bothy rather than having to camp!
There’s also a small pocket to keep things like torch or phone handy.
Now down to actually using it…
Like I’ve mentioned previously, the first time I tested it was in conditions that were more on the ‘limit’ side of the scale but I wanted to give it a try and see how it coped – especially as I do feel the cold. Just in case I stuffed my trusty Therm-a-rest Argo blanket in, too. Now keep in mind that I use this blanket on my four season Alpkit bag…
When packing, the 1.1kg bag stuffed into the bottom of my 40l Osprey pack. I remember feeling reasonably surprised by how compact the bag was. On top of the bag I packed my blanket, sleeping bag liner, mat and few bits of extra clothing. I’m pretty sure I could’ve fit it all into a 30l if I didn’t have to carry towel, food and extra water for the dog.
As it turned out, I did need the blanket but that wasn’t unexpected. Saying this, although it was very cold in the evening I woke up a couple of times in the night to find the blanket had fallen off and my temperature was fine. The biggest difference came when I tightened that wonderful extra baffle around my neck and pulled the hood up over my head – the difference that made was unbelievable.
I did feel that I wouldn’t want to be any taller otherwise I’d have struggled to get the hood up and over my head. As I’m not that tall at 5’6-7” this may be a struggle for some taller people.
Having tested it in zero/sub-zero temperatures I would definitely feel comfortable using this bag in spring and autumn – you know, the temperatures that its actually designed for – so feel that at £95 and weighing in at just over 1kg it’s not too shabby a choice if you’re wanting to find a bag for wild camping without breaking the bank. Plus, quite honestly, if weight is your biggest worry then I’d make sure to get a good comfortable backpack to carry your gear in. That will make the difference if you’re umming and ahhing over a couple of hundred grams. I’d rather have a good nights sleep!