This compact sleeping bag, designed for adventurers or adventure racers, was created for summer evening conditions, but coupled with an inner sheet will provide incredible warmth and flexibility in cooler conditions too. Luxurious and lightweight, the Extreme Lite 500 provides its user with an extremely versatile sleeping solution.
Price: R1200 on the Cape Union Mart website (R1400 in-store)
Weight: 470g on label (497g actual)
Comfort rating: +10ºC
Fill: 180g 90/10 Goose down 700in³
Size: 220 x 75 x 52 cm
I tested this sleeping bag sleeping on an escarpment hike to Ribbon Falls on the Amphitheatre in the Northern Drakensberg, and this was my experience:
I must say I was very worried taking this sleeping bag on the hike after seeing the weather forecasts for the weekend as it was way below the bags comfort rating. What made matter worse is when you look at it in its little stuff bag it is not really bigger than a toilet roll. Taking it out of the stuff bag for the first time I thought the factory neglected to add the fill as this is merely a ripstop piece of material in a sleeping bag shape. It is no thicker than butterfly’s wings! Miraculously the bag started puffing up as if it was a Berg adder about to strike, maybe my cursing upset it.
With a little confidence restored in the bag after the puffing show I took the bag, a 500ml liquid “blanket”, and forewarned my hiking buddy that I might spoon with him if the bag fails, now we were both worried about the weather.
True to the forecast the mercury dropped to 5.6ºC outside the tent. With the temperature at 8.1ºC inside the tent in the early morning I measured the temperature inside the bag which then was at a very comfortable 24.7 ºC. I slept with one of those R50 fleece tops you buy at P`n P and at intervals throughout the night I slept with my arms and shoulders outside the bag because it was getting too hot. The rating of +10ºC is really conservative and even at that temperature I can sleep nothing but a T-Shirt in the bag and I’ll be comfy.
Being a down bag I wouldn't use it without a liner and therefore I used the K-Way micro fibre travel sheet inside the bag. Admittedly I’m a “hot sleeper” but with the liner and a proper thermal base layer to sleep in I’m sure I’ll be comfortable at 0ºC and in extreme conditions and situations I’ll feel safe down to -5ºC. Taking the bags sub 500g weight into consideration it is nothing short of spectacular! This is the perfect bag for summer trips even on the Berg escarpment.
What I liked about the bag is its generous size and supper soft feel. It however does not have a double slider zipper as stated on the label so you can only open it from the top which isn't a real train smash for me. I also would have liked to operate the zip from inside the bag but with the big size of the bag it isn't a problem to get your arms in and out of the bag even with the zipper to the top.
Would I recommend this bag to a friend? Yes without a doubt, go buy it today!