Having a good winter sleeping bag is a must if you are planning on camping out during the winter months. I purchased this sleeping bag exactly for that purpose. Read on to discover what I think of the bag and how I think it performs.

I have an army surplus arctic sleeping bag which I’ve used in sub zero temperatures last winter. It’s nicknamed the bouncing bomb and for good reason. When packed the sleeping bag is huge! It’s also heavy too. I want to do some winter camps this year but I’ll be backpacking so that bag left me wanting to get a better alternative. Me being me I spent ages pouring through reviews, online shops etc. trying to make my mind up which winter sleeping bag to go for.

I eventually managed to make my mind up and I chose the Alpkit Skyehigh 900 hydrophobic down sleeping bag. I’ve bought and used Alpkit gear before, the Alpkit Foundation has helped the voluntary whole family camping experience project I run before with kit donations so I was pretty confident the Skyehigh 900 would be a decent bit of kit! The sleeping bag was a bit over the budget I’d set myself but I started realising for a winter down sleeping bag the price I paid was really good.

Features

The Skyehigh 900 has some welcome features which help keep you toasty in cold weather. The head enclosure can be pulled tight around your head, minimising the amount of heat lost through your head. To cinch up the head enclosure there is a single drawstring cord. The bag also has a draught collar and this is also tightened up by means of a single drawstring cord. These are easy to tighten and loosed when in the bag and really help to keep you warm. On the inside of the bag there is a little zipped pocket to store stuff in, it isn’t massive but is big enough for loose change or your mobile phone.

The zips are YKK and there is an anti snag zip guard too. The main zipper is double zipped so you can open the bottom of the bag to let some air in if your legs or feet are too warm. I’ve done this when camping and it works well. The main zipper length is 3/4 of the bag length and Alpkit supply the bag in right and left hand zip variations. There is a decent sized baffle that runs the full length of the zip. Getting in and out of the bag is really easy.

Alpkit supply two sacks for the Skyehigh 900, a storage sack and a compression sack. The idea is that when you need the sleeping bag and are travelling with it, you’d use the compression sack. By compressing, you are reducing the pack size. Leaving down sleeping bags compressed for extended periods of time though is bad, really bad. It results in the down not being able to loft, which then results in the sleeping bag not being able to insulate you from the cold. So to address that the storage sack comes in to play. It allows you to store the sleeping bag at home without being compressed fully.

One thing I never knew about before researching sleeping bags to buy is the issue surrounding down and how it’s sourced. Basically, some down suppliers pluck the geese and ducks for their down and feathers whilst they are still alive and some are force fed too. It all sounds very barbaric but Alpkit have sourced their down from suppliers that are RDS certified, meaning it’s ethically sourced.

Comfort

The feel of the inner material is sublime! It’s so soft and really does make you feel comfortable when laid in the bag. The bag doesn’t feel restrictive or cramped, there is plenty of space to wriggle about and it doesn’t feel heavy on you. Some of the synthetic bags I’ve used feel like a heavy blanket is laid on you when sleeping in it. With the Alpkit Skyehigh 900 the same isn’t true.

Performance

I bought this sleeping bag only a few weeks ago so I haven’t had the opportunity to test it in really cold weather. I’ve used it twice on two night camps at Edale in the Peak District, the 2nd camp saw night time low temperatures of around 8°c and I have to say I was too warm with the bag. I ended up opening the bag out and using it like a quilt. I’m sure the rated temperatures that Alpkit quote are easily achievable with this bag.

I will be using this sleeping bag over the winter, on some wild camps I have planned at the Peak District. Once I’ve had the chance to give the Alpkit SkyeHigh 900 a thorough run for its money in sub zero temperatures I will update here.

Conclusion

The sleeping bag compresses well for when you’re ready to hit the trail. The weight of the sleeping bag is 1.42kg so it isn’t ultralight but it’s not heavy either, especially when compared to my bouncing bomb, the army surplus arctic sleeping bag. I can fit the compressed or not sleeping bag easily into my North Face 65l rucksack and still have enough room for my shelter, sleeping mat, cooking gear and other kit.

When I’ve used the Alpkit Skyehigh the only real issue I had was not wanting to get out of it in the mornings! I say that seriously too! I’ve used it and slept soundly and warmly every time, which is what you want with any sleeping bag. I’ve spilled water on the bag a couple of times, nothing major, and the coating works well to repel the water. Being a down bag you do need to treat it with care but that is true of all down sleeping bags.

Overall, I think the Alpkit Skyehigh 900 is a great sleeping bag. It’s not cheap but it does feel like it’s a premium product so I think the price is very reasonable. The buying experience with Alpkit is great too. They included a hand written note in the packaging which is a great touch, their customer support is great too. I had a couple of questions before I bought the bag and they were quick to respond.

I’m really looking forward to getting out and using the Skyehigh 900 again soon!

 

Review Roundup

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Packs down well in supplied compression sack
  • Responsible Down Standard certified, no inhumane methods for sourcing the down used.
  • Build quality

Cons

  • Not good for anyone over 6ft 1 inches.

Overall Rating

5 / 5

This review of the Alpkit Skyehigh 900 Hydrophobic Down Sleeping Bag was written by

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