GRAHAM FIELD
Overland motorcycle travel author, strong desires and infinite dreams

Price: £169.95

Brand: Snugpak                              

Product: Softie Intrepid 15

Category: Camping gear

Pros: Mega toasty warm, UK manufactured, cheerful colour.

Cons: Bulky 

The Bottom line: Never have a cold night in a tent again.

Product quality: 5/5

Product ease of use: 4/5, bit tricky to get back in the stuff sack

Product performance: 5/5

Product Durability: 5/5

Product extras:4/5 All Snugpak items come with a 12-month warranty

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If you have read through my reviews in the order I've written them, you may be noticing a theme of praise about everything, but trust me, never am I more driven to write than when I’m venting about some grievance through my keyboard. I enjoy giving a brutal slagging off, as you will know, if you’ve read any of my books. The problem is I’ve moved into the realm of quality products. I could happily slate the low-quality shite I've used for most of my life, but as a wise traveller once said to me - ‘Poor people can't afford to buy cheap products.’ Meaning that our hard-earnt money will go further, if we spend it on something that will last and won't have to be replaced, repaired and in the case of this sleeping bag, is so superior that just using it for camping denies you of its versatility.

Snug is the word. You know those days when it’s cold and dark and you just can't warm up, the chill of the grey beyond the window has got deep into your bones? Well, unwrap the Snug Pak sleeping bag, its colour alone brightens up your day like a solstice sunrise, the glow alone seems to radiate heat and if that’s not enough, undo the anti-snag zipper and wrap it around yourself or get inside.

Our bodies of course generate heat and every single thermo unit now captive in this bag multiplies to a toasty warmth. The technology though doesn’t stop there. As is often the case, that heat can soon turn to sweat and the comfort is lost, but with the Softie® Premier 100% Polyester insulation, I haven’t had that experience with this sleeping bag. I've watched cold sunsets wrapped in it, I've slept in sub-zero temperatures without a tent and been, as the name suggests, snug. I've used it in a more conventional way inside the tent in conjunction with the Exped syn mat (also reviewed here) and have been wholly content. I think I've made my point, it’s a superior product against the cold in any situation. It’s a mum-style bag with a hood and drawstring and it’s available in extra length option.

So, let me find something negative to say. Well, it is a bit bulky, not unexpected, but something to bare in mind if the volume of your packing is a concern. The compression bag does its job, but all the same it’s not a slim and insignificant part of your luggage. You won't be cooling down once you’ve exited the bag to pack it away, it fights for its right to be free. Unfortunately on this review product the drawstring stopper was not gripping and the compression straps alone were the only way to reduce and contain it. As is often the case, the bag gets to the point where it won't compress anymore and then just deforms. So the best I could do was reduce it to 30 cm in height and 26 in diameter weighing 2.4 kgs. This is undoubtedly the down side, but I bet once experienced, it will convince you it’s worth bringing along for the ride. Especially if you are one of those people who feel the cold.

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‘Proudly made in Yorkshire UK with 40 years of experience’, as is stated on the side of the stuff bag, it certainly has a feeling of pride. I think the purchase price can be justified, as its uses go beyond the camping experience and left by the couch it’s a snuggle friend that subdues the call of the bed.

I'm not going to repeat what the website and spec will tell you, if what I've said has got your interest to read this far I strongly recommend you take this link to be impressed by the handmade assembly, the experience of manufacture, the drive to exceed the competition and the specifications that back up the experience of actually sleeping in one on a cold night.

This particular bag comes with a pillow (snuggy headrest) which although small, gave support and comfort. It’s not big enough for pillow talk so I suggest you take a book to bed with you.

https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/sleeping-bags/softier-15-intrepid