Last updated: 16-Aug-18
Budget, weight, space and warmth are all important factors when choosing a sleeping bag for ultra running or training run overnights. This bag is lightweight and warm, mainly for temperatures similar to UK spring and summer use.
Alpkit’s “two to three season” bag of choice is the PipeDream 400. They state: “The new PipeDream 400 has been pared down to the bare minimum to give a lightweight, fine-tuned sleeping bag with the adventurous person in mind.”
Also: “The bag has been optimised with 750-fill power down to get the most warmth, yet weighs only 755g and has no unnecessary features. This specialist bag uses 400g of 90/10 goose down.”
Comfort rating is 2ºC with a lower limit of -4ºC. Because I get cold easily, I would use the bag in conditions no less than 3ºC but most likely upwards of 5ºC. This means it is a sleeping bag that I would use in the summer in the UK or perhaps on a warmer spring night. The average person could use the bag on cooler spring nights and maybe even early autumn.
The perfect size of person for this bag is 5ft11 tall or with a shoulder circumference of around 124cm. Someone of this size will fit neatly into the bag and have room to add a down jacket if required.
Alpkit PipeDream 400 Down Sleeping Bag – Features
- 400g of 90/10 goose down
- Ethically sourced down from geese that are not live-plucked and not force-fed
- DWR (Durable Water repellent) coating
- Full-length zip backed up with a baffle
- Simple stitch-through construction
- Slightly roomier chest girth than previous editions of the PipeDream
- Compression bag size: 62cm x 27cm
- Weight: 755g
- £150 was £170
- See Alpkit
Photo credit: Fiona Russell.
Pros: What’s good about Alpkit PipeDream 400 Down Sleeping Bag
The price is brilliant. £150 for a lightweight down bag with 750 fill is very good.
The ethically sourced goose down is also very reassuring.
The bag has DWR treatment so a damp tent does not lead to wet and useless sleeping bag down. Water rolls off the outside of the bag to protect what is inside.
Alpkit as a brand is very well thought of and they offer a three-year Alpine Bond, which means that if the product does not meet your expectations upon delivery or, if it does not live up to the demands placed upon it, it can be returned within 3 years of purchase for repair, replacement or refund.
In addition, there’s a full-length side zip, which is useful for getting in and out of the bag and for ventilation if you become too warm. The zip is two-way for extra versatility.
I like that there is a wide protecting baffle on the rear side of the zip. This means the zip doesn’t irritate skin and the baffle doesn’t get caught up in the zip (this happens all too often with zips that have thin baffles).
The PipeDream bag is wide and really it’s too roomy for me, being a slim 5ft 8in. I would prefer to be able to buy a slimmer fit bag and therefore cut the weight of the bag. But for the average man it is a good size and allows you to add extra clothing layers when inside the bag if you need them for warmth.
Given how light the bag feels when you pick it up the warmth is good. I tested it on a cool Scottish overnight. The temperature was around 3ºC to 5ºC and despite being worried about warmth I was fine.
I added a self-inflating Therm-A-Rest mattress to keep away the chill off the ground.
Cons: What’s not so good about Alpkit PipeDream 400 Down Sleeping Bag
I would prefer a lighter bag. It’s a small quibble because the lightest bag on test is less than 200g lighter but when carrying kit on my back for long distances I want it to be as lightweight as possible.
I think a shorter zip would be possible and if the bag was slim-fit it would be lighter still.
The hood is also quite small. It does keep the head warm when the drawstring is tightened but a little extra room would be nice.
The design is fairly basic and the style is straightforward mummy and these days you do expect a little more design input.
The stuff bag is the largest on test and I wonder if it would be possible to pack the sleeping bag into a smaller bag. When room is limited in a rucksack this bag might not make the grade.
It is hard to beat this bag for price and good design. It is lightweight and warm and has a welcome extra feature of DWR treatment. There is nothing hugely exciting about this bag. It does what it says it will without fuss or glamour. If you need a sleeping bag that is fairly basic, fairly light, warm and filled with ethical down then £150 is a great price.
Other sleeping bags you may want to consider:
About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions.
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