Tested: Mountain Designs Travelite 320 Sleeping Bag
OKAY, MAYBE THERE’S a couple of other things, but a decent kip after a big day in the outdoors is definitely up there as a daily goal when you’re out there, and the best way to achieve this is in a comfortable sleeping bag. For Australia, a good three-season sleeping bag generally does the job for all but the middle of winter in the southern states, which makes the Mountain Designs Travelite 320 down bag a great option.
Aussie born-and-bred Mountain Designs has just been revitalised, and the company has brought some exciting kit back onto the market, not the least of which is the Travelite 320. The bag is impressively light and offers a robust outer shell along with RDS 650-fill down insulation. Down is still the best insulator for bags and offers the additional benefits of being lighter than a synthetic fill of the same weight, as well as being able to be further compressed, therefore taking up less space inside your pack.
The Travelite 320 uses box-wall baffling construction, combined with a curved baffle design to ensure the down fill doesn’t move around in the bag, which could otherwise leave potential cold spots. This results in a decent warmth-to-weight ratio, aided by the bag’s tapered rectangular shape. Another advantage of the tapered rectangular shape is you’re not constricted like you would be in a mummy-shaped bag, but there aren’t big empty spaces that your body has to work hard to heat up.
The bag is rated to a ‘Comfort’ level of 4°C, with a low limit of -1°C and an impressive ‘Extreme’ rating of -16°C. This means the Travelite 320 is suited to most conditions during our autumn, summer and spring. We tested the bag in late summer/early spring on the east coast of NSW and found its combination of lightweight and temperature ratings to be perfect for the conditions. We had one colder night on test but added a sleeping bag liner, which made it snug enough to get a good night’s sleep without any issues.
The bag’s construction is very good; the stitching is tight and the outer shell has coped well with being jammed into – and then pulled back out of – a compression bag without any resulting damage. The compact size when packed is also appreciated on an overnight hike when using a smaller-than-usual backpack, leaving ample space for a stove, change of clothes and other essentials.
It’s heartening to see Mountain Designs back on the radar for those looking at purchasing adventure gear, and with its past reputation for quality construction and smart design, it looks like a great new beginning for this Aussie adventure icon, with gear such as this sleeping bag showing the way.
ALSO NEW FROM MOUNTAIN DESIGNS
MEN’S RESURGE 700 GOOSE DOWN JACKET
The iconic Resurge down jacket has been upgraded with highly compressible, 700 fill power goose down insulation to give you greater warmth in cooler temperatures. The classical styling features a horizontal baffle design and protects you from the elements through a durable ripstop outer shell fabric with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. The tricot-lined funnel collar and hand pockets provide extra warmth, and for easy storage and travel, the jacket can be stuffed down into its internal chest pocket.
ESCAPE HIKE 30L DAY PACK
The Escape Hike 30 day pack is your lightweight, multi-functional choice for bushwalks or day tours with its large top-load opening, multiple storage pockets and daisy chain attachment system with hiking pole attachment loops. The streamline design provides greater ease of movement through a supportive, breathable harness and contoured shoulder straps with load adjusters.
RRP: $149.99 AUD
EXPEDITION 90L DUFFLE
The classic Expedition 90 duffle bag is perfect for hauling expedition gear, bouncing around on luggage carousels or loading equipment for campsite retreats. The tarpaulin outer with DWR finish gives it toughness while the huge main compartment and multiple internal pockets organise bulk gear. Lug it around with the reinforced handles or carry it like a backpack with the adjustable shoulder straps.
For more great gear visit Mountain Designs.