For summer this year, instead of using my 0 degree down quilt which is overkill in the heat of the season, I’ve purchased after much consideration the Snugpak Traveller sleeping bag. Its the same model as the Jungle Bag only this version is aimed at backpackers and comes in a Petrol Blue with black inner and red zippers instead of standard military colours; all olive, all coyote or all black. I’ve heard many good reports about the Snugpak Jungle Blanket (regarding a high warmth to weight ratio), and the Traveller/Jungle bag is basically a Jungle blanket with a zip around the edge plus a bonus of a midge net to totally seal yourself off from any nighttime bloodsucking predators. It is also possible to use this bag in blanket format however for me, the real selling point was the mesh net.
The Traveller bag really is a bag designed for summer only and I imagine there isn’t going to be a lot of nights where the temperature is warm enough for me in this. It has a comfort rating of 7 Celsius, although I’ve found in the past Snugpak tends to exaggerate their ratings so I’m expecting to only ever need to use it in around 15 degree ‘heat’ or more. Which honestly isn’t often…. But that’s not all. This bag has bivvy potential! Yes! It is possible to use it as an outer bivvy-style bag for situations underneath a tarp or where I might need a little more warmth or protection from insects or wind. At 950g its small pack size compares to that of many bivvies on the market and the only thing it lacks compared to a real bivvy is waterproofness.
I’ve tested this bag twice and on both occasions been cold, thanks to my enthusiasm and unexpected weather conditions. The square shaped cut gives there is really good room in this thing which is a change I appreciated. I’ve used it with Sea to Summit Extreme Reactor to help warm things up where the temperature fell a little lower than I anticipated even with the liner, and the second time I used it inside a Goretex bivy and was lucky (?) enough to try out the insect mesh thanks to a wonderfully calm evening. There wasn’t a single midge that was able to find its way inside the bag although I found the mesh more effective with a t-shirt between it and my face to make some distance from biting teeth (some of them are longer than others!).
The materials are designed to withstand wear and tear – tough outer that will take a lot of abuse, polyester inner which has a slight cotton feel to it for coolness, YKK zips that travel well – three in total as there is the option to just unzip your feet, the side or the midge net, all with zip guards, and also a tough compression sack. I really like the bag – it packs down small and weighs little, its roomy and a lovely colour. The Traveller is the kind of bag you can take with you anywhere, not just backpacking, but hosteling or car camping and definitely the jungle. I also like how I don’t need to treat it with caution as with a down product: I can crawl into it at the end of the day, dirty and sweaty and just whack into the washing machine to freshen it up. The totally sealable feature brings a certain peace of mind, too and I would love to have a warmer climate to get more use out of it.