Snugpak Quart Outdoor Sleeping System
- By John Fenna
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 19/12/2016
The Snugpak Quart System combines their Softie 3 Merlin sleeping bag, TS1 sleeping bag liner and waterproof breathable bivvi bag, into one specially designed compression stuffsack that has a separate waterproof compartment for storing the (possibly damp) bivvi bag away from your (hopefully dry) sleeping bag and liner.
The Softie 3 Merlin sleeping bag is an international best seller for Snugpak and is a well-designed and very well made summer weight sleeping bag rated for “5°C comfort 0°C degree extreme”.
The Merlin weighs only about 900g and measures 75cm across the chest, 60cm at the oval shaped foot and 220cm long, but can pack down in its own (supplied) compression stuff sack to around 16cm high x 16cm diam.
Made with a Paratex steel plate fabric outer for durability and water repellency and a lining of Paratex ‘light’ for comfort next to the skin, the Merlin has ‘Softie Premier’ insulation and a layer of ‘Reflectatherm’ to reflect and trap body heat in the sleeping bag for lightweight performance.
The Merlin has a quilted ‘Snugfit’ hood with a locking drawcord, a full-length anti-snag zip with full-length baffle, the inside foot area is reinforced (so you can wear boots in bed), and has loops for securing the sleeping bag liner, while on the outside of the foot are twin hanging loops for suspending the sleeping bag for airing, drying or storage.
This all provides a low bulk sleeping bag of good insulating properties which I have found very comfortable in warmer conditions. However, I personally find the temperature ratings a little optimistic and, during testing (over autumn, winter and early spring), I often needed to boost the sleeping bag with the TS1 liner, and in the coldest camps even an extra blanket or improvised hot water bottle. This is not knocking the Snugpak Softie 3 Merlin sleeping bag; I was testing a summer-rated sleeping bag in winter at temperatures well below its extreme rating!
The Softie 3 Merlin is available in an extra-long version for the tall, and will accept the Snugpak Expanda Panel for the wider camper. The standard Softie 3 Merlin normally retails at around £110.
The Snugpak TS1 (thermal suede) sleeping bag liner that comes in the Quart System really does help increase the warmth of the sleeping bag by a couple of degrees, extending the range of temperatures at which the system can be used, as well as being luxurious and warm to the touch.
Measuring approximately 76cm wide and 230cm long, the wicking stretch fabric liner has a rectangular foot and a shaped hood/opening with locking drawcord adjustment, packs into its 25cm long 10cm wide stuffsack and weighs about 320g. The ties at the foot of the liner allow you to attach it to the inside of the sleeping bag to prevent even the most restless sleeper from getting tied in knots.
Proving very comfortable in use, the TS1 liner was well-worth its weight for adding warmth and comfort to the sleeping system as the temperatures outside dropped! The Snugpak TS1 sleeping bag liner normally sells for about £35.
As well as protecting the sleeping bag and liner from rain, wind, hail and frost, the Quart System’s waterproof breathable bivvi bag also helps trap warmth in the sleeping system, further extending the temperature range for a comfortable sleep. Made from Paratex Dry fabric, the bivvi bag measures approx 220cm long, 75cm wide at the chest and 50cm wide at the knees, fitting well over the sleeping bag. As the fabric has a hydrostatic head in excess of 5000mm (anything over 1500mm is rated as waterproof), it is truly waterproof and breathes well enough that I never experienced any condensation inside the bivvi bag on any of the occasions I used it. The fabric’s durable water repellent finish can be renewed after washing with products such as Nikwax.
The wide shaped hood/ entrance of the bivvi bag has a drawcord adjuster for a good fit and made a real difference to my comfort during the testing of the Quart System in cold and wet conditions.
The Snugpak Bivvi Bag comes with its own 13cm x 10cm stuff sack, has a mesh base and velcro adjusted attachment loop, weighs approximately 340g and retails at around £65.
All these separate elements fit into the Quart System compression stuffsack which measures about 16 inches (40cm) x 7 inches (17cm) diameter and which can help compress the bulk of the sleeping system by between 30% and 50%. (Do not overdo it – I managed to pull one of the buckles out of the seam by over-straining things!)
Initially, the Quart compression stuff sack looks similar to any standard compression stuff sack, having a nylon fabric cylindrical body closed with a drawcord at one end and four ladderlocktype buckles on webbing compression straps. However, the base of the sack has a Velcro closed waterproof compartment for storing the potentially damp bivvi bag away from the sleeping bag, while keeping the sleeping system in one convenient unit.
During my testing of the Quart System, I found it to be a comfortable, convenient and versatile sleeping system, lightweight and compact for its warmth. Although I conducted the test in autumn, winter and spring and took the Quart System well beyond its intended temperatures, it served me well. I see the Quart System proving ideal for late spring, summer and early autumn use where its versatility and convenience will really shine.
The Snugpak Quart System does pack a quart’s worth of comfortable sleeping into a pint pot and costs around £180, which represents a good saving of around £20 over buying the individual elements separately.
For more details, call 01535 654479 or contact www.snugpak.com.