If you’re doing any serious multi-day trekking or winter camping then one of the most important items to invest in is a good sleeping bag. On my recent trip up Kilimanjaro, I knew I had to make sure that I’d be warm sleeping at night. Temperatures can easily dip to -20C on the mountain! I was really excited then when Mountain Hardwear, one of the best outdoor apparel and gear companies, offered to provide me with their Lamina -30 sleeping bag to test out on the trek.
The Lamina -30 is a mummy-shaped, synthetic sleeping bag made with Thermal Q insulation. It has a polyester lining and a water-repellant, nylon shell with a full-length, side zipper. It’s easily compressible and fluffs up nicely (the loft) with a few shakes. The regular size (which I had) fits an individual up to 6-feet tall. It’s their warmest synthetic sleeping bag and good for temperatures that dip to -34C. It retails for around $300 CAD.
I should point out that my experience with sleeping bags has been limited to your typical summer camping trips, ones that are rectangular in shape with no hood. I definitely had some learning to do with the Lamina -30 especially around the techniques needed to use a mummy-style sleeping bag. For starters, I’ve always done the rolling technique when packing up a sleeping bag. The first two mornings on the mountain I struggled to get that sleeping bag into its stuff sack. Curse words could be heard coming from my tent and if anyone had peaked in, they would have seen a wrestling match going on between me and that bag. It was only after lamenting to one of the guides about my wonderful starts to the day that she told me that I actually needed to just stuff it in and not roll it up. It worked like a charm the following morning and I arrived to breakfast on time and with a smile on my face! Tip #1: stuff it don’t roll it!
The other thing that I had to get used to was sleeping with my head tucked into the sleeping bag. When sleeping at such cold temperatures, you need to keep your head inside the sleeping bag in order to seal in the warmth. Most mummy-style sleeping bags also have drawstrings around the hood so you can cinch it tight around your face. There is a technique to sleeping in the bag as well. I roll a lot when I sleep and that first night I would wake up with my face pressed against the side of the bag. Luckily I’m not claustrophobic, but I can see this being an issue for some. Tip #2: you have to roll with the sleeping bag, not in it.
How Did It Perform?
- Kept me warm every night on the trail
- Was easy to get in and out of
- Zippers were easy to maneuver while inside the bag
- Hood tightened nicely around my face and kept the heat inside
- No moisture buildup within the bag
- Was easy to stuff into its carrying bag (once I figured out the technique!)
- The regular size was too long for me leaving a large gap at the bottom of the sleeping bag, which resulted in cold feet while sleeping. I’ll need a shorter size sleeping bag to combat this again in the future.
- Rather large when packed in its stuff bag (it was actually too large to pack into my main pack and had to be carried on its own)
- Had substantial weight to it (5lbs). If you’re doing any major trekking and carrying all your own gear, this may get too heavy.
I was impressed with the Lamina 30 and would highly recommend it. It kept me warm every night on the trail and that was the most important factor for me. It was well constructed and packed up easily. If I had to purchase this I’d say the $300 price point is fair. For future trips where I’ll be transporting it by vehicle, it will work perfectly but if I were trekking and having to carry all my own gear I would want something that was lighter and compressed down even more.
SeeYouSoon Score: 4.5 out of 5
Thank you to Mountain Hardwear for providing me with the Lamina -30 sleeping bag. Opinions and views remain my own.