Sleeping gear

Over the years we have tried several sleeping gears. Before our trip to the Nordkapp we used a two person air mattress (canvas and other materials) and two Bardani Collibri (rectangular shaped) sleeping bags with a comfort rating of +4°C.

Unfortunately one of the sleeping bags zippers got broken. Our Gelert air mattress was also going flat over night and the canvas air mattress is too heavy and too hard to carry with us, especially for the big journey we’re planning. Also, this equipment wasn’t offering enough isolation on colder nights.

Some of our motorbike friends swear to a self-inflatable mat (therm-a-rest or another brand) because they offer better isolation. These mattresses do have one disadvantage and that is the packing size.

Exped Synmat 7 Pump DLX (LW)
After some profound investigation, we discovered Exped air mattresses. As a result of their filling they offer the same isolation as self-inflatable mattresses. The filling can be down or a synthetic microfiber, we choose the last one because we decided that it will offer us sufficient isolation.

Unfortunately the, in 2011 introduced and with gold rewarded, Ultra Light mattresses (with ultra small packing size) do not have the desired measurements. Therefore we choose the Exped Synmat 7 Pump DLX (LW) mattress. There mattresses have an integrated pomp, an acceptable packing size and excellent specifications:

Size: 197 x 65
Thickness: 7 cm
Weight: 1100 g
Packing size: 27 x 15 cm
Isolation: -17°C
Filling: 150 g/qm Texpedloft Microfiber

By using two straps the air mattresses can be connected to each other which results in one 2 person mattress. For us this works out fine.

Nomad Triple-S
The next investigation, a sleeping bag with the right specifications was a little tougher. We didn’t want a mummy model at any price. However the packing size of such a mummy model is in general smaller, we just don’t feel comfortable in them, and we prefer to zip our sleeping bags together.

We also preferred not to have a down sleeping bag because it does not isolate anymore (or it isolates less) if it’s humid / wet. They say due to the modern technology it isn’t the case anymore but we still believe we made the right choice (for us). In Norway Sander’s motorbike ended up in a ditch which soaked all our sleeping gear. We rinsed our sleeping bags under the shower to get rid of all the mud and algae and dried them. We doubt that it would have worked out as well with down as it did with our synthetic sleeping bags.

Anyhow, the bag of our choice is the Nomad Triple-S sleeping bag. This 3 season sleeping bag has a summer and a spring/fall side. This makes the packing size to be acceptable while it still offers sufficient isolation.

If it really gets cold there is an option to pull some elastic cords which turns the sleeping bag into a mummy model. Disadvantage of that is, when you are using the sleeping bag on itself (not zipped together), the ‘wrong side’ of the sleeping bags ends up. We prefer to use an extra flees liner in case it really gets cold.
The specifications of our sleeping bags:
Size: 235 x 80 cm
Weight: 1500 g
Packing size: 18 x 40 cm
Comfort rating: 10/-4°C
Filling: 70 g/m2 3D-Polarsoft-Micro (Summer side)
Double layer 130 g/m2 Polarsoft 70 g/m2 3D-Polarshield-Micro (Spring/Fall side)

Lowland Silk liner
To protect our sleeping bags, we figured it might be a good idea to use a liner. So that we don't have to wash our bags that often. Washing a liner is so much easier. Finally we settled for the 2 person Lowland Silk liner. It virtually takes up no space and was the cheapest we could find that matched our criteria. The silk provides some extra insulation and in very hot condition we can just use it as a ultralight weight sleeping bag. The only drawback is that it's colour is white!

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