My next purchase was a new sleeping bag. For years I had a Fairydown which was awesome and had heaps of use in all sorts of conditions but eventually it rotted away and was chucked out. These days Fairydown are owned by Macpac and cost a fortune. Some research on camping forums put Oneplanet bags at the top of the list for awesomeness but like Macpac, cost a fortune. Hmm, what to do. Some Brit kayakers I know use Vango gear which is not common in Oz. The Viper series has some good ratings and good reviews and the price was certainly right at $350 delivered. It only has duck down instead of goose down which might be an issue for the Brits but in Oz duck down is probably just fine. The Viper 750 is rated at -6 degrees for comfort and -24 degrees extreme and these should make it a good bag for our conditions.
I received my new bag on time and in good order and it fits perfectly. My recent camp with it showed it to be warm and comfortable so I think it will be a good investment until such a time I can afford a Oneplanet bag. Some forum reviewers complained of their Vangos leaking down but the majority were pleased with the performance. When buying anything, you must always have the cost/benefit ratio front of mind. The Vango was half the cost of the Oneplanet or Macpac and in Australia will be just fine. The money I saved allowed me to buy other stuff I needed badly. I’m the sort of person that wants the best of whatever I’m looking for but so far my purchasing strategies have delivered quality gear within my very limited budget without actually going for the best. Except the Blackwolf Turbo tent. Now that’s the best. Oh, and the Thermarest, that’s the best too. Hey, I’m better at this than I thought!