We compare four sleeping bags to find out which one is best for your budget.

Any angler who’s ever done an overnighter will know the need for a quality sleeping bag. Even on the warmest of days, hit midnight to dawn and that temperature will make you wish you had a nice bit of kit to slip inside and get some warmth into your bones. Obviously that’s more crucial at this time of year than ever. We’ve done overnight winter sessions in good and bad bags, and after aching from the cold and lack of sleep, we can tell you which we prefer…

Sleeping bag Accessories

woolly socks It’s not about doing nights on the bank and getting cold feet. If you are a cold soul then a pair of woolly socks can be a lifesaver. These offerings from Sealskinz are not only insulative, but they are also waterproof, which makes it a little more bearable when you run for a take in your socks.

hot-water bottle Again when warmth is the aim, a hot-water bottle can be a real game changer in the winter months. It makes it much nicer when you get in the bag after dealing with a carp or the call of nature on a freezing-cold night. We recommend one for any hard-core winter angler; a cold weather essential.

pillow Rolling up a bundle of coats is no substitute for a soft pillow. Sometimes the extra weight of a nice pillow is a neccessary evil for a little home-from-home comfort, especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse. There are a whole host of pillows from most of the major companies.

Test Bed The first consideration when testing a sleeping bag is warmth; this can be ascertained by the materials used in the bag. Secondly, a bag that is lightweight is a must. Many five-season sleeping bags fall into the trap of being too heavy and it can severely increase the weight of your fishing gear. We also looked at dimensions so you can ensure that the sleeping bag you choose fits perfectly on your bedchair. The consistencies All the sleeping bags were measured in the same way, by laying them on flat ground and using a measuring tape to ensure the most accurate figure. Similarly, the weighing process was carried out with the same digital scales to ensure consistency.

Advanta Discovery CX4

The cheapest of our bags, the Advanta is also the lightest, at less than 3kg. As with anything, especially technical kit such as sleeping bags that have nowhere to hide when the temperature drops, you get what you pay for. Having said that, however, although the Discovery is a relatively budget buy (it’s still £80) it’s a very good sack. Stuffed with Hollofil insulation to keep in the heat as well as keep down the weight, the CX4 is designed as an all-year bag – hence the ‘4’ to demote the number of seasons it can cope with. Despite its price tag, the Discovery comes with a host of nice touches. These include draft excluder skirts around the main seamed edge of the bag to keep the draughts out, a soft-touch peach-skin outer finish and fleece inner on the upper section of the bag to help keep the heat in. Now, it will come as no surprise that this is not the best bag here, in the same way that a Ford Focus is no Lamborghini Miura SV, but for the money you get a solid sleeping bag that will do you proud. If you are going to be doing lots of nights on the bank in colder conditions, though, you might look to invest a little more.

Pros Affordable, compact, easy to pack away and not bad for the money Cons Not sure how many seasons the bag would last before it lost its ability to hold in the heat Final Word Lightweight and cheap, great for the occassional angler

Weight: 2.84kg Dimensions: 570 x 330 x 330mm

Price: £79.99


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Wychwood Morpheus Ultra 7

If you’ve got just over £100 to splash out on a bag then the Morpheus Ultra 7 needs to be firmly on your radar. We’re going to be honest here and say we really like this bag. For the cash it smacks of quality, with a high construction value and a mass of features. These include a design allowing it to be used in temperatures as low as minus 15ºC (although if you fish in conditions like this, frankly you deserve to be cold), a waterproof, windproof and RipStop outer layer that’s also breathable and a construction with material that allows the internal temperature to be regulated, meaning it can be used effectively and comfortably all year round. With a 3D hood design, internal pockets for stashing bits and bobs you want to keep safe and crash zips to get out of there for the next run, this is a clever bag that ticks a hell of a lot of boxes. We even like the clever thinking behind the carry bag that allows for easy and quick storage of the bag too.

Pros Lots going on for the money, a quality bag that will do everything you ask of it Cons Not the lightest, not the smallest (packed) bag out there Final Word Great material and neat hood arrangement improves warmth in cold weather

Weight: 4.51kg Dimensions: 570 x 350 x 350mm

Price: £129.99


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Sonik XTi All Season

A clever system that covers all of the seasons and pretty much any of the conditions that they can throw at it, the XTi All Season covers all the bases. The main feature is that it uses an inner bag to convert from summer to winter modes, plus there’s a fleece lining that can be used in both guises as and when you want. Elsewhere the bag, that stretches the budget to just under £170, is produced using a massively waterproof outer Armatek material that takes moisture up to 20,000mm HH. It features draught-excluding baffles along the main side seems to help keep any breezes from putting the cooling effect on you and is heavy duty all over the place, ensuring that once you part with your cash you should be using this thing for a good long while. Designed to work in conjunction with the very comfy Sonik XTi range of bedchairs, we like this bag a lot. In fact, the only thing we’re not too keen on is the huge storage bag, which is a bit clumsy and bulky – but it does make stashing the bag away a bit easier than other sleeping systems.

Pros Quality bag, dripping in features and hugely adaptable to the conditions Cons Bulky storage bag Final Word Great quality material and insulation, a winter warmer

THE NUMBERS Weight: 6.67kg Dimensions: 650 x 530 x 530mm

Price: £169.99


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Fortis Snugpak X Fortis Techlite

We’re at the upper echelons of sleeping bag tech here, in the form of the brilliantly realised and executed Snugpak X Fortis Techlite. You know when the Snugpak name is mentioned that you’re dealing with quality – this company has been at the cutting edge of military sleeping bag creation for over 30 years – and you won’t be disappointed. Created through a collaboration between forward-thinking firm Fortis and Snugpak, the Techlite is handmade here in the UK and has all the features associated with the military bag but modified to suit anglers. Packed with Snugpak’s softie premier insulation, this bag strikes an impressive balance between weight and warmth. It’s a year-round bag, more than capable of keeping you comfortable throughout winter, but it only weighs in at just over 3kg – and it’s by far the most compact bag when packed and out on the bedchair too. Add to this the fact that there’s a removable top layer that can be taken off in the warmer months to create a bag of just 2kg and you have a very impressive and adaptable unit. Available in olive and DPM finishes (the latter costing £249.95), if you have the money to spend on a bag of this quality, we would highly recommend that you do – you won’t look back.

Pros Mega insulation and super-lightweight Cons None, it’s brilliant Final Word Army level quality available for the hard-core angler. Well worth the investment

Weight: 3.09kg Dimensions: 470 x 280 x 280mm

Price: £229.95



Don’t forget – subscribers to the magazine get 5% OFF THIS PRODUCT at Angling Direct. Terms and Conditions apply Subscribe here