A cold sleeper .... looking for the warmest sleeping bag EVER!

Betsy good day.

So that FA Amplify 1500 is pretty much entry level kit. Summer to Autumn, at best. As @PhilipV says, not very warm. Cheapish fare.

And if it’s not new, as in older than 3yrs, the synthetic insulation has lost considerable quality already. I have several comparable gear items and can tell you synthetic starts losing insulating power much much quicker than down.

Your sleeping pad can preserve a lot of warmth. The earth will suck you cold. Ask your Killi tour operator what pad they will be supplying and what it’s R rating is. You want R3 and above. You want a name and information, not “don’t worry we’ll make it nice for you”. You can buy a little extra sheet of closed cell EVA foam (Sondor supplies in Gauteng) or a cheaper pad from CUM or Outdoor Warehouse (OW)and chop in half and lay beneath pad provided for thighs and torso.

Not all thermals are created equal. Merino is yr best option with a price to match. At least you can use them in the rest of your life too. Look at Icebreaker at Drifters or OW. They also don’t stink like those plastic thermals. Bonus after 2days.

For good warmth to weight ratio you can also look at First Ascent K2 Powerstretch items. Very toasty and light. Again,good for general use.

On NH sleeping bags I cannot say much. On paper looks good but the ULG700 is expensive and at that price you can do better. I’ve gone to the supplier in Pta had a look and what I can say is the sleeping bags stink, unwashed down. The fabrics looked cheap too. Ultra light does not necessarily mean high tech. So I judged them… (edit: which might be unfair)

Here are two other bags to consider. Though whether they’ll cut it on Killi I don’t know

Of the two I’d say the marwees has better construction and should thus be warmer.

You should be able to resell either quite easily.

But I’d look at improving on clothes too. This is not an expense you’ll have to recoup later. Sleeping bags in SA are generally lower quality than international fare.

1 Like


(And if you want to resell let me know😀)

Edit: this is a ‘regular’ sized bag like the FA Ice Nino, for people under 176cm tall)

If you’re a petite person, then filling the gaps in the bag with clothing will help, alternatively and preferably get a smaller bag.

I did Kili with an Sungpack elite4 and was warm throughout.

That said I also have a goretex bivy bag (literally a condom for the sleeping bag) when I go somewhere really cold (and damp) the combination is perfect for anything Africa can throw at it.

On Kili the guys usually have fairly thick sleeping pads, which significantly adds to your comfort. so i echo what a couple of others have said and suggest you look into the thermal insulation under you when - it makes a huge difference.

If you have a porter carrying your gear for you, another theoretical option is to use two sleeping bags. If the one is smaller and the other one is bigger. But this is very theoretical, as it cannot be proven / rated officially. I am planning to test out using 2 sleeping bags this winter (however I havent been in cold enough conditions to warrant it yet).

My opinion about sleeping in thermals only - I do appreciate and respect the opinion that “thermals only” is warmer, but in my experience on many occasions putting on a down jacket in the middle of the night has been the difference between being cold and being warm. Having warm hands/feet/head is also critical.

+1 for the First Ascent Powerstretch tights. Not cheap, but I own a pair and for my personal warmth scenario the extra 100g of the Powerstretch (as opposed to normal thermal bottoms) makes a huge (huge!) difference.

1 Like

My sister in her youth (some 50 years ago) bought the warmest down sleeping bag she could find. Bought a kg of down and restuffed her bag. This was done in my bathroom. It took weeks to clean up the down that drifted off and did not make it into her sleeping bag. Needless to say she never got cold.

1 Like

I haven’t read the whole thread but you could also check out this store (Agear.co.za):

@Ghaznavid @calypso @stu @Carl @Jaxz @brentgclark @PhilipV @Douweg @scubafrique @Gerrienel

Thank you SO much for all your replies - only allowed to mention 10 max. It will definitely help, I will try a few of the suggestions. So I have received the Naturehike UG700 down sleeping bag and must say - it looks great, smells of nothing and is quite puffy. So let’s hold fingers that it is all that it advertise to be. Taking the price into consideration, it bloody well should be. :stuck_out_tongue:

Gerrie Nel - if you live in JNB, there is two cold nights coming up next week - a good time to try your 2 sleeping bags.

I have the FA Powerstretch pants - amazing! Best buy for sure and definitely worth the price.

Anyway … we have just postponed our Kili trip which was supposed to have been in 40 days from today … it is the responsible and safe thing to do considering what is going on around us.

Take care and stay safe guys.


ULG Goose Down Sleeping Bag actually looks really nice. I dont know where else someone would find a 800FP bag locally. Maybe do a little review of it as there isn’t too much information online.

First Ascent have a function to compare sleeping bags, look at the Amplify Down 900 bag, a foam sleeping mat, a light weight inflatable mattress and, if needed add a base layer to wear if it’s really cold.

1 Like

I use the First Ascent Explorer, a nice goose down affordable sleeping bag
And I use the Sea to Summit Extreme liner inside it.

I get so hot I have to unzip the bottom zip of the sleeping bag to allow some heat to escape.

My sleeping bag comes in either left side zip or right side zip, if you have both you can make a double sleeping bag to share with a partner for even more shared heat :+1:

It is so unbelievably hard to find the S2S extreme liner locally. Unless I’m looking in the incorrect place.

I thought your googling skills were not up to scratch so I checked myself. You’re right, it is out of stock everywhere. Oops. Makes sense this time of the year I guess.

Thank goodness your judgment was incorrect.
I’ll keep looking. Thx.

Have you tested the bag without it to see if it’s actually necessary?

Trying it out tomorrow and Wednesday night.

@Jaxz - I bought and tested the NH ULG700 800FP sleeping bag! Money well worth spent! :grin::grin:

1 Like

Ah fantastic :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Very happy to hear it worked out! Always a little worried recommending gear I haven’t had a chance to try. Will have to bribe you to write a review after you’ve had a good run with the bag.