Sleeping Bags for Drakensburg

Good Evening

I’m looking for a good down sleeping bag for the Drakensburg. The South African Market seems a bit limited to First Accent or Kway.

What is your favorite 0 Degree sleep system?

Points awarded for light weight options :+1:

Kind Regards

Willie Pretorius

Check out Naturehike:

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Nature hike is special ordering me a Yellow insulated Zpad. They say it should hopefully arrive in two weeks or so.

I was thinking about getting their CW280 Envelope down Bag for the price and shape of the bag. But I don’t think its going to be warm enough even if i add a fleece liner and wear my down jacket to bed.

I’d rather go for a true 0 degree bag.

The CW280 will definitely not be warm enough. You need something like their DK800L:

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Hi Arno

Quick question here, I have quite a few hikes lined up for this winter. All of them sleeping in huts. I have the Sea to Summit Liner already

Thinking of buying this sleeping bag next week as it is down and very light at 595g.

Whatcha think? Should be warm enough indoors using both bags? Many thanx

The Amplify Down Light offers very little insulation. I’ve slept in it in 10°, with a liner and thermals and was still cold. I personally prefer having a sleeping bag that’s too warm than too cold and happy to carry the extra 500g or so than comes with a good night’s sleep. For R500 and 400g more, the First Ascent Explorer sleeping bag will offer you a lot more warmth.

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This one?


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rockstar, i will get it next week as i am hiking Hottentots Holland next weekend and will give feedback afterwards, thanx a million, cheers

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@Chuckmyster Ive stayed in the winter in huts in Mpumalanga on several trips with my cheap Decathlon 15 degree Celsius sleeping bag. lol

rockstar, i will get it next week as i am hiking Hottentots Holland next weekend and will give feedback afterwards, thanx a million, cheers - [Chuckmyster]

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I was thinking the First ascent explorer but I was hoping for more options lol. Everyone uses and recommends first accent. Because there really is no competition in this country in terms of price.

So a friend of mine is selling their Mountain Hardwear Lamina 20 its a womens mummy bag but its smack between the First ascent explorer and the Ice Breaker in terms of weight and temperature rating.

Plus its a synthetic bag which appeals to me because i still don’t know who will wash my down jacket on the cheap.

Going to have a look at it and will post back. Might just take it.

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i think you are right on that, and just like proper hiking boots are important during the day the most important thing at night is getting a good nights sleep. I will pay extra just to have that peace of mind and not regret it later :smiley:

haha thats awesome, i am also taking Old Brown Sherry with, South African antifreeze :rofl:

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What about the Mr Price Sport Senior Cowl synthetic bag? Mr Price

I have not tried it personally, but I know people who own it and say that it is fine to use at 0 degrees.


I’m a bit late to the discussion, but I can promise you that a zero degree bag for winter for escarpment camoing in the Drakensberg will not be enough. Not nearly enough. I’ve had -15 deg C before, you will freeze to death in a 0 degree bag, down or synthetic.,


The First Ascent Amplify Down 900 seems to be a good winter sleeping bag. If you want something different then what the SA market offers then The North Face and Feathered Friends may be the way to go.

@Chuckmyster I have a Amplify down light as a fastpacking sleeping bag and have used it extensively in the Drakensberg paired with a bivy bag for light and fast missions. I have used it down to just above 0Deg and had a decent nights sleep, I am however a warm sleeper with a very fast metabolism. That being said it will not work for most people in the same conditions and therefore I would advise mot using it in less than 10Deg.

As a rule of thumb do not use any sleeping bag past its lower limit. The extreme rating is exactly what the names states, you will end up with hypothermia at some stage while using it at these temperatures.

As far as I’m aware neither First Ascent nor Nature hike has EN rated sleeping bags(General standard for sleeping bag warmth ratings used by all the high end brands), therefore take the temperature rating with a grain of salt.

For winter sleeping bags a cowl is a must, no point in warming up the air only to have it escape. The difference between down and synthetic is mainly a weight/space to temperature ratio. Therefore if you are looking for a light warm sleeping bag, down is the way to go in most cases. However down sleeping bags will be more expensive. Synthetic sleeping bags has the added benefit of not loosing its insulting capabilities when its wet as with most down sleeping bags, and is a lot easier to clean.

Also using a sleeping bag correctly is a bit counter-intuitive. Sleeping with everything you own will leave you colder as the sleeping bag uses your body heat to keep you warm, therefore if all the body heat is trapped beneath your clothing layers it cant keep you warm. Most sleeping bags are tested with only a layer of thermals.

For winter hiking in the Drakensberg I have Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer which works wonders. The first ascent Icebreaker and First Ascent Amplify Down 900 will be perfect for the winter in the berg. If you want something light (1.2kg and below) and warm, look at Brands like North Face , Mountain Hardwear , Mountain Equipment, Marmot ect.

If you want something truly lightweight (900g) and warm, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom Alpine is on my list to Santa…Just swipe and don’t look at the price

Don’t underestimate the Drakenberg, it might not be a true alpine enviroment with snow all year round. But it can go sideways quickly.


frigging awesome advise thank you so much, you have really good recommendations there Vivo101

I went out on Sunday and bought the First Accent Explorer at R2700 at Outdoorwarehouse (less 5% discount as I asked pretty please).

Arno here on the forum suggested it as I am still a noob at hiking and overnighting.

I already own the Sea to Summit Inner Liner that I used in summer Feb this year once as my only sleeping bag Takealot

Will be using it with new down goose fluffy sleeping bag this Saturday night in the Hottentots Holland Mountains and looking forward to giving a review here later when I get back. 30 of us going, i have packed lots of alcohol already to get a good night sleep LOL

Comparing the temperature grading of First Ascent Amplify Down 900 bag with North Face Furnace 20/-7 bag the North Face bags covers a smaller range from -3 C to -10 C whereas the FA covers -3 C to -20 C. I am no expert but how can a sleeping bag cover such a big range? Maybe the range of temperature rating can be seen as indication of the bag’s quality and ratings accuracy?