It took a while to admit it in public, but I’ve finally come out to the world. I don’t like mummy-shaped sleeping bags.
When I dare to mention this to others, I find I’m not alone. Although I (and some friends and colleagues) like the idea of hi-tech ‘I can camp anywhere in any weather’ kit, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep on an ordinary British campsite, you can’t beat the foot space in a traditional rectangular bag.
The argument for the mummy-shaped bag is that the lack of airspace round your feet keeps the heat in better than a spacious bag. However, the Outwell Camper Lux sleeping bag is definitely warm and I love its shape. In the coldest of winters it’s not going to do the job of a mummy-shaped four- or five-season bag, but it’s said to be comfortable down to 3C and will keep you alive to -18C, so it should be fine for the standard camping season in the UK.
The bag itself is lovely and wide with its own pillow in the hood section, though I needed to supplement this with an extra layer for comfort because the pillow was quite low. The hood can be removed if you don’t need it to keep your head warm. If you take it off, the whole bag can be unzipped to form a duvet. I only had one on test, but I’m told that if you have two Camper Lux sleeping bags they can be zipped together to form a double, assuming you buy one with a right-hand zip and the other with a left-hand one.
The baffle behind the zip is helpful for keeping out draughts but crinkles when you move it – I’m not quite sure why!.
Inside is a soft brushed-cotton layer that’s really comfortable. Even on the warmer nights I didn’t feel unpleasantly hot. In my ‘mocca’ bag the liner boasts brown, green and blue stripes, which would match Outwell’s 2011 AvantGuarde tent inners, but it works perfectly well in a caravan or motorhome. I hope Clive from Outwell will forgive me for daring to photograph it in a wheeled unit rather than under canvas… If you prefer green to brown, the same sleeping bag also comes in ‘lime’, again with a striped lining.
I was going to say the Camper Lux went back into its storage bag very easily. And compared with recent attempts to get mummy-shaped bags into stuff sacks it was a piece of cake. However, I didn’t quite fold the bag carefully enough to match its neat cuboid carrier at first. The storage bag zipped up perfectly at the start but I had some difficulty at the top, with the hood tucked in. I managed in the end but when I put it back into the car boot alongside my daughter’s backpacking sleeping bag it became clear it’s not a lightweight piece of kit. Its packed size is 48cm x 42cm x 25cm – nearly 18 inches square and a foot deep. Nevertheless Outwell thoughtfully provides a carrying handle for convenience.
The Camper Lux is a good-sized comfortable sleeping bag that I can highly recommend for a good night’s sleep. And you can get one online for less than £50 at the moment – a bargain!