Quick question about sleeping bags

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I live in a crappy rented accommodation and we have a problem, that is our landlord won't allow us to install a second boiler. As a consequence the upper floor is bloody cold as there's no enough pressure to heat the radiators.

    We managed to survive until December but now is the bloody cold season and we are freezing. We can stay in the common room downstairs but at night it's a pain to sleep. Even using 2-3 blankets, they get cold after a while.

    Going back 10-11 years ago, I spend a whole winter in a caravan in the East of England. I was using a sleeping back and I was ok all night. When I left, I left my sleeping bag to my co-workers (We were working in a sh!tty packhouse in Spalding) and didn't buy any sleeping bag ever since. So I don't know what to buy and maybe the technology has improved ever since.

    I see a very cheap mummy type sleeping bag at Halfords, which is around the corner from where I live:

    It seems to have good reviews. I know it's hard to judge from a picture, but has anybody ever bought/used it and what do you think about it? It is too cheap. The price of a sleeping bag can range from a few quid to £500. Is it worth investing £10 for a bag that I would be using a couple of months?

  • I am not a boiler repairer but surely the owner should get the boiler serviced? Otherwise, is the water pressure - in the boiler low? THere usually a gauge which shows a red line and the water amount should show a pressure slightly above this. Secondly, have the radiators been bled recently? If the top of a radiator warms but not the rest this is due to air inside which won't pressurise nor warm up.

    Both these should be done under maintenance or by the owner they are simple things to do. But you need to know if you have an fill loop or just a fill tap. Then it's fill above red line and then release air from each radiator and fill above red line again.

    Otherwise four season sleeping bags and apologies for rambling! LoL

  • Sleeping bags are rated in seasons , 1 season is summer use , up to 4 , for winter use , there is also 5 season , but these are intended for climbing mountains like Everest and the like . If you can afford it get down , it will last forever, ands synthetic ones deteriate with time/ You pretty much pay for what you get , and as Vanman points out , high tog duvets are pretty cheap . Also sleeping bags can feel restrictive.
    Good quality sleeping bags also feel warmer the less you where in them , wearing lots of clothes does not allow them to warm up inside properly . Sometimes you can get Ex army down gags .

    If you goe down the synthetic path look for a hollow fibre fill , though the fibres can get clogged with detergent if you was then a lot , it can be worrth using a sleeping bag liner , as they are easy to wash , keep the bag clean , and add a seasons rating to the bag .

  • British army pattern 58 sleeping bag, available at reasonble prices as surplus and also in lanky bastard length, guaranteed to keep you alive in sub zero temps, rolls up into an easy carry pack and it water resistant.

    can't beat em, been using 'em for years, always have one chucked in the boot of my vehicles for emergency use, keep your posh over priced camping tat! ;)

  • Working at Halfords, I can confirm that the £10 special is a summer festival bag. It may not even keep you warm on midsummers eve!

    Try looking at the high ToG duvet from the supermarkets. Around the £20 mark.
    The one I use in the van is rated at 19 (super warm) and has been fine even with frost on the windscreen. Get the king size so you can bundle yourself up in it.


  • I once had a (ex) Dutch army sleeping bag from the army surplus and it was well warm.
    It weighed a lot so I don't know how they carried it about but was really warm and comfortabte to sleep in. Probably only cost a tenner back then, but un-fortunatlely it got a big hole burned in it but that's another story

  • I'd much prefer a couple of duvets to a sleeping bag. I've woken with the water frozen solid in my cup next to me and the temp at -7 in my van - but been warm as toast under the covers :D

    ' When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place '

  • I'd much prefer a couple of duvets to a sleeping bag. I've woken with the water frozen solid in my cup next to me and the temp at -7 in my van - but been warm as toast under the covers :D

    I would agree with the above as sleeping bags and especially Mummy shaped ones feel claustrophobic to me. Should buy hollow fibre and a high tog (13.5tog) which are much too warm for in a normal house. King size again would be super optimal. ;)

  • If you are on benefits the landlord can have a new boiler installed free of charge. Does the boiler have a gas safety certificate? We have an ancient boiler in our house (at least 20 years old) but it still heats the whole house.

  • As some people have advised, get a cheap, hi-tog duvet. 13.5 tog if the room is very cold.

    At one time I even used to camp with a warm duvet that I'd sewn ties onto. Wrapped around you a couple of times it was far warmer than any normal sleeping bag.

    Most cheap commercial sleeping bags aren't worth using in cold weather. I've camped in them in June or September and been cold. Ex-mil bags, as said above, are much better value, but check they are cold-weather issue; there's plenty of 2-season jobs about that aren't much better than the commercial ones.

  • Never underestimate the power of a nice fleece blanket too. When I slept in my van last winter (no heating, some nights water freezing next to me) I slept with a fleece wrapped around my shoulders in an 'all weather' mid range sleeping bag, and I was nice and toasty :)

  • Thank you all for your help. The problem is not just the boiler. Yesterday we managed to push it high to max, by turning a few radiators off downstairs. The radiators upstairs were at full steam, yet it was freezing because there are structural damages to the roof and cannot be fixed without the landlord investing tens of grand on it, which he won't do. In other words it's just a step away from sleeping outside. Next year I will definitely spend winter in a van than in this accommodation. I'm fed up with throwing money at criminal landlords and rotting my liver with endless litigations.

    Unfortunately I have no ex-military surplus shops near me. The choice is between either extra blankets or an expensive sleeping bag. This could turn out handy in case one day I move into a van.

    And to think that beginning of last year I was briefly registered as homeless. I was offered free sleeping bags and blankets and I had to turn the offer down as I had nowhere to store them!