Snugpak Softie Technik 3 Review
Whilst many of you shake an angry fist at Jack Frost, it’s fair to say that at WalkHikeClimb we welcome him with open arms. The recent cold weather we’ve enjoyed (literally) has afforded us the opportunity to test the latest offering from that British outdoor stalwart, Snugpak. Namely the Softie Technik 3 sleeping bag.
Anyone who has spent time in great outdoors, in anything other than warm weather, will appreciate that sleeping bag selection can make or break any trip. Turning what should be an enjoyable excursion into an icy nightmare.
With over 30yrs experience in the manufacture of insulated clothing and sleeping bags, you really can rest easy in the knowledge that these guys know what they’re doing. The Softie® Technik is their top of the range sleeping bag, with five different colour-coded models, all catering for different temperatures. Whatever conditions you’re planning on facing, there’s a Softie Technik for the job.
Having owned and discarded many a hasty purchase over the years, I can say hand on heart buying a sleeping bag should involve plenty of research and soul searching…
The whole range enjoys a combination of high tech Paratex fabrics and Softie® Premier Insulation to give great insulation and comfort; reflecting and trapping heat. They’re all manufactured in their West Yorkshire factory, quilted on their state of the art machinery and hand assembled by skilled sewing staff.
Snugpak have made selection a fuss free affair, with bags rated on an ascending scale 1 through 5 or 1-season through to 5-season or effectively expedition rated. By know you’ll have realised that the the Technik 3 is in fact a 3-season bag, rated as Comfort: -7°c Extreme: -12°c
One other very gratifying point is the fact that the Technik 3 is manufactured in the UK. It’s fair to say this isn’t true of all their range, however it’s easy to spot the ones that are. The product labeling is one of the best we’ve seen, with a wealth of information outlining what it can and can’t do.
Check out the First Impressions tab for more information of visit Snugpak’s website for this and a whole host of other great products
Having owned and discarded many a hasty purchase over the years, I can say hand on heart buying a sleeping bag should involve plenty of research and soul searching.
If you’re intent on camping out in anything other than warm climates, attention to detail could just make or break your enjoyment. I have to admit now I tend to err on the side of caution and use as highly specified a bag my budget can afford and certainly opt for one which provides above and beyond expectations in terms of insulating properties.
Snugpak are very up front in their ratings and outline a number of assumptions: “Snugpak’s performance figures are drawn from over thirty years of experience and customer feedback. Our comfort figure assumes you will be sleeping lightly clothed (thermal base layer or PJ’s) within a tent on a good quality sleep mat, at this external temperature the majority of users will feel comfortable and get a good night’s sleep. The extreme temperature ratings are temperatures the sleeping bags have been used at by fit individuals with the minimum of discomfort.”
The rule of thumb being to base your selection of the comfort rating of the bag and invest in a good quality sleeping mat. You’d be astounded at how quickly cold ground will conduct heat away from your body, leaving and cold and uncomfortable. Now, onto the bag itself.
The mouth of the Technik 3 sleeping has a jumbo neck baffle that really helps to reduce drafts and cold into the sleeping back thus adding to the overall comfort factor.
There are left and right handed options available, thereby allowing two bags to be joined together should you really feel the need.
The full length anti-snag zip allows easy operation for getting into and out of the bag, as well as providing temperature regulation if required.
As well as the neck baffle, the snug fit hood means it’s possible to synch up the bag so just your face is visable and all the warm air is trapped inside the bag.
There’s is a velcro strap which fixes across the zip, thereby preventing any unzipping whilst your moving around.
There are two hanging or airing loops on the bottom of the bag, which is great when you’re out in the field or convenient after machine washing at home.
The bag comes as standard with a compression stuff sack for transportation, however as with all synthetic bags the Technik 3 doesn’t compress as well as a down bag and suffers with a little awkwardness when packing. That said, it’s certainly not of biblical proportions in either volume or weight.
Lightweight Paratex fabrics are both breathable and robust and help to reduce the weight right down to less than 2 kilo’s. The sleeping bag doesn’t feel delicate in any way either and in the colder months you could easily climb in with your boots on without fear of damage, albeit the foot-bed isn’t lined as with some of their other ranges.
As the velcro zip strap, the stuff sack also carries the technical details of the bag for all to see. Usefully if you’ve got more than one bag!
This UK made version is exceptionally well manufactured, but certainly not the lightest bag on the market. At under 2kg’s it is acceptable, however in circumstances where weight to warm ratios are of the utmost importance, you may need to look elsewhere in their range.
I view this bag as being perfectly acceptable for UK (or similar) climates. I think where the Snugpak scores over some of its competitors is durability. It really does have a quality, robust feel to it and gives the impression it’ll last for years to come.
Snugpak Softie® Technik 3
|Colours Available||Snorkel Blue|
|Pack Size||25cm(L) x 23cm(W)|
|Origin||Manufactured in UK|
|Temperature||Comfort: -7°c Extreme: -12°c|
- Jumbo neck baffle to prevent draughts, creating extra warmth and comfort
- Full length two-way, anti-snag zip (left hand and right hand versions available)
- Snugfit hood (similar to a jacket hood)
- Compression stuff sack included for compact carrying.
- Chisel toe foot.
- Lightweight, tough and breathable fabrics
- Ergonomically designed.
|Outer Fabric||Paratex Steelplate|
|Inner Fabric||Paratex Light|
The Snugpak Softie® Technik 3 is a really fantastic piece of kit.
I think in most British (Autumn) conditions you could use this quite comfortably without concern.
I always have reservations around the manufacturers ratings but Snugpak are quite explicit about how they measure and even stipulate the importance of a quality sleeping mat. Whilst the premium offering in this range, the Technik 5, provides double the comfort rating at around £20 more, this improvement does come at a price. At well over 500g heavier, a whooping 2.6kg’s, you’d really have to consider your carrying options. With careful layering and even a liner, the Technik 3 has the potential to exceed the standard comfort rating of it’s slightly better sibling, the Technik 4.
Snugpak, keep calm and stay warm!
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Cotswold Outdoor started life in 1974 as Cotswold Camping, selling a range of basic camping accessories from a small outbuilding in the Cotswolds. 40 years later, the company is an award winning multi-channel retailer with stores throughout the UK.
With four decades of experience in outdoor retail, we offer one of the most extensive and comprehensive ranges of outdoor clothing, products and equipment. Selecting from over 250 internationally recognised brands allows us to bring you the latest in outdoor technology and styles. Not only this, but each product is carefully selected and tested to ensure a high level of quality and value for money for our customers.
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