Sea to Summit Spark SPIV Sleeping Bag. Light weight and low temperature, perfect for trekking in the colder climates
As that did not happen, I decided to hike the Bibibulum Track in Western Australia. Which provided an opportunity to test drive the sleeping bag. Lets go Hiking on the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia .
WHAT ATTRACTED ME TO BUYING THE SEA TO SUMMIT SPARK SPIV SLEEPING BAG
Weight: 880grams which helped to reduce my total sleep system weight.
Temperature rating: For the weight of the sleeping bag the temperatuire rating is good.
Price. Not so attractive. Paddy Pallin
HOW IT PERFORMED
The Spark IV was over rated for the trip. The temperatures in June on the track were 2C to 12C at night.
I was nice and comfortable and warm though, but what I found was that in the morning the sleeping bag would be wet on the outside, while the inside was dry. This occurred in both the tent and inside the track huts. Because of the wetness I would have to hang it up to dry which is fine if it wasn’t raining. Otherwise I would have to pack it away wet and then pull it out at the next nights camping site and try and dry it then.
It packs down to a good size to fit into my Aarn Pack lower section.
Overall I was happy with the sleeping bag, it definately did the job. I can’t wait to try it out in the lower tempertures.
UPDATE APRIL 2021
I finally managed to leave Australia in August 2020 for Switzerland, where I have used sleeping bag on a number of Alpine trips in temperatures down to -13 C. The Spark IV performed well even when ice formed on the outer surface of the bag.
Sea to Summit has kindly provided information below explaining why the moisture forms on the sleeping bag outer.
MOISTURE AND CONDENSATION
Moisture and condensation when camping will happen, its just a fact. How much and where depends on a lot of different variables.
Most times condensation is a product of external conditions. These external conditions when camping can be heavily influenced by an individual sleeping.
When we sleep, we typically lose over 1 litre of moisture through exhaling and sweat. Imagine 1 litre of water floating around in a tent (this could be on top of naturally humid conditions)
The humid air within a tent will have a higher dew point and upon contact with a colder surface – such as your tent fly or sleeping bag outer shell – it will often condense.
The other way in which condensation will form on a sleeping bag is the moisture coming from within. To be clear, this moisture will come from the individual inside, nowhere else.
THE SPARK SPIV SLEEPING BAG
The Spark SP IV sleeping bag model (much like many Sea to Summit bags) has a lighter, slightly more breathable, inner fabric. This helps to move air (in this instance, very humid air) through the bag to the outer surface. Once again, upon contact of the outer fabric (which will have a surface temperature far lower than inside the bag) the moisture may condense.
That fact the your bag is dry on the inside is a very good thing, the moisture is being transferred away from you.
I’m guessing you were nice and toasty warm within the Spark sleeping bag and this may have increased the amount you perspired while sleeping.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with the sleeping bag, almost the opposite.
It is keeping you almost too warm and it is wicking any moisture away from you.
If the moisture on the outside of the bag really is a concern there are a couple of ways to minimise this;
- Our bags are incredibly versatile – much like a tent can be ventilated to reduce condensation – we can do the same with our sleeping bags. The full-length zip is 2 way, meaning you can create a small ventilation port on the side of the bag to allow moist air to escape.
- Wearing thermals inside the bag will help to trap some of the moisture. Preferably merino wool, without impacting the temperature or your comfort.
- There are some fantastic SLEEPING BAG LINERS available which will offer very similar benefits to wearing thermals in moisture capture.
Waking up to some dampness on the outside of the sleeping bag may not seem ideal but unless you have had a terrible night’s sleep and the moisture is throughout your bag, this is not a bad thing.
Storing a sleeping bag moist is of course not recommended. If there is a chance to dry out the bag before compression in the morning, that is preferable. However a few nights on the trail occasionally stored slightly damp isn’t going to destroy the bag, so long as you ensure it is dry before long periods in storage.
The smell of our sleeping bags comes straight from the factory. All our bags are packed tight and sent directly to us before being sent to stores. We store them air tight in transit to prevent any moisture from getting to your bag before first use. We deem this very important to ensure the product you receive is of the standard we say it is.
All the down we use is independently tested for quality, and is RDS certified, (meaning it is responsibly sourced). In fact we guarantee that the loft of your down (its insulative quality/weight) is at least 850.
It would be worth checking the certificate supplied with your sleeping bag. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the quality of down within is much higher than the 850 we guarantee.
The smell dissipates over time and this can be expedited by airing out the bag for a few days or even by washing.
I hope this helps. There are many variables in many aspects of creating the perfect sleep system. We pay attention to every little detail when we design each component of ours. Individuals will find different set ups for different situations and sometimes they require fine tuning. I trust this information will help and that many more years of comfortable, warm sleeps are ahead. Condensation-and-what-you-can-do-about-it