We've tested some of the best sleeping bags in Britain and we know what we like – here's Practical Caravan's verdict on the Easy Camp Cosmos sleeping bag
Practical Caravan magazine's reviewer of camping accessories selected 14 sleeping bags to review from leading brands and put them through rigorous scrutiny to find out which is the best sleeping bag to buy for caravan holidays. We're spoilt for choice these days, because there are many sleeping bags available in this competitive market, at excellent low prices. Technological advances in fabric and insulation mean that we can expect quite a lot from our sleeping bags.
With this in mind we've been looking for sleeping bags with good thermal insulation to keep you warm and snug all night. Along with this, we give credit to manufacturers that put a zip baffle in, to stop a potential source of draughts from top to toe. We like it when there is more draught-proofing around the neck and shoulder area, too, such as a hood, a bit of extra padding around the top or a drawstring.
Practicalities matter as well, and we really think that sleeping bags should be machine washable and able to be popped into a large tumble dryer on the campsite. Families with little children will particularly appreciate the need for this. Yes, we know you can buy washable sleeping bag liners, which is great for adults, but even so mishaps can happen. Have you ever put the bedding, wrapped loosely in a bin liner, in the shower tray to keep it out of the way in transit? If there's any water left in the shower pipes you might find that the movement of towing has released just enough water from the shower hose to soak the bedding. It happens, trust us. Thank heavens for tumble dryers!
Among the other machine washable sleeping bags tested were the Coleman Vail Comfort sleeping bag, giant baby sleep suit shaped Musucbag Lite, the Robens Trailhead 1500 and the test winner, the excellent Outwell Campion sleeping bag.
With all this in mind, we are pleased to say that the bargain Easy Camp Cosmos sleeping bag gets the thumbs up from Practical Caravan, even though it's strictly for the petite caravanner. The adult size is 75cm (29.5 inches, or 2 foot 3½ inches) wide at the top, tapering to 50cm at the foot, and is 210cm (6 foot 10½ inches long).
This is not recommended for larger caravanners, because the maximum width of 75cm at the top opening could prove too constrictive around the upper body and shoulders for tall or plus-sized people.
But if you can fit in the bag, it has a lot going for it. Although it’s all polyester — which greatly simplifies washing and drying — the lining is a peculiar type of the fabric: it's described as 'brushed polyester' and it has a super-smooth feel and is incredibly cosy. The Cosmos also has good thermal credentials: a Velcro-together shoulder baffle and drawstring ridge hood make the most of the compact construction.
This sleeping bag is rated as suitable for one-to-two seasons of the year in Britain, rather than all four seasons. Take extra blankets or keep the heating on low if you're caravanning in winter.
If you buy a pair of these you'll be able to zip them together to form a cosy double sleeping bag. Just make sure you buy one bag with the zip on the left and one with the zip on the right, so that when zipped together they're the same way up! While we're talking about the two-way zips, there's an anti-snag zip guard to stop you catching the sleeping bag fabric as you open and close the sleeping bag.
Cosmos comes in a selection of three colours – a heavenly blue, Bordeaux wine colour and glossy black, with the Junior Cosmos being available in just the blue and Bordeaux choices. There's a Stuff Sac to keep it in and the whole thing weighs 940g.
Easy Camp has an extensive network of stockists, so you should be able to find where to buy the Easy Camp Cosmos sleeping bag quite easily.
To keep your sleeping bags fresh, it's worth making or buying washable sleeping bag liners. Easy Camp makes Polycotton 'Travel sheets' in four shapes and sizes. Choose from rectangular ones measuring 200cm x 75cm or 200cm x 70 cm, or mummy shaped sleeping bag liners, both measuring 210cm x 75cm x 50 cm, but one being made of a very light microfibre polyester, ideal if you're worried about overloading your caravan or your rucksack!
With its excellent thermal insulation, soft inner fabric and robust outer fabric, this sleeping bag is an excellent choice for petite caravanners and children. It impressed us so much that we gave it a four-star rating.
- You can zip two together
- The brushed polyester lining is soft and warm
- It comes with a Stuff Sac
- It's washable
- If you have broad shoulders it may be too snug
- Not designed for -5° C and below