Discover how Practical Caravan rates Vango's mid-priced Serenity sleeping bag compared to sleeping bags from rival outdoor accessories brands
Vango’s 2014 Serenity range of envelope-shaped sleeping bags comes in three sizes – Serenity Single, Serenity Grande and Serenity Double.
Serenity sleeping bags offer soft-touch fabrics, and a double layer of insulation, with offset stitching, to avoid cold spots along the seams and to prevent the filling lumping together. The fabrics used to construct this sleeping bag are a breathable 2010 Microfibre Polyester, a 100 per cent Polyester 190T Pongee soft-touch microfibre that's also cosy and breathable. The insulation is single hole siliconised hollow fibre insulation. This is a smart choice because the Silicone prevents the filling fro matting and going into lumps. Apparently it stays fluffy even in damp conditions.
Vango parts company with rivals on one of the main ways to keep draughts out around your neck, by choosing not to provide a drawcord, for safety. So Serenity has a good sized flat head rest area for your pillow.
Like many other sleeping bags, the Serenity has an insulated zip baffle to keep your body heat in and avoid draughts all down the zip. There's a woven zip puller, to help you find and operate the zip quickly and easily when you need to get out of the sleeping bag. The zip fastens from both the top and the bottom, so you have the option of letting a little air in at the foot end for ventilation as you wish. It's lockable too, so the zip won't go sliding open when you wriggle in your sleep.
If you're on holiday with your other half, you can zip two Serenity sleeping bags together to make a generous cosy double sleeping bag. Another nifty feature is the internal pocket built in to this sleeping bag – the ideal place to put your phone, MP3 player, earrings, watch, loose change or any other small items that might otherwise end up getting lost.
There's a matching carry bag that comes with the Serenity, and just for a change it's a square shape.
The Serenity Single packs down to 40cm long x 45cm high x 20cm wide. It weighs 2.3kg and would suit someone up to 200cm (6 foot 6½ inches) tall.
The Serenity Grande pack measures 44cm long x 48cm high x 23cm wide. It weighs a modest 2.7kg. It's designed to suit people up to 210cm (6 foot 10½ inches) tall, with a chest width of 103cm (3 foot 4½ inches). There's plenty of foot room in this rectangular sleeping bag, too.
The Serenity Double pack measures 50cm long x 59cm high x 25cm wide. It weighs 4.2kg. It will be comfortable for couples where the tallest person is up to 200cm (6 foot 6½ inches) tall.
It's a three-season sleeping bag, which should keep you comfortable down to -2°C and up to 18°C.
The Serenity range mixes and matches elements of traditional and high-tech sleeping bags, much like Outwell’s Campion. But unless you need the Serenity’s thermal performance — which provides comfortable sleeping conditions down to freezing point — the Outwell is better value.
That said, the Serenity’s extra filling makes it an incredibly comfortable bag, although we felt it a touch short for anyone of six feet or taller. The extra girth makes the bag less compact when packed down, too. However, the materials are impressive, allowing machine-washing and tumble-drying.
To find the best best sleeping bags for caravan holidays we checked out 14 rival products. The designers at Vango can certainly hold their heads up high, because the three-star rating we gave the Serenity range is equal to the more expensive Robens Appalachion 1500 (£75), Summit Motion Sac (50) and cheaper SunnCamp Duluxe King Size Expression (£40). To our surprise, the cheap £20 Argos 927 mummy bag also scored the same rating.
The Vango Serenity is a far better choice for most people than the cosy but impractical £53 Coleman Vail Comfort sleeping bag, which we marked down to two stars, because it's not possible to machine wash and tumble dry that bag. Incidentally, if you need washable sleeping bag liners to avoid having to wash your sleeping bags too often, you can buy them from firms such as Easy Camp, or make them by simply sewing up old sheets yourself.
Vango is a good brand, but even so we found several sleeping bags that we preferred because we felt that they went the extra mile and/or were better value for money. We loved the roomy and high-tech mummy shaped Robens Trailhead 1500 sleeping bag at £50, the bargain Easy Camp Cosmos at £23 and the quirky giant baby sleep suit style Musucbag Lite sleeping bag (£69).
So what's the best sleeping bag for caravanners? Out of the entire batch of 14 sleeping bags we reviewed on the test bench, the astonishingly well designed, roomy and warm Outwell Campion sleeping bag was the winner – and at £25 at the time of our test in 2014, it was one of the cheapest!
The Vango Serenity is an excellent all-round sleeping bag range for caravan holidays and will keep you cosy in temperatures down to zero. We like the roomy rectangular envelope shape, the clever quilted construction and draught-proof features. It's machine washable, so it is a practical choice. The price is competitive too, but we think the Outwell Campion just has the edge in terms of value for money. In our opinion the Vango Serenity is a three-star sleeping bag.
- There are three sizes available
- The rectangular shape is comfortable
- It has superb insulation
- You can machine wash and tumble dry it
- It's slightly more expensive than its equals