Lizzie PopeSee other accessory reviews written by Lizzie Pope
In search of the best sleeping bags on sale today, Practical Caravan reviews the high-tech Robens Trailhead 1500 – read on to see how it performs
Sleeping bags are essential caravan accessories – however with more choice than ever, choosing the perfect bag for your next tour is harder than ever.
Today, it doesn't matter what time of year you choose for your caravan holidays, there's no need to spend the night shivering. Whether you want a traditional, envelope-style sleeping bag or one of the 'mummy' sleeping bags designed to keep you cosy in the harshest of conditions, or one of the many that sit somewhere in between, there are many options and lots to take into consideration.
The most important factor we're taking into account with our group test is comfort. Every sleeping bag was tested for how much space it gives you, its length and its width. We also thought about the materials used in the construction of these sleeping bags – and advances in technology mean that synthetic sleeping bags are no longer shiny and coarse.
Keeping your sleeping bag in top condition is vital, so we looked with favour on bags that are machine washable – if they can be tumbled-dried too, even better. If not, a sleeping bag with hanging hooks is handy, allowing you to hang the bag straight and flat, not folded over.
Storage and how small your sleeping bag is when packaged away was something else we considered when reviewing these products. We also inspected the zips of the sleeping bags. We prefer sleeping bags that open all the way down one side and across the bottom, because getting into and out of them is easier, and you can more easily join two singles to form a double sleeping bag.
We assessed the zip baffles, too (these stop cold air entering the bag via the zip). Finally, we looked at the hoods of the sleeping bags (if they had them). Even the most basic hoods which are simply just a brief continuation of the sleeping bag's base provide the occupant with an extra layer of warmth between your head and your pillow. Many bags have drawstrings, too, a bonus on the coldest of nights, so you can really snuggle into your bag and keep toasty warm. Some even have drawstring-tightened baffles to grip round your shoulders.
Here we review the Robens Trailhead 1500, priced at £50. This is a technical tour de force of a sleeping bag, with stunning thermal abilities. Designed to offer comfortably warm sleep in ambient temperatures as low as 4°C, the bag uses a mixture of clever features and its cutting-edge AirThermo filling to offer winter camping possibilities, even if your caravan doesn’t have much in the way of heating.
Being a top-spec mummy bag, both the hood and shoulder baffle have drawstrings, which guarantees a snug fit around you. And if that all sounds a touch claustrophobic, it’s perhaps a little surprising to find that the bag itself isn’t: unlike many mummy bags, this is pleasantly roomy. The Robens Trailhead 1500 achieved a four-star rating in our test.
We also reviewed the Outwell Campion, which costs half the price of this bag and received a five-star rating from the Practical Caravan team, who rated it the best sleeping bag in this 2014 group test.
More sleeping bags worth considering are the unusual but capable Musucbag Lite which scored four out of five and retails at £69. Other four-star sleeping bags we tested are the Robens Trailhead 1500 sleeping bag and the Easy Camp Cosmos sleeping bag.
In our reviews of sleeping bags a couple of products gained three stars, such as the Coleman Vail Comfort sleeping bag, £53, which would have done better if only it were machine washable, along with the more practical Vango Serenity range of sleeping bags, available in three sizes, from £41.
A high-tech sleeping bag, the Robens Trailhead 1500 will definitely keep you warm on your caravan holidays – but at £50 it is not the cheapest option.
- It has excellent thermal abilities
- The hood and shoulder baffle have drawstrings
- It is roomy
- It's quite expensive