UltraTek For Ultra Cold Camp Outs
Gear testing the UltraTek 900 down sleeping bag is not for the faint-hearted - the fact is that this is a bag with a limit rating of -17°C and an extreme rating of -39°C. Thanks to Mountain Designs Adventure Ambassador Harrison Candlin and his partner Madison, we give you a first-hand account of the its performance right here, pulled together from cold-night camp outs in both Canada and New Zealand. From the north to the south, this is a bag that is purpose-made for dealing with seriously uncomfortable alpine conditions.
UltraTek 900 Down Sleeping Bag
Keeping warm on cold nights is imperative to a good night's sleep. Especially when you're talking -10°C to -15°C temperature range. This bag, the UltraTek 900, has been specifically designed for multi-day hiking and alpine expeditions, and was second-to-none in the extreme Canadian cold. To give you a picture of one instance that we used (and loved) our UltraTek bags: we were in Banff, Alberta on a -16°C night, if not colder - we were still camping in our van even though our memory-foam mattress had frozen solid and our windows were glazing over with ice - we were skeptical but thought, what the heck, let's put these bags to the test. The outcome? Well we had to kick the doors of the van open in the morning because they had frozen shut, BUT, we were so toasty all night! We can safely say that the UltraTek bags kept us both so warm and cozy even at the limit of the temperature rating.
Our car may not have handled the freezing-cold temperatures in Canada all that well, but the UltraTek 900 sure did.
The design of the bags is quite different to those that we use for summer (for obvious reasons) and it seems to really make a difference. The mummy shape design makes the bag feel tighter to the body (reducing air pockets) and keeps the warm air closer to your skin. The face and neck baffles pull in nice and close to further trap the warm air inside and keep your head as warm as possible. We haven't tested them in snow camping yet, but we have no doubt that they will pass that test too. So far, the bags have held up really well to wear-and-tear and don't show any signs of rips or abrasions. We can't wait to continue testing the UltraTek 900 bags out over the coming winter, in tents, campers, alpine huts and everywhere in between.
The UltraTek 900 being put to use in Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand (left), and a close-up of its mummy-shape, 3D hood design with face baffle, and zipper draft tube (right).