Alpkit Skyehigh 800, long - basic review

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Lasse

Nomad
Aug 17, 2007
337
0
Belgium
This is the first review I'm writing here, I hope it's of some use for some people and if some details are missing, I'll obviously be happy to help if possible. I am in no way connected to Alpkit, just a happy user...
I've been looking for a good inexpensive sleeping bag for quite a while and finally decided to go for the long Alpkit SkyeHigh 800.

Specifications from alpkit.com :
Fill: 90/10 goosedown (650+ fill power EU)
Shell: Micro ripstop DWR nylon
Inner: 300l Tactel nylon
Weight*: 1435 grams
Weight + compression bag: 1570 grams
Compressed size: 25 x 27cm
Fill weight: 800 grams
AK Comfort rating**: -10C
Length/Width Short: 190 / 70cm
Length/Width Regular: 210 / 75cm
Length/Width Long: 230 / 80cm
Max 'regular' user height: 6ft 1

The weight of the long version including the compression bag is about 1675 grams according to my old kitchen scale, a difference of 100 grams surprised me but I can live with the extra weight since the long version obviously has more fabric. The compressed size is as stated, even with my longer version. My length is about 190cm and the long bag is very comfy :)

The bag arrived in a big brown box. It was only packed in the storage bag, together with the compression bag. I personally don't like special, coloured boxes which are thrown in the bin anyway so was happy to see this (eco friendly) simplicity :)

Sleeping bag inside its storage bag:
3.jpg


A few days after arrival I got the chance to go out testing the bag for 3 days in about half a metre of snow with night temperatures going down to -6°C according to the official weather forcast. This is how our camp looked like during the second night:
11.jpg


We used the tarp to protect our bags from snow during the night and used it to cover ourselves when snow kept on falling and we were using my Trangia, the tent is a Coleman Celcius Compact which probably is designed for summer use only... Beautiful forest and great first winter trip by the way :)
The bag was thrown on top of my self inflating sleeping mat, the 4cm thick Alpkit Airic, and I was able to sleep very comfortable wearing nothing but my shorts. I'm quite sure the bag can keep me warm down to -10°C as stated by Alpkit. To keep the warm air inside of the bag you're able to tighten the neck baffle and the hood, fits great in my opinion! The zip baffle looks quite alright as well.

Big hood:
6.jpg


Green zip baffle and black neck baffle:
2.jpg


The used materials on both the in- and outside of the bag feel very soft, nice against the skin and appear to be water repellent: when I woke up in the morning many drops of water were sitting on the bag, apparently the tent wasn't able to cope with all the snow on top of it... A quick stroke with my wool shirt and the bag was perfectly dry again :)
7.jpg


Inside the bag, just passed the neck baffle, there's a small pocket with a zip. It protected my mobile phone from the cold and is hardly noticeable if you don't know it's there...

My hand inside the pocket:
4.jpg


Something else I noticed is the connection between upper and down side of the bag where the zip ends, I think this might add some strength when the bag is fully unzipped and maybe better protection against the cold.
10.jpg


I never saw a foot box at the end of a sleeping bag but this might indeed help to add comfort, my feet didn't suffer any cold and weren't restricted in any annoying way :) As you can see on the following picture, the bag also gets a nice shape thanks to the side walls.
8.jpg


An other detail I noticed are the washing instructions: sewn inside of the bag in a very apprehensible form, not only in pictogram but also plain, human, english:
9.jpg


I guess the last thing I should mention is the compression bag. It's big enough to stuff the bag easily into it, compacts easily, feels quite strong and has a nice (green) handle to pull the sleeping bag back out of it :
5.jpg

1.jpg



To end, these are the pros and contras in my opinion:
+ comfort
+ size (long, regular and short versions available)
+ bags: good compression bag and big storage bag
+ nice details (fe the pocket)
- weight
- packed volume


Cheers,
Lasse
 
Last edited:

Jedadiah

Native
Jan 29, 2007
1,349
1
Northern Doghouse
Nice review buddy, i'm thinking of getting an Alpkit bag, a Pipedream 600, and i'm glad that you found time to do this reply.

I read a review of the Pipedream in Trail the other month and they felt the need to mention that it seemed a little narrow across the chest. Now, i think your's has similar dimensions. I don't know what your build is but what are your experiences of the chest room? I don't like bag's that are too constrictive and, as i cannot try an Alpkit before i buy, i'd be interested what you (or any other owners) think about this? For the record i have a 44" chest and stocky shoulders. Cheers and again, good review.
 

Lasse

Nomad
Aug 17, 2007
337
0
Belgium
Thanks for the appreciation Jedadiah :)
I didn't have any problems with the width, but the long SkyeHigh is about 6cm wider than the PipeDream 600 according to Alpkit's website (80 vs 74cm). I have a 41" chest but think it won't become a problem if I get a bit wider ;)
 

benp1

Nomad
Nov 30, 2006
473
0
40
London
thanks for doing this review. the alpkit was on my list but looks like its coming off. my justification was saving weight but its only going to save me 300g over my bag. cheers
 

stooboy

Settler
Apr 30, 2008
635
1
Fife, Scotland
Nice Review,

Read it when you first posted it, ive been considering getting a new bag for a while, i currently have a 15 year old snugpack ptmarmigan? (embrodiery going) says on the lablel 3 season.

Many many moons ago, I had an old army duck down sleeping bag im told. problem was often as not the feathers would pop through and ***** into you, is this the case for modern bags ?

Do you still get duck down bags and are they any better than goose down ?

The other problem was that it wasn't possible to wash them since the feathers would all bunch up and not fluff out properly, or where we doing something wrong?

I think that realistically this bag will be fine for my camping in the sottish highlands all year round in a DD hammock, once my queries above are answered, its a case of do i get the skyhigh800 or the pipedream 600 both rated to the same temperatures but for an extra £35 is the lighter pipedream 600 worth it....
 

Phil562

Settler
Jul 15, 2005
920
9
55
Middlesbrough
Great review :beerchug:

I have a Skyhigh 600 and have found it to be a superb bag :)

I have a 42/44 inch chest and found it to have more then enough room :cool:
 

Lasse

Nomad
Aug 17, 2007
337
0
Belgium
Many many moons ago, I had an old army duck down sleeping bag im told. problem was often as not the feathers would pop through and ***** into you, is this the case for modern bags ?
I haven't noticed any pricking from the bag, nor loosing more then a few very small feathers in the beginning so I don't think that's a problem in these bags.

Do you still get duck down bags and are they any better than goose down ?
You can absolutely still get duck down bags as well, Valandre sell both types. I heard the difference in performance depends a lot on production.

The other problem was that it wasn't possible to wash them since the feathers would all bunch up and not fluff out properly, or where we doing something wrong?
Still the same problem, but you should be able to fix it, Alpkit has an article explaining how to clean down bags: http://www.alpkit.com/support/products/cleaning-down-sleeping-bags/

I think that realistically this bag will be fine for my camping in the sottish highlands all year round in a DD hammock, once my queries above are answered, its a case of do i get the skyhigh800 or the pipedream 600 both rated to the same temperatures but for an extra £35 is the lighter pipedream 600 worth it....
If I wasn't too tall for the PD600, I would've bought one. Less weight on your back is always nice if you're walking a lot of miles, £35 extra isn't that much if the bag lasts you many years, imho worth it...

disclaimer: nothing to do with alpkit, just a happy consumer ;)
 

hyfan

Tenderfoot
Jul 1, 2004
54
1
67
Beds
Lasse, I would just like to add that I recently got the exact same bag and am very pleased with it.
I have not used it below 0ºC yet but it was fine for a chilly Sept night 2 weeks ago in southern england.
Up to recent I had a synthetic 3 season bag and had to wear a lot of cloathing when the temp dropped. Its a great bag. The long version is more than long enough for me im 6 ft 2 inches and i can pull the bag right over my head.
I would suggest using a liner of some sort as it will lessen the need for cleaning.
Cheers Hyfan
 

Lasse

Nomad
Aug 17, 2007
337
0
Belgium
Last night temperatures were quite low (with snow! :)) and there was a nice -13°C predicted so I couldn't resist to sleeping in the garden, testing the bag...
The temperature right next to the sleeping bag (so not outside of a tent or something) reached a minimum of -10,5°C and I was quite comfy inside the SkyeHigh 800, although my nose was freezing and turned blue by the morning...

I was wearing Woolpower Classic Liner socks, Crewneck 200, Fullzip Jacket 600, Balaclava 400 and basic cotton boxershorts (that's right, Woolpower don't sell no boxers ;))

So the sleeping bag performed very well at the indicated comfort temperature :)
 

UKdave

Forager
Mar 9, 2006
162
0
51
Ontario, Canada
I`ve got the SH600.

I had three nights in it over the break,the coldest it got was -3 and I was toasty warm,Im a warm sleeper but we had been drinking! and i wore a long sleeve T and a pair of ronhills cyclstar leggings and can report that it is a very nice bag,and well worth the money.
 
Apr 30, 2015
4
0
France
the tent is a Coleman Celcius Compact which probably is designed for summer use only... Beautiful forest and great first winter trip by the way :)

Cheers,
Lasse[/QUOTE]

Nice bag, I have a question about the Coleman tent though, I ve got this model, but without the poles....Trying to find the length of the original poles..All the offical Coleman Suplliers could not help me, How can I reach the writer of this article '' Lasse '' ? Sorry if this is in the wrong place..
 

Lasse

Nomad
Aug 17, 2007
337
0
Belgium
Hi PetGreen,

I just measured the tent poles of the Coleman Celsius that I used on that trip: 2 poles of ca. 3617mm (in 9 sections).
Enjoy the camping trips with your new tent!
 

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