Product Review – Thumbs up from down under!

Richard’s Story,  Upgrade Required!

A few years ago I went camping on a remote beach in the middle of winter. And had a really uncomfortable, bitterly cold night (but had a great time all the same). I decided I needed to sort out my cold-weather hiking setup and started searching for a warmer sleeping bag.

My sleeping bag requirements were a legitimate temp rating down to -5°C, minimum weight, minimal packed volume, well made, reasonably priced, and made ethically. After months on and off web searching and thinking and procrastinating, I decided Criterion’s Quantum 350 was the best fit for me. A couple of emails and another several months delay (me procrastinating again!), and my Quantum 350 arrived.


Richard poses in front of his ultralight camp during one of escapades into the bush.
Richard poses in front of his ultralight camp during one of escapades into the bush.
A room with a view! Camping next to the the Tasman Sea
A room with a view! Camping next to the the Tasman Sea

Buying Decisions

Ethically made? Yes. Very light? Yes. Small packed volume? Yes. Good design and well-made? Yes. Reasonably priced? Yes. And the people at Criterion were great to deal with. I’ve been using this bag about 3 years now and have had some sub-zero (Celsius) nights with my stuff frozen in the morning and always been comfortable. So the -6 degree rating I’d say is legitimate. I wouldn’t say I’m a cold sleeper, but I’m certainly not a warm sleeper. I liked this bag so much a later bought a Quantum 200 for milder conditions. And regularly use both of them. Sometimes I car-camp and sleep under a tarp in the back of my ancient Hilux. But mostly I’m a minimalist hiker either tarp or hammock camping. I’ve been so impressed with these sleeping bags I recommend them to everyone. I probably annoy a few people with my enthusiasm.

So the specs… Yes, the Polish goose-down filling is excellent. Yes, the design and construction is first-rate. The zipper is a generous sized YKK so it’ll probably outlast me. And the shell is made from Pertex Quantum. Stay with me here… this stuff is not just a fancy nylon fabric. Quantum fabric feels and behaves differently to any nylon fabrics I’ve used. It never feels cold, even when it is cold. And it never feels damp or clammy, even when I am. It’s really comfortable, breaths better than anything similar I’ve tried and its water-repellent coating works well. I had the bag stuffed in the bottom of my pack on one particularly nasty, wet, windy day. Although water got into my pack and wet my mattress and sleeping bag, it still lofted quickly and fully and appeared dry a half hour later. And was instantly warm when I went to bed that night. So yeah, these Criterion Quantum bags are seriously good kit!

Rick from Australia

Richard’s Gallery of Images

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Richard’s Criterion Sleeping Bags