In this review, staff rider Tim Wiggins takes a look at the high-end HyperLamina Spark Sleeping Bag, from Mountain Hardwear. He deems it a great choice for bicycle touring.
This September, I'm undertaking a 1,900 km unsupported bike-packing trip; through Northern Spain, down the Pyrenees to Carcassonne, and then back up through France. Read more about it in this blog post: 'Introducing the Coasts and Cols Tour'.
In preparing for the trip, I've been hunting down the best lightweight, durable and comfortable cycling and camping kit that I can find. The Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark Sleeping Bag, is my chosen option for a good night's sleep; whether it's in the mountains, or the heat of the Spanish plains.
Mountain Hardwear Thermal.Q® insulation - Synthetic comfort and durability
For the ultimate in cold weather comfort, many will opt for a down sleeping bag; however, for me, I wanted something that was a bit more durable, and a bit less costly. The HyperLamina Spark Sleeping Bag fitted the bill perfectly, with its Thermal.Q® technology.
The bag uses Thermal.Q® synthetic insulation, to provide the warmth and compress-ability of down; but without the risk of becoming contaminated with water ingress, in damp conditions.
The Thermal.Q® insulation is welded to the outside of the bag; so that you don't get the "drafts" that you can get with traditional stitched bags. This approach also reduces weight, and increases compression capabilities.
I've been testing HyperLamina Spark in both summer heatwave temperatures (double digit centigrade), and before that in the early spring; it has provided comfort and thermal regulation in both environments.
The HyperLamina Spark bag is branded as a "Performance Mummy Sleeping Bag"; because it has a form-fitting cut, to help reduce bulk and excess space. Because of this lightweight approach, the bag has just a half-length zipper, and a face gasket; aside from that it doesn't have too many bells-and-whistles.
This stripped-back approach doesn't seem to have caused any issues though; and despite not being able to let your feet breathe (air off!) while you sleep, I haven't found the bag "stuffy" or "sweaty", which is testament to the breathability of the insulation.
The Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark comes with both a stuff sack, and a mesh storage sack. This combination is a great way to keep the bag compact and compressed, when travelling; or more fluffed-up and well-ventilated when in storage. A useful feature.
Overall, the Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark has proven to be the perfect sleeping bag choice for bicycle touring. Its lightweight approach and low-bulk, make it ideal for stuffing in a pannier, without taking up too much space; yet its clever synthetic filling, ensures you are kept warm and comfortable at night. I'm looking forward to getting a good night's kip in the Pyrenees, using this sleeping bag.
View the Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Spark Sleeping Bag at Wiggle