26th May 2017

Expert Review | The Helium 250 Sleeping Bag

By Rob Greenwood

Location: Tasmania, Australia | Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

Comfort is key. Especially when settling down for some well-earned rest after a hard day at the crag or out on the hills. In fact, when it comes to getting the most from your time in the mountains, a good night's sleep is paramount. The reality of going on a climbing trip is that early rises are a given, and fatigue is never far away.

But once you’ve gotten used to the early mornings, and watching the sun set on your last route of the day, that comfortable night’s sleep means that you feel even more thankful for that welcome recovery time.

Enter the role of the Sleeping Bag. It’s the one piece of kit you’d never leave on a trip without, so make sure it’s the best one for the job (and trip) at hand.

Earlier this year we asked UK Climbing’s veteran list-ticker, Rob Greenwood, to try out our Helium 250 Sleeping Bag whilst on the road across New South Wales and Tasmania, Australia.

Here’s his opinion on our dedicated warm weather sleeping bag:

Where did you use the Helium 250 Sleeping Bag?

We used our sleeping bags (I was accompanied by fellow climber, Penny, who used the Women's Helium 250 Sleeping Bag) throughout the whole of our trip to Tasmania, but also in the Blue Mountains, located in New South Wales.

What was the camp set-up during your trip?

Tasmania is a pretty variable place when it comes to weather, so it was a blend of bivi, tent, and van depending on where we were and how ominous the clouds were looking!

Whilst we were in the Blue Mountains we were biviing out on one of our final nights of the trip. The stars are amazing out there, and it seemed like a nice way to celebrate the end of an amazing month away (although we were moderately terrified about waking up with snakes/spiders in our bags).

Did you have any particularly memorable night’s sleep on your journey?

One of the most memorable night’s sleep we got was before doing what I think could be one of the best, albeit least accessible, sport routes in the world - Pole Dancer at Cape Raoul.

It’s a few hours hike to get there, plus a long day in order to get in/out of the stack system, as such we opted to walk in the night before in order to give ourselves a better chance of a reasonable (and slightly less exhausting) day.

Our packs were already pretty chunky due to the rack/ropes we were carrying, hence the light weight and pack size of the Helium was greatly appreciated; however, the most memorable thing about the night was the light, which was incredible once you got out of the trees.

“It’s not a bag you want to get out of.”

Did any features on the Helium 250 stand out to you?

If I had to say one specific thing about the bag it would have to be focussed on its comfort. A sleeping bag could have all the features in the world and lack this one very important factor.

It’s a bag that feels snug from the moment you get in, not least due to the super soft fabric, but other neat features like the generous hood, collar baffle, and toe-box that’s actually designed with your natural/relaxed foot resting position in mind.

Some of the most memorable and best mornings we had on the trip were waking up in the sleeping bag, drinking our 1000th cup of Yorkshire Tea, and chilling out nice, warm, and snoozy. It’s not a bag you want to get out of.

Were I to say one other feature it would actually be the stuff sack, which is blissfully quick and easy to use. So many sleeping bags come with inadequately sized stuff sacks, which leads to them being a total mission to pack away. The stuff sack for the Helium 250 is (thankfully) a little larger, but comes with the clever air hole that allows you to compress it away really easily.

The Helium 250 is available online and in-store at select retailers now.