I’ve noticed that people can be divided into two camps when it comes to their nocturnal clothing choices. Some seem to prefer going au-naturel whilst others, myself included, like a protective layer between yourself and the monsters that lurk in the dark.
The USP of these particular PJ’s – and why we are reviewing them here on GearWeAre – is that they claim to protect you from the winged monsters known as mosquitoes or ‘f-ing buzzing hooligans’ as they tend to get called at GWA HQ, because as you switch off the light and settle down for the night you hear that tell-tale bzzzzzzz zoom past your ear. Cue the light going back on and much swatting and flailing of arms.
With my body now cocooned in these surprisingly soft Egyptian cotton PJ’s, I can just roll my eyes and pop my head back onto the pillow – not so the other half who prefers to sleep sans clothing.
Now I did take them on a more thorough test than just my bedroom; they recently joined us on a very splendid holiday to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain. Our mode of transport was motorbikes and our choice of accommodation was tents so as you can probably imagine packing small and light was rather important.
These Coccoon pyjamas definitely tick that box – they squish down super small, and indeed come with their own handy bag to keep them super squished. They also weigh next to nothing.
Now the flip side of them being super lightweight is that they aren’t that thick. Thankfully on me they were pretty loose fitting which helped to protect my modesty somewhat, but if they are a little snug then you will be leaving little to the imagination, so bear that in mind if like me you don’t feel the need to get dressed when having your morning mosey up to the campsite showers… you might inadvertently shock a few people! (or make their day?!)
The name Cocoon might not immediately ring familiar, but I bet tucked in the bottom of your kit you have one of their sleeping bag liners – I discovered I did whilst packing for the Spain trip! They are an Austrian company and have been around since 1989 making useful outdoor stuff – the Insect Shield Repellent Technology is a new bit of tech which converts liners, mosquito nets and my travel pyjamas into rather convenient insect protection. They are distributed here in the UK by First Ascent.
Now here’s the techhy bit… the Insect Shield is tightly bonded to the fabric of the Cocoon travel products meaning that you have the bonus of having the protection near the skin but not on the skin as per lotions and sprays. It has the added bonus of being invisible and odourless unlike many bug sprays and much to my surprise it does not change the feel of the fabric meaning my PJs were really soft and comfortable .
The folk over at Cocoon tell me that whilst Insect Shield repels mosquitoes it also wards off ticks, ants, flies, fleas, chiggers, and midges, many of which can carry dangerous diseases such as malaria or Lyme disease.
The active ingredient is a manmade version of a natural insect repellent found in certain types of chrysanthemum plants and is by all accounts extremely long lasting – the products remain effective though 70+ washings and over 6 months of constant exposure to sun and rain. Impressive stuff.
I have one small niggle with the Cocoon PJs and that is the tie fastening on the bottoms – the top is done up with standard buttons. The waist tie is the same cotton as the bottoms and I discovered – after awaking for a nocturnal comfort break – after a few hours of snoozing and wriggling around my sleeping bag the tie tightens itself – leading me to a small moment of panic that I might not get them off in time.
I would prefer an elasticated waist band, and indeed I shall be doing a bit of home-improvement and adding one to my test versions because I shall definitely be wearing these again and again. Indeed ironically a couple of nights after being home & whilst these were in the wash I got bitten in my sleep… grr!
More: First Ascent