iPod, vanilla pod, Podsacs, pod hotels… there seem to be a lot of pods around at the moment and I’m not 100% convinced that Gelert have used the perfect word to describe their oval-shaped sleeping bags. I’m wondering if ‘Sleeping Pod’ conjours up more images of swag/bivvy camping solutions, with in-built mattresses…
Anyway, my musing’s aside, let’s take a look at Gelert’s sleeping “bags” for the short, wide and fidgetty amongst us.
If you’re anything like my wife, you’re also like a tumble-dryer when you’re asleep. If you’re not karate-chopping, star-jumping or spinning like a dervish then you’re not having a decent night’s kip. And it’s generally this kind of ‘active’ sleeper that gets a bit freaked out by Mummy Bags (sleeping bags with narrow feet ends). So Gelert designed the Sleeping Pod around the shape of someone sleeping on their side with their legs bent, and I have to say that it’s gloriously comfortable in that position, so top marks on that score.
The NME version of the Sleeping Pod (presumably aimed at Festival goers) sports an interesting and fairly eye-warping medical-illustration design. It’ll hide various stains from Pot Noodles and suncream, so in that respect it’s a great finish.
At 210cm long (6ft 9in) in length, you think there’d be ample length, but this measurement includes a very generous hood. I’m 175cm tall (5ft9) and I can only JUST do up the drawstring around my shoulders, so if you’re taller than the national average, and you lay on your back with straight legs, get a normal sleeping bag instead.
That said, if the weather is hot and you just need a cover, this should be fine.
I encouraged the squiggly-wife into the Sleeping Pod one evening when she was curled up under a blanket and refusing to go to bed. She was convinced that the Pod was just a fat-bloke’s sleeping bag, but after not very long she was completely unaware that she had curled her legs up and was using the full width of the Pod. She then agreed that maybe she saw the point of the wide middle area.
The NME Sleeping Pod has a 300g/m mono-fibre/polyester mix, which gives it a minimum comfort temperature of 3C. I have to say that I think that’s pushing it, but it certainly is toasty warm in the current climate (10-12C).
The Pod has an in-built bag/pocket, into which it packs down and is compressed with 2 webbing straps. The packed size is MASSIVE – seriously, it’s like a 25L daypack – so I’d strongly recommend a compression bag was used with the Pod, if only to make it easier to carry. It’d be fine slung in the back of a car, but carried across miles of Glastonbury countryside it’d be a burden.
SUMMARY: The Sleeping Pod is a novel idea for those of us who like to sleep on our sides, spread out, or like a dervish. There’s ample room to air your smelliest parts. The comfort rating is great for all Summer use and it packs down into its own pocket (even if that’s huge). It’s very comfortable and for the performance it’s in the right price bracket. This is a context sensitive rating: It isn’t very long, so look elsewhere if you sleep stretched out or if you’re taller than 5ft9.
More info: Gelert
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