View Full Version : British Army 58 Pat Sleeping Bag - Any good for winter? Alternatives?

05-02-2009, 11:31
How do folks?
http://www.militarykit.com/products/sleeping_bags/british_army_58_pat_sleeping_b ag.htm

I'm thinking of getting one of those in Grd1 condition (presumably that's an issued one then)
Though the price isn't on that page, they are selling Grd1 at 20 (and in long for 30) compared to the "new" ones at 50.

I know they look pretty toasty, and they are down filled, but are they a suitable bag for use at this time of the year? I do have a self inflating mat - which probably makes a difference.
If you've used one in cold weather, how cold was it and how warm were you in the bag?

Has anyone used Grd1 surplus sleeping bags before? What sort of condition do they tend to be in? I know Grd1 is meant to be pretty neat, maybe a few scuffs here and there, but generally servicable... but I'm not sure what I make of using a bag a soldier has been using, and doing whatever soldiers do in their sleeping bags.
Clothing I'm not so bothered about, as it can be washed quite easilly, but I expect down sleeping bags wouldn't be quite so easy to clean up.

Alternatively - are there any other good sleeping bags for winter use which don't cost a huge amount more than that surplus one?
I know Decathlon sell a few that come in left and right handed and can be zipped together, potentially useful when camping with my girlfriend - I dunno how they are in the field though.

Thanks again folks.

05-02-2009, 12:10
you're usually pretty safe with a grd 1, i've got exactly that, don't use it anymore cos it's too heavy for my liking but for warmth to cost ratio it's superb, I slept out last week in one with a basha no insulation and a small fire to warm and I was fine! If you aren't happy with the cleanliness of it when it arrives you can get it dry cleaned, few threads on here about who does that.......

05-02-2009, 12:11
With the 58 Pattern at this time of year, you'll be snug as anything - combined with tent/bivi, even more so. The only downside is their big and heavy, so it depends on how far you want to lug them. I believe on average their rated to -15 or more.
With any surplus it depends on the stores grading system and how its been stored - personally I buy grade1/supergrade stuff and have never been disappointed with what I get.

There are ways to ensure that the down 'pile' is even distributed - few guides on here to do that and clean it at the same time.

Somewhere theres a link to have it professionally done ---> http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37784

05-02-2009, 12:21
If you are 5' 9" or more, I think you will need 'Long'.

Used mine at minus 7 in a hammock. No problems. In fact I have never had a cold night in one. I'm old enough to have been issued one and it worked fine throughout winters in Scotland and Mt Troodos in April.

They are feather and down mix, not pure down.

I bought my own one new (used ones can smell of ripe squaddie) but it is fairly big. Fits in a sabre 45 but fills about 75% of it!

The waterproof base makes it great for sleeping on the ground under a tarp or poncho (which is what it was designed for). However for a bit more you could get an Alpkit down bag which would pack lighter and smaller.

05-02-2009, 12:23
Thanks folks.
I'm probably OK with my current bag for the most part. A Mammut Butterfly (I think) that I bought in Chamonix about 8 years ago. The label on it rates its "temperature extreme" down to -14.

As for the weight of the 58 Pattern, I don't object too much to the weight as it's actually for my girlfriend.
And no - that doesn't mean she'll just have to carry it! Haha.
I don't object to lugging a bit extra when it makes the difference between her heading out with me and staying at home because it is too cold for her. She really struggled in her current bag when we camped above Coniston back in November, so unless she has something better, she's house bound until the spring.

I'll pop into the local surplus and see how heavy/big they are in the flesh and make a decision on that I think.

Does anyone know of another decent bag to consider for a close-ish price? Or is that the best you can get for the money?
I wouldn't mind if it wasn't rated as low as -15, though I'm sure she'd prefer to be a bit too warm than a bit nippy, but if there's something else suitable, maybe a bit lighter or smaller, that might be ideal.

Oh - and am I right in thinking that 58patt and other down bags don't object to being wrapped in compression straps for size?

05-02-2009, 12:39
A fleece liner can knock up the rating of any bag, also easy clean and cheap...

05-02-2009, 13:26
Oh - and am I right in thinking that 58patt and other down bags don't object to being wrapped in compression straps for size?

You'll have a job compressing a 58 bag down much !

05-02-2009, 13:59
MancsMan - Thanks for mentioning that - I may well get a fleece liner for my current bag. I'd forgotten those things even existed!

Loz - Pity, but thanks. Going on doc's comment about it filling up 75% of a 45 litre pack I have a much better idea of size now. Not tiny by any stretch, but manageable I think. There's the weight issue, but at very least getting one for my girlfriend will mean she's far more likely to come away camping in the winter which is all good.

05-02-2009, 14:08
Try a Grade 1, current issue British Army sleep system; £35/40ish

05-02-2009, 14:57
Wouldn't that mean more weight?
Just thinking back on what I've read about down vs syntetic and I'm pretty sure I recall that for an equivalent bag synthetic tends to be bulkier and heavier.

Oh and I'm reliably informed that as far as my girlfriend is concerned - it's got to be an unissued bag. Issued is not an option even with a dry-clean. Haha.

05-02-2009, 15:01
Oh and I'm reliably informed that as far as my girlfriend is concerned - it's got to be an unissued bag. Issued is not an option even with a dry-clean. Haha.

Issued bags are clean !!!!! - Never heard of the "Sock" ???