Sunday, 25 June 2017 19:20

Cumulus Panyam 450 Sleeping Bag: Tested & Reviewed Featured

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Cumulus is a Polish brand that have produced down products for best part of 30 years. They don’t say much about their products, they let their products do the talking. I was glad to get a hold of the Panyam 450. Cumulus’s spec and description, below, pitches it as a mild winter, late autumn, early spring bag. The 450 has a big brother in the series, the 600 which would push you deeper into winter I would imagine.

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The Panyam 450 Specification:

Total weight: 835 g
Down weight: 450 g
Weight of unfilled sleeping bag: 385 g
Comfort temperature: 0 ˚C
Limit temperature: -6 ˚C
Extreme temperature: -23 ˚C
Maximum user height: 190 cm
Length: 208 cm
Width (top/bottom): 80/55 cm
Stuffsack’s dimensions (height/diameter): 26/18 cm
Stuffsack’s volume: 6,6 l
Number of down chambers: 36

What Cumulus say:

An excellent, extremely versatile sleeping bag, not too warm in the Spring and Summer, is also suitable for use in mild winter conditions. With 450 grams of down, this sleeping bag can be used at the first signs of winter because it is equipped with an independent, adjustable elastic collar with velcro fastening. It is made with the ultra-light Pertex Quantum fabric weighing 35 g/m², making its total weight only 835 g. It uses the advanced design of trapezoidal chambers.

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I have been out in the 450 in temperatures ranging from -5 deg C to +10/15 deg C. It has done pretty well.

The standard Panyam 450 has Pertex Quantum and standard 850 fill down, when I explained how I would use the bag Cumulus kindly upgraded me to the hydrophobic option and as a bonus the Pertex Endurance fabric. So it came Scottish Winter proof. These upgrades only added 29g to the bag including its stuffsack: 864 g in total.

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Build wise it has all the makings of a really good sleeping bag. The drawstring around the main hood is cord which I like. Some have elastic which lets heat out in my opinion. Once it’s drawn in, it’s in. The neck baffle has an elastic drawcord, a safe option so not to strangle myself whilst attempting to keep heat in. The Velcro connection for the neck baffle has a handy fold back bit that allows it to be sealed off so it doesn’t get caught up when you don’t need it.

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The bag lofts really well when it comes out of its little bag. Generally I have kept it in a dry bag when I’ve been out but the little bag it comes with is about the minimum it will compress to. It goes down to a good size.

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I had it at -5 in a 4 season tent and there were some cold spots. Now I am fully aware sleeping bag ratings are subjective and also dependant on the mats used etc. It was close to the specified limit of the bag but I was cold that night.

The zip baffle is quite narrow and I did find in the colder nights it leaked heat/ allowed the cold in. Also the inner material snagged sometimes, making getting in and out a bit frustrating. Maybe a reinforced material to prevent it snagging would be useful. As a side sleeper I found that the right of the bag also tended to have cold spots, along with the zip on the left. This was at the temperature limit of the bag. Widening the zip baffle may help reduce the heat loss.

In the warmer nights I have used the lower of the two zips to vent as it does get warm when the temperature rose in the morning.

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The shape of the toe box works, there is a good balance of room to move in and small enough that there is not a too much air to keep warm and let my toes go cold. Especially as I am a side sleeper.

The outer material and the hydrophobic down did well to fend off moisture from condensation.

The build quality is of a high standard, there are good features like on the neck baffle. The hood comes in well and provides a good seal in the cold. It sits nicely in the weight level for being comfortable in milder conditions. If you push its limit then you are going to need something to back it up with a down mat or quilt. Or upgrade to the Panyam 600!

As well as the standard stuffsack Cumulus supply a net bag for storage.

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Being given the options to upgrade materials is a huge incentive to go to Cumulus, it has the feel of a cottage manufacturer. I think that hydrophobic down will soon become a standard, like some of the other big sleeping manufacturers. The Panyam 450 is a solid choice for lightweight camping and alpinism. As I said even with the upgrades the bag still only weighs 864g.

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Cumulus have a wide range of down and synthetic products and they are growing steadily. Check them out.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 09:10
Davy Wright

Most at home in the outdoors, preferably on top of something big and pointy. Scotland is Davy's playground, which is why he doesn’t mind getting wet. But winter is where it’s at. Hiking, scrambling, camping and a bit of climbing when I can. Sucker for a ridge. At a lower altitude he try getting out on his bike and run if he has to.

Davy describes himself as "a bit of a gear geek, maybe less of the bit. I like to see how things work or don’t!" In following this line Davy has become a respected and authoritative blogger over the last few years, working with many of the UK's major manufacturers and retailers.

Preferred activities: Hillwalking, camping, scrambling, trying to get better at climbing/ice climbing, cycling/mountain biking

Areas commonly visited: Lochaber, Cairngorms, Lake District