By: Blonde Two

Blondees and Blondettes, I would like to announce that my first night with Big Orange was a roaring success.  Big Orange was gentle and cuddly and fitted into my very small tent with me perfectly.  We went to bed early, read a good book and fell asleep snuggled up together.

For those of you not “in the know” – Big Orange is my brand new Mountain Equipment Xero 350 Down Sleeping bag and has just revolutionised my camping life.  On Friday night, I wore a thin layer of clothing instead of several thick ones, I slept all night instead of a snatched couple of hours and I didn’t need to get up in the night for a wee (unheard of).

Big Orange is full of lots and lots of lovely Hungarian goose down (apparently older geese are better).  He has baffles (elastic bits) to keep him in touch with my body as much as possible and most excitingly, a special pocket for a small pack of Jelly Babies (it may have originally been designed for a phone or keys).

After a race to the parcel office to pick up Big Orange and an anxious few minutes squeezing him into his stuff sack (he usually lives in a big net bag), my excitement meant that I went to bed about two hours before I would usually dare to (loo calls).  I took my regular quota of extra layers into the tent just in case but didn’t need any of them.  I wasn’t quite brave enough to strip down to my undies but only had thin layers on.  I removed the hat, I repeat, I REMOVED THE HAT.  As soon as I got in, I was warm – not your usual camping warm but proper, cosy, happy warm.   I read for a little while, drifted off to sleep and didn’t wake up until “birdies” (birdies is that time at first light when the birds wake you up).

The most amazing thing – and truly, this has never happened to me before – was that I got too hot and had to undo Big Orange (great zips) at least twice.  I have no comprehension of why I didn’t take the plunge and go for a down bag many years ago.

So if you are considering a down sleeping bag, if you have ever shivered your way through a night under canvas or if you want a big orange new friend (other colours are available), don’t think, don’t hesitate, don’t go for a walk (I never say that) just buy one.  You will not regret it, honestly.

Oh yes, and I also recommend the as ever excellent service from Taunton Leisure – thanks guys for the best bargain ever!