High tech sleeping bags were once just a fancy invention for the more intrepid campers, but now they're really part of the standard camping affair. But the spectrum of different sleeping bags is wide, with different insulation techniques and price ranges that can even reach the heights of a young used car. This is the Snugpak Chrysalis 3, a high quality mummy styled sleeping bag with some novel features at a mid-range price point of £89.95 in the UK and $119 in the USA.
Temperature Claims & Pack Size
The Chrysalis range of sleeping bags differentiate themselves via the temperatures at which they'll keep you snug and warm. The lower the number within the lineup, the lighter it will be, but the less warm it will keep you. So the Chrysalis 3 is the middle of the range of the sleeping bag series, claiming to keep persons inside it comfortable in -5°c conditions and is max rated to be used in -10°c temperatures, ideal for camping in the spring to autumn months. In the months of testing, late July and August, we were exposed to some chilly and also some hot and humid nights, giving us the opportunity to test it in alternate spectrums. The total pack size is a big draw to the Snugpak Chrysalis 3, measuring 26cm(L) x 22cm(W) and weighing 1.6KG in its pack bag. We could quite easily store it within a backpack on travels, and most importantly it goes back into its compression sack with relatively little trouble.
Usability & Adjustability
We thought a practice test for this sleeping bag would be to get into it, in pitch black darkness. The main exterior zippers have rubber grips on string and can easily be located and are quick to be undone or zipped up. The ocean blue sleeping bag itself in default form is spacey inside for the average sized adult (220cm default length, but can be shortened to 175cm via clips) so climbing into it shouldn't be a challenge. A system Snugpak refer to as the 'expander panel system' allows the sleeping bag to increase or decrease in width (normal width 87.5cm, narrowed width 75cm) via two rows of different zippers. This is very effective if you want to retain as much heat as possible or you want to have greater airflow to regulate your body temperature.
Comfort & Inbuilt LED Hood Torch
Comfort is definitely key for a sleeping bag, you don't want it to make you uncomfortable or fidgety throughout the night. The Snugpak Chrysalis 3 has a unique insulation called Softie. Basically the fibres are more randomised in their spread, which apparently makes the bag lighter, more comfortable to be in and also traps warm air more effectively even when wet. As far as comfort was concerned, we loved sleeping in the Chrysalis 3; the Softie insulation kept us warm and comfortable. There are a few other nice little touches to make your hours of rest that little bit more special, such as a thermal suede foot lining and an adjustable in tightness Snugfit Hood, which does incorporate a somewhat gimmicky LED torch. Even on harder grounds comfort was retained, although some sort of mattress underneath if possible is far more pleasurable overall. The inner lining of the bag is made from a tough heavy duty material known as Paratex Light and the outer is a Paratex Mirco, featuring a tight weave; both are soft and gentle against the skin and are highly breathable, but they are also water repellant and windproof. So on warmer nights, when humidity was present, the bag didn't trap perspiration but instead let it breath out through the bag's material, allowing us to have a nice peaceful sleep. On cooler evenings it was effective in assisting heat remain in the bag.
In summary, the Snugpak Chrysalis 3 offers customisable comfort, in a high quality design and at very good value when compared to similar specced competitors.