All wild campers looking to buy a new sleeping bag go through the same dilemma. Buy a synthetic-fill bag that will keep you warm even when wet, but sacrifice weight for comfort, or go for the lovely warmth-to-weight of a down-filled bag then worry about keeping it dry all the time (a down-filled bag doesn’t work very well when it’s wet!). So, when Vango launched their new Fuse range, I was intrigued.
The Fuse sleeping bag has a unique blend of hydrophobic down and 4T synthetic insulation, giving the user all of the insulative properties of a down bag in a compact package resistant to wet conditions. The Insulite Fusion’s interlinked insulation supports the down, achieving superior loft. That’s what Vango say about it anyway!
I received the Fuse 12 back in the early summer. For me, this was a slightly odd time of year to launch a sleeping bag that is said to be comfortable down to minus 12C, but that’s just a very minor niggle.
I really liked the look of the Fuse 12 immediately. It is very well made, and a lot of thought has gone into the design, as well as sourcing the materials responsibly.
For summer use I did find it too warm, as predicted, and felt that the weight (1.5kg) was rather restrictive for general backpacking in the warmer months. On the few occasions I used it during the summer, for car camping, I spent most of the night with the zip half-way down to keep cool.
Once autumn arrived and the temperatures started to drop I found the Fuse 12 really came into its own. The weight of the bag is clearly more than a comparable down-filled one, but I really liked the fact that being a fusion between down and synthetic fill, I didn’t worry about having to keep it completely dry, knowing that if it did get damp I’d still have a warm and comfortable night.
I’ve now used the Fuse 12 extensively for autumn and early winter backpacking, and for overnights in the hills when working on Mountain Leader refresher courses. There’s really nothing to dislike about it. Yes, I know devotees of down bags will refuse to be impressed, and that’s fine. It’s them who are missing out! Personally for the coming winter season I’ll not be relying on down-only for my overnight comfort – I’m a real convert to the Fuse!
I do hope that Vango do well with this sleeping bag. It’s price of £220 may put some people off, but for those looking for a great bag that’s a compromise between down and synthetic, I think it’s an absolute bargain.
For full details go to Vango Fuse 12