Sleeping Bags!

Sweet dreams are made of these!

If you read my post on self inflating sleeping mats and my sleeping mat systems then you’ll know I sleep cold. I therefore wanted a super warm sleeping bag system so I could get my beauty sleep. I’ve travelled light in the past with a 1 season bag, in fact I’ve owned a few, my Halfords one fell apart but I still have a decathlon one.

I use my decathlon 1 season sleeping bag in the hotter months and my DD Jara 2 sleeping bag the rest of the year. If I’m going anywhere really cold I take both and use the lighter bag as a liner. The Jara 2 bag is amazing and I don’t know why other sleeping bag manufacturers design their bags the way they do. Both sleeping bags are a mummy style with a hood, a mummy style sleeping bag has wide shoulders and narrows at the base. (For men anyway). There are female style sleeping bags which have narrow shoulders, wider hips and then taper at the base. The objective is to be snug in your bag, otherwise your body is trying to heat up the extra air in the space.

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The first thing you notice about the Jara 2 is that the zip runs down the center of the bag and not the side. This is because it is a hammock sleeping bag / over quilt, which is extremely versatile and warm. The sleeping bag has a nylon outer shell with a polyester lining which means as it’s synthetic it retains its warmth even when damp. The downside is the size, the sleeping bag packs into a stuff sack but takes up a lot of room. Once I put the Jara 2 in my rear pannier there is only enough room for the 1 season liner/bag and it’s full.

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Along the zip inner is an extra stuffed baffle to keep the warmth in and the elements out. It’s surprising how much cold air a zipper can let in. There’s also a baffle across the shoulders and around the neck to keep all that warm air inside. A cord goes around the hood and shoulders to pull the hood in tight, with a good Velcro strap across the top of the zip to prevent it sliding down when you’re asleep. I hook stretch cord through the zipper and around this strap as on occasion the zip has come down. There are 2 ample size mesh pockets inside the sleeping bag although I would have like them to Velcro shut, as my belongings fall out every time.

The zip can open at the top or from the bottom and it did take me a long time to realise that this is to control the temperature. Ever stuck one leg out of bed at night, well that’s what the double zip is for it also helps when going for a pee at 4am. The Jara 2 has a foot box which until you need it you don’t realise how good it is to have one. A foot box is a canvas bottom to the sleeping bag, meaning if you need to get in with your boots on or are on damp muddy ground it doesn’t wet or damage the sleeping bag. An amazing addition to a superb sleeping system

It’s important to understand that a sleeping bag is just insulation and unless you get in it warm it’ll,take a lot of time and energy to warm up. The analogy that a sleeping bag works like a flask, if you get in warm you stay warm, if you get in cold you’ll stay cold. I now ensure I am warm but not sweaty when I get in my Jara 2, if I’m a bit chilly I’ll exercise before bed. If I’m exhausted after a long days riding I’ll boil some water, pop it in a container and put it in my sleeping bag until it’s time for bed.

There’s a couple of other techniques I use to keep warm when it’s -14c and that’s to use heat pads. I’ve discovered that heat pads last about 8 hours and I can place one on my chest to keep my core warm. This in turn keeps everything else warm, surprising how effective this is really!

A new addition to this sleep system is USB powered heat pads, you see these everywhere from heated car seats to heated jackets. I have a USB reptile aquarium pad at the bottom of my tent and if I wake up cold or in a blizzard I’ll slip it under the Jara 2’s footbox and plug it in to my USB power pack. On testing this crazy solution to keeping warm I was amazed at the difference in temperature. I managed to sleep in until noon the next day and dreamt I was sunbathing on a beach, which is weird because I never sunbathe.

Getting into a standard sleeping bag while inside a hammock isn’t always easy – so the Jura 2 is the solution.

Comfortable for use in temperatures down to -5C, the DD Jura 2 Sleeping Bag is central-zipped with a waterproof footbox – designed to let you step into it on wet ground, pull it up around you and sit back into your hammock!

Size Regular and XL
Colour Dark green with black footbox
Weight 1700g or 2100g
Includes Jura 2 – Sleeping Bag, stuff sack

  • Ripstop nylon shell with water-repellent coating, filled with microfibre.
  • Waterproof footbox (inside and out) made from Oxford nylon.
  • Large, sturdy centre zip for ease of entry.
  • Neck and zip baffles, and an adjustable hood to be closed snugly around you.
  • 2 internal mesh pockets set at an angle to prevent items falling out.

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