What’s the best sleeping bag, or other system, for the tropics?
I'm going on a sea kayaking trip in Palau and looking for recommendations on the best sleeping gear. Can you recommend a tropical weight sleeping bag or other solution that provides some cover without too much warmth? John Washington, D.C.
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Oh, the nervy, insouciant way with which some people mention things. Yes, Im going sea kayaking in Palau,” or, Oh, Ill be at my villa in Tuscany for the rest of the month,” or Please dont call me for a week, as Ill be skiing through the Alps and will simply refuse to answer the phone.”
Cocoon Ripstop Silk Mummy LinerCocoon Ripstop Silk Mummy Liner
While the rest of us sit and work, giving advice so that other people can enjoy their splendiferous vacations just a pinch more.
But I digress. If I were flying to Palau to go sea kayakingdid I mention Im not doing that, although Im not at all bitter about itId take two things. One would be a silk sleep-sack, just a very light piece for nights when its too warm for anything else but youd like a little something to tuck yourself into. The Cocoon Ripstop Silk Mummy Liner ($65; www.rei.com) is just the deal. Use it as a superlight sleeping bag, or add it to any bag for more warmth. It also helps keep a sleeping bag clean.
For a bag, I like the Marmot Pounder ($159; www.marmot.com). As advertised, it weighs one pound, and has a 40-degree temperature rating. The insulation, such as it is, is Primaloft, which I like for its softness and water-resistance. With the silk liner, that combo actually would keep you snug into the low 30s, as if that were a worry in this case. Or, theres REIs Travel Down +45 bag ($75; www.rei.com), a down-filled warm-weather bag that in turn can be used for a bag liner when youre back in a cold climate.
Anyway, happy kayaking. Grrr.
Check out this years more than 400 must-have gear items, including a comprehensive sleeping bags section, in the 2006 Buyers Guide.