I used this bag on several occasions over winter in one of the South Island’s coldest winters for many years – everything had been frozen solid for weeks, with regular snowfalls and enduring snow-covered tops.
From the outset, the Epic certainly looks the business when it comes to inspiring a feeling of warmth and security. Sounds strange to say that, but the impressive 800 loft fill that plumps the bag to cover you with pure goose down is very obvious when you view the unrolled bag – it just looks warm. That bulk leads to a bag weight of 1140g – quite heavy in the scheme of things.
Sinking into this bag is a great sensation, it clings all around you and with the internal baffle to wrap up around your neck, fantastic full length zip baffle to keep drafts at bay and roomy foot box, I was set for the night – either camping on the frosty ground in my tent or up on the tops in a snow-bound hut. The down is coated with ‘HyperDry’ – a water-resistant treatment that makes it able to insulate even if it gets wet.
I was more than cosy and had to unzip it on a couple of occasions to cool off a little, before wrapping up again to keep out the chill of the pre-dawn.
It was very cold on my ‘Epic’ trips, well below zero, but as the bag has an EN-certified comfort rating of -4°C (limit: -10°C, extreme: -30°C), I never felt I was exposed to the cold inside this cosy cocoon.
It’s described as a bag for extreme conditions anywhere in the world, though you might want to consider its big brothers, the Epic 800 or 1000, if you are planning a polar or Himalayan excursion. For most tramping trips in New Zealand where you expect a chilly night, the 600 will suffice.