I think everyone knows by now how incredibly important a good night’s rest is. An essential moment when your body recuperates, mending wear and tear to muscles and joints and your mind gets the peace to process all the impressions of the day.
If you have been active outside, the stress on your body and the impressions on your mind may have been extra intense, and that makes sleeping well even more important. But also more difficult, in the open air with all the weather types that can disrupt your sleep, an irregular, often hard surface that can keep you awake. There are a lot of variables that contribute to that night’s sleep or conversely which can be detrimental to its quality. A good sleeping bag is one of the fundamental variables you need to get right. In this review, we are diving into the Vaude Marwees 500 down sleeping bag. A sleeping bag with a special story.
I have used the sleeping bag quite intensively lately, with different circumstances and activities:
- Bikepacking in Belgium: Wet and cold; 5-7 degrees celsius in the night.
- Canoe trip in the Biesbosch, Netherlands: moist and fresh; 7-12 degrees celsius in the night.
- Hiking and camping in the Fochteloerveen: dry and cold (around freezing point).
- Camping vacation Ardennes, Belgium: dry and warm: 25 degrees celsius in the night.
- Camping vacation Sweden: wet and dry nights, around 10-12 degrees in the nights.
Before I dive into reviewing the sleeping bag, first that story I mentioned.
Vaude Marwees – Recycled Down
In recent years, we have seen more and more manufacturers turn away from live-plucked down to down that has a more ethical origin, following the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), in which down is a by-product of the meat industry. But with GRS-certified filler down in the Marwees, Vaude takes it one step further. “GRS stands for Global Recycling Standard and means that the filler down of the sleeping bag comes from processed bedding and down clothing,” Vaude told us that, for example, a lot of down is won from the hotel industry, whereby my first reaction was that could be a bit gross if it weren’t for the fact Vaude washes and sterilizes the down before using it in its products.
The question is, of course, how that down was sourced by the first user, we hope at least following the RDS. But in any case, the knowledge that no new birds have had to lose feathers for this sleeping bag is already a big step forward.
So does the sleeping bag sleep as well as a hotel bed?
That last question is, of course, a bit of a tongue in cheek one: moreover I actually always sleep very badly in hotel beds; but do you notice the fact that it is “second hand” down? Has functionality been sacrificed for sustainability? As far as I am concerned, no, it hasn’t.
First of all, the inner lining of the sleeping bag is made of Polyester Tafetta, which tries to emulate the feeling of silk, and therefore feels very comfortable. Not artificial at all but very natural.
I have used the sleeping bag with and without the Vaude Inlet Mummy sleeping bag liner, for even more comfort, and added insulation. I actually used it as a sleeping bag at the hotter temperatures, where the sleeping bag served more like a soft mattress on top of the Vaude Performance sleeping pad.
The down is held in place by Asymmetrically arranged H-rooms; I haven’t experienced any thermal bridges and the sleeping bag also moves well with me as I turn around presleep. I did notice a tightness around my shoulders sometimes, but I guess that can be expected with a mummy model. Added to that, I measure almost 190 cm and with that, I am slightly larger than the 185 cm body length that is ideal for the sleeping bag.
The insulation value of the sleeping bag is 550 cuin (this expresses the filling power of the down, and therefore its insulating potential – more info in our GearGuide) and should comfortably insulate to -3 degrees with an extreme temperature rating of -20. I have not used the sleeping bag below zero, nor have I used the hood on the mummy completely closed over my head. I do know that traveling companion Hanne ter Smette told me during our bikepacking trip that she had fully “mummified” and had thoroughly enjoyed her sleep in her Marwees.
The Marwees has a warmth collar, contoured hood, foot box, an inner pocket for essentials and 2-way zipper, all features that contribute to a pleasant use of the sleeping bag.
The mummy sleeping bag is available in six different variations – from Marwees 300 (temperature limit 4 ° C) via the Marwees 500 (temperature limit -3 ° C) to the Marwees 700 (temperature limit -7 ° C).
Pack size and weight
The Marwees packs fairly compactly, the sleeve is spacious and flexible, you can cram the sleeping bag as tightly as you want/can. With the roll closure and the G-hooks you can tightly pack the sleeping bag, which wieghs in at around 1300 grams.
The Marwees 500 sleeping bag is a pleasant natural-feeling and good heat-regulating sleeping bag. Made from recycled down so that an animal-sensitive conscience will sleep softer. With € 230,- it is not a cheap sleeping bag but one that delivers the quality that you would expect.