While the Helium 400 isn’t the warmest of sleeping bags, it comes in at a good weight of 850g for a -3 season rated sleeping bag and with a price tag of £220, it’s a fantastic choice and a great all rounder. The face fabric is incredibly soft and has a nice handle thanks to the HELIUM™ 20 outer shell and the bag lofts very well which feels great to climb in to after a hard days walking.
In use the hood is a good size and there is a simple drawcord on both the hood and the neck baffle, which make for easy adjustment as the temperatures drop. The small air hole on the stuff sack helps give a tiny pack size as the air can be quickly squeezed out, which makes packing your rucksack much easier. The zip extends to the top of the foot box, which means the bag is easily accessible but it also lets you vent your legs if you wish while you feet remain in the bag.
I used the Helium 400 for a few days in the Lake District in late September and found it to perform very well – the bag got a bit damp due to condensation in the tent but it still managed to retain its loft and do the job. Overall, this bag is highly recommended and comes in a great price point considering the features and build quality.
Mountain Equipment are renowned for their extensive range of sleeping bags and their stand out piece when it comes to lightweight 2/3 season bags is the Helium 400. Boasting a lightweight, compressible and tough Helium fabric, it doesn’t disappoint.
To save weight, the bag utilises an alpine fit which has a regular sized shoulder and tapers along the lower half of the bag. Narrowing towards the feet this offers a snug but non-restrictive fit, which also helps to maximise thermal efficiency. The bag packs down well into a compressible waterproof stuff sack and weighs in at 845g.
Practical features such as, a magnetic style lock and different shaped drawstring toggles allow you to adjust the hood easily so you can trap the warmth inside the bag. It also means no messing around trying to adjust the bag in the dark, as the front toggle is flat and the back rounded.
I used this bag on a chilly September evening in the Lake District. As a very cold sleeper this placed me on the edge of my own comfort limit (with the bags comfort limit rated at -3°C). It did take me a little while to warm up but I threw on another layer of clothing and my body temperature within the bag did pick up. For the colder sleepers like myself, I would recommend a well-insulated mat in lower temperatures but I doubt that warmer/average sleepers would have an issue with warmth. I’d be keen to use this bag again in Spring/Summer temperatures as I’m confident that it would be perfect (for me) in those conditions.
On the whole the Helium 400 is a well thought out sleeping bag with lots of attention to detail when it comes to features. It is perfect as a summer bag although warmer sleepers will be able to extend its use around the edge of the colder seasons.