Hex Valley Down have been producing high quality down duvets and sleeping bags for nearly 30 years and their sleeping bags have been used for everything from winter caravan holidays to summiting snowy peaks in Patagonia. I recently got the opportunity to test their mummy sleeping bag in the snow-covered Du Toitskloof mountains.
Price (at time of writing): R3599
Weight: 1093g (with stuff-sack)
Temperature rating: Comfort: -3°C
External fabric: Pertex
Filling: 850 fill power goose down
Hex Valley Down has a unique value offering in that they can custom fit/design your sleeping bag. Based on your measurements, and insulation requirements, your sleeping bag can be purpose-built. This, combined with top quality down and Pertex fabric, makes for an extremely comfortable, warm and lightweight sleeping bag.
The Pertex definitely adds to the comfort and quality of the bag, with an almost cotton-like skin feel, but all the technical characteristics of nylon, like moisture wicking and abrasion resistance.
The workmanship is excellent, albeit not as technical as most international brands that specialize in sleeping bag design and manufacturing. For instance, the sleeping bag I tested had a static cord, instead of bungee cord, to cinch down the cowl and chest area. This is easily remedied by requesting specific materials, but just something to be aware of.
What was nice to see was a contoured foot-box, allowing your feet to rest in a natural position, without compressing the down and losing insulation around the feet. Combined with a ¾ zip, the foot box has been geared for maximum heat retention.
I’m 1.86m tall with a medium build and I found their standard bag a little too snug and slightly too short. Be sure to check your measurements with them before ordering.
It’s tricky to specify a temperature rating for a bag that can be customized, but the bag I tested, weighing a mere 1093g, had a comfort rating of around -3°C. The 850 fill power down allows for impressive compression and excellent insulation at a very low weight.
Bearing in mind, this bag had no zipper baffle or chest baffle. So for a few grams extra, the comfort rating could be increased quite substantially.
In a nutshell, this sleeping bag is ideal for all South African conditions, barring warm summer evenings and maybe full-on winter in the Drakensberg. For all conditions in between, this bag will do the trick.
Local is Lekker
I love good quality gear, but knowing it was made by a family-owned business that creates employment in the Hex River Valley, makes it so much sweeter. I would love to see more local businesses like Hex Valley Down thrive in a country that has so much to offer for the outdoor enthusiast.
Hex Valley Down sleeping bags offer amazing value for money on both their standard offering and their custom designs. The combination of weight, insulation and cost is hard to beat. If you’re looking at buying your first down sleeping bag, this should be high on the list of options.
This sleeping bag was provided by Hex Valley Down for review purposes and can be purchased through their online store.