Visitors to the tropics may expect the weather they see on television, but the tropics offers a wide variety of weather-related excitement — from what at least feels like freezing cold to intolerable humidity and desiccating heat, sometimes all in one day. If you’re going beyond the air-conditioning you’ll need some versatile and specialized gear. A sleeping bag like Snugpack’s Jungle Traveler Bag won’t always be perfect but it has practical features built to get you through the tropical night.
Comfortable at 45 degrees F and tolerable down to 36 degrees F, the Jungle Bag is more than capable of handling the colder extremes of the tropical world. Usually at lower altitudes the minimums don’t drop below that 45 degree range. A sheet and an army blanket were extremely comfortable during one of my less voluntary stays in the tropics, until I moved north into the monsoons and coastal winds. The temperature might not have dropped a lot farther but the wind chill did, and being soaking wet all the time didn’t help. In either of those same conditions I’d feel at home in the Jungle Traveler, built with moisture resistant MicroDiamond outer ripstop layer and a warm breathable inner insulation of Snugpak’s Travelsoft fibres, the angora of synthetic insulation. The Paratex blanket lining the bag deals with sweat and body odors with a permanent antibacterial coating, so you won’t smell nearly as bad if you don’t have a chance to bathe for awhile. In the tropics that’s a real bonus, because you are going to sweat.
Hi-tech materials give the Jungle Bag the ability to tightly compress for efficient storage and rebound to full loft quickly. The bag also washes easily, in the same way you’d launder your regular clothing. Moisture wicks away from both fabric and insulation — hang the bag in sun and open air to thoroughly dry it.
You can’t talk about sleeping in the tropics without mentioning bugs. Local people may not notice them, but visitors always do. Mosquito repellent helps but there’s nothing quite so good as a physical barrier between the clouds of bloodsuckers and you. The Jungle Bag includes a roll-down mosquito net built into the hood of the bag. Using it could save you serious problems, since you can’t be vaccinated against everything mosquitoes carry.
When it’s really hot, you don’t sleep in the tropics, you just enter a weird buzzing haze until the day’s heat bleeds off into outer space and you can slide under a blanket. Wandering around tropical Asia for fun I soon learned what the locals already knew, that the most comfortable place at night was lying flat on your back on a cool tile floor listening to the geckos sing. After the first few hours of tropical strangeness, then you sleep. The 27 ounce Jungle Bag — designed for indoors and outside — unzips into a flat blanket for those nights when you only need a little cover.
Snugpak Jungle Sleeping Bag
packs to: 5″ x 5.75″
comfort temperature: 45 f
low temperature: 36 f
Available in Olive, black, and red.