Update: During 2014 Cumulus was rebranded as Criterion Sleeping Bags, as such references in this article which were orginally Cumulus have been changed to Criterion.
Reviewing Criterion sleeping bags is quite a pleasure; each has there own specific purpose and each does it very well. If you’re reading this post and you’re interested in researching the best down sleeping bags, it might also be worth you reading about the Criterion Quantum 200 review and the Criterion Ultralight 200 review. Here we’ll be looking at the features in more detail and reviewing how the Mysterious Traveller performed in the tests.
Criterion Traveller 500 Features & Specification
Our cheapest large Criterion sleeping bag. Very light, very warm, very small pack size. Fantastic warmth-to-weight ratio.
- 500g of 92:8 Polish Goose Down insulation with 680+ fill power;
- Fill Volume: >11333 cubic inches;
- Pertex Ripstop Microlight Shell – 46g/m², with DWR+ treatment;
Insulated neck baffle;
- Top side construction: Trapezoid;
- Weighs 1145g. Packs down to 15 x 15 x 30 cm.
- Length: 225cm;
- Width Shoulders / Foot (cm): 80/52;
- Comfort Temp. = -7°C
- (Temperature rating confirmed by independent lab testing at Leeds University)
Features common to all Criterion Sleeping Bags:
- Full length YKK two-way zip with zip together compatibility (even different models);
- Anti-snagging, insulated zip baffle;
- Cowl hood and 1 hand operated drawcords;
- Inside pocket & hanging loops;
- Compact fully-featured stuff sack;
- Mesh storage bag.
Criterion Traveller Sleeping Bag Construction
The Criterion Traveller 500 sleeping bag’s construction is the Trapezoid, which is very well regarded for promoting down loft and also reducing cold spots. Due to the overlapping tendencies of the trapezoid styles some people state that it is even better than the boxwall construction in reducing cold spots.
Goose Down Filling
The Traveller 500 uses high quality Polish goose down. Polish down is regarded by many to be the best in the world for it’s lofting properties and resilience. The -7°C comfort temperature is therefore reached far more easily with less weight.
Pertex Outer and Inner
The choice of outer and inner is the Pertex Microlight, a very lightweight form of Pertex that is soft to the touch and provides hard durability for its weight. Using tightly woven yarns the Pertex can actually retain more heat when used in sleeping bags, and thus reduces the need for additional down. And, if that wasn’t enough, it also packs down to a very small size too.
Traveller 500 Reviews and Tests
Technically speaking, the Traveller range is sold as the ‘standard’ range of sleeping bags by Criterion sleeping bags, but ‘standard’ being a relative term makes this bag still truly top quality. Different members of the CheapTents.com team have made these tests in order to give a wide coverage of opinion.
Test 1: 27th January, Brotherswater, Cumbria, 1°C or less, 190m altitude. Sleeping on a Thermarest in Tent.
As the sky was clear, it was late January and you’re on a hill in Cumbria, you can’t expect anything more than cold temeratures but at least it wasn’t raining! Before going to sleep the temperature was 1°C, but in reality it could well have fallen over night, however the tester said that they were ‘toastie warm’ throughout the night.
Test 2: 31st April, Near Newtown Wales somewhere(!), 5°C, sleeping in a barn
The sleeping bag was used in relatively warm conditions to what it was designed so if anything there was a need to open it from the word go as it was too warm, but saying that once that had been done it was perfect. The stuffsack and packsize are excellent, with shape and cosmetics closely behind.
Test 3: 28th May, Lyn Anafon, Carneddi, Snowdonia, 5°C or less, 510m altitude, Sleeping in a bivi bag on a Karrimat.
The weather was dry but windy (4-50mph with 70mph gusts), but in the sheltered(ish) bivi spot the winds might have been as low as 20mph. If anything, it was too warm closed again, but opening-up the side and and the bivi bag created some ventilation which was absolutely perfect – how biviing is meant to be! Full marks for packsize, features, shape, stuffsack and cosmetics!
For the warmth that the Traveller retains, it is an exceptional sleeping bag. It is not the lightest sleeping bag of the Criteiron range but is certainly great value. Currently they retail at £180 which is really spectacular value for a lightweight sleeping bag that comfortably reaches -7°C.