[leadin]Crawl into a sleeping bag. Push a button. Get warm.[/leadin]
The promise of a heated sleeping bag has launched a company into success. It raised more than $100,000 in just days on Kickstarter a few years ago. Is an electric addition really the right way to warm up your cool-weather campout?
Created by Ravean, a brand that made waves with a heated down jacket that raised more than $1 million last year, the heated sleeping bag liner is a next step in the brand’s evolution.
The brand delivered on its promised heated down jackets, fulfilling its obligation to customers, and so far the reviews are pretty good. So, how will the heated liners pan out? So far, consumers are stoked.
With a promise to “Sleep Naked Everywhere!” — something that’s never been a problem for us in traditional sleeping bags — we’re guessing this product is aimed at the novice or occasional camper. But the concept is interesting and worthy of investigation.
Ravean Heated Sleeping Bag Liner
The Liner comes in two designs, a simple mummy sack and a wearable design that looks like a mix of a sleeping bag and a jacket.
Let’s start with the simple liner, as it’s a basic bag that the Wearable model expands on. The liner has heating elements over two areas of the body — the core and the feet. These are powered by a removable, rechargeable battery and controlled by a button system that can provide low, medium, or high levels of heating for each area independently.
Beyond that, it’s a simple liner. The company doesn’t specify the material used, but it appears to be polyester with a durable water repellent finish. We’ve reached out to ask for more details and will update this post with responses.
The battery is stored below the feet for this model. The liner has cinch straps for length adjustment, a full zipper, and it can be closed around the upper body.
The liner, with a battery (which is not always included), sells for $179 early bird pricing ($200 regular) on Kickstarter, and the brand plans to sell them for $249 retail.
A second version is the Wearable liner. It is basically a very long jacket with heating elements running around the torso and feet. It has sleeves, pockets, and a hood.
Beyond that, it has similar traits as the Simple liner, but can be worn out of the bag and around camp, or as a long, cozy jacket for lounging around in hammocks or whatnot in cool weather.
It sells for the same price as the Simple liner on Kickstarter.
Run Times, Battery Functions
The Ravean liners have removable battery packs that can also charge USB devices. They sell for $89 for a 7,800 maAh model, and $99 for the 15,500 maAh model.
The small pack will heat the bags from 2.25 hours (high setting, core and feet) to 15 hours (low setting, feet only), according to the company. The larger battery can run from 4.5 hours (high setting, core and feet) to 30.4 hours (low setting, feet only).
It’s unclear if other USB batteries can work with the bags, but Ravean says its new batteries are “backwards compatible” with its jackets, so these new batteries should work with the jackets if you’ve fully drunk the heated-garment Kool-Aid.
Does A Heated Liner Make Sense?
So, who really needs one of these heated liners?
Most of us have got cold at some point while camping, but with knowledge and quality, weather-appropriate gear, it is entirely possible to sleep comfortably at 0º F and below using traditional insulating materials.
Ravean says in its video (watch below) that the bags expand the range of your current, warmer-weather bag by 20º F. That’s a significant increase in warmth, but comes at a hefty cost.
For comparison, a Furnace 5 down sleeping bag from The North Face rated for use down to 5ºF costs $239 retail for a regular length — almost exactly the same as the future retail price of this liner.
We’ve used lots of bags in this temperature rating, and while you’ll feel a chill as the temps drop to near 0, for sleeping in the teens or above, this or a similar bag should be cozy, and won’t require batteries, wires, and regular charging.
While electronic heated garments and accessories have come a long ways in recent years, they still are not as fail-safe as good old-fashioned insulation.
The Ravean system appears marketed toward car campers or those who are looking for a leisurely weekend in cool weather. For this, it may be fine, but for those who rely on a sleeping bag for safety and comfort in remote areas far from a car, removing possible points of failure is critical.
We love to see the innovation here, but for now, we’ll be sticking with our down bags.