Vango Cobra 200 down sleeping bag is great for summer

If you are looking for a lightweight, technical sleeping bag with a small pack size, then the Vango Cobra 200 deserves a mention.

It offers decent comfort and warmth, from head to toe. Using ethically sourced down and a water-resistant outer nylon shell, it’s perfect for the trekker counting every gram. I tested this on a fairly mild night in May and it certainly delivered.

The Cobra has a 20D 380T Nylon Outer Shell fabric which is durable and water-resistant, enhancing its longevity. To ensure an unexpected downpour or tent leak doesn’t ruin your investment, Vango has used this water-resistant nylon on the shell and given the down a hydrophobic treatment for good measure. I actually suffered a small leak myself and it stood up to it without issue. It also benefits from Thermal Reverb which radiates your body heat for maximum warmth and comfort. Extra features, including a very well-designed zipper, help separate it from the competition. 

Vango says the cobra is “distinctively shaped”, but it looks an awful lot like a classic mummy to me. The head section can be drawstring closed around the face and there’s an insulated flap around the shoulders which, again, can be tightened or loosened. The Vango Cobra 200 is an extremely lightweight option for trekking or those out for an adventure where they can pack light and get around faster. With a Welded Box Wall construction, the box shaped baffle channels filled with down ensure maximum loft and an even distribution of down from head to toe. It has also been engineered to ergonomically fit around your head and shoulders for improved heat retention.

While some lightweight sleeping bag brands will opt for a shorter zip in favour of weight saving, Vango’s Cobras all have full-length two-way zips, with a padded flap to keep the heat in, piping on the inside to prevent snagging and a chunky plastic casing on the pull section. There’s also a velcro pocket for your phone or keys (this is extremely well disguised, so you might not spot it at first – it took me a while!).

It packs into a supplied compression sack with four straps that can be tightened to get it as small as possible. Vango has also included a mesh storage sack, that’s a lot roomier, to allow the down to loft when not out on expeditions. Usually, there’s not a men’s and women’s version for any of the Cobra sleeping bags, or long or short options. They all fit up to 190cm, which is around 6ft 2. I’m actually 6ft 2 myself and found this to be a perfect fit – any taller though and I’d probably recommend a different option. 

One area where some extra effort has clearly been put in is around the zip. There’s internal piping and a chunky plastic cover that make it all-but impossible to snag the inside of your bag, alongside your standard baffle flap to stop heat escaping. It’s a welcome set of design tweaks that work really well in practice.

The aluminimised layer was extremely effective at radiating my own body heat back to me. However, I think it’d really come into its own on a cold night when you actually want your own body heat preserved. 

If you are looking for a high quality, lightweight sleeping bag for the British summer, the Cobra 200 is a good option. But, with some thought given to the use of additional layers, can also be used in spring and autumn temperatures. This will definitely be my go-to bag for bike packing and other lightweight summer expeditions!


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