Sunday, 22 August 2010

Review: Vango Nitestar Junior Sleeping Bags

Sleeping while on a camping trip can be difficult with three small children. The ground can be too bumpy, the weather can be too cold, the wind can create a noisy flappy tent that causes endless nightmares, there is too much excitement and blankets get dislodged. This has never stopped us from camping. The fun outweighs the difficulties by far but a good nights sleep always helps so we were absolutely thrilled when we were sent two sleeping bags from Vango to review. And we weren't the only ones excited when they arrived in the post. Our Little Garden Helpers couldn't get inside them quick enough. Luckily they didn't have to wait long to try them out for real as they arrived just days before we set off to Norfolk.

By the time we arrived at the campsite the excitement still hadn't worn off. Once the tent was up Garden Girl barely even wanted to stop for dinner. 'I can't wait to go to bed in my sleeping bag. Can I go to bed now?' are the exact words she used that first day. How many toddlers have you heard ask to go to bed before their dinner? And this was the first holiday that our Little Garden Helpers slept all night, every night in their own sleeping bags, without waking once. In fact they managed to lie in till around 7.30am every morning, rather than rising at their usual 6.30am. When I asked Garden Girl what her favourite part of the holiday was she said 'Going out and about and snuggling in my sleeping bag', so there are no doubts that they were a hit with the children. And I was also very impressed.
Garden Boy, who has just turned two, slept in the Nitestar Baby, which is suitable up to a maximum height of 80cm. Garden Boy is just about 80cm, so this bag will definitely not still fit him next year. However, we felt that the small size was a massive bonus as Garden Boy moves about a lot in his sleep. We often find him with his head at the foot of the bed so we were worried that if he slept in a sleeping bag we would find him with his head buried at the bottom. This just would not have been possible with the Nitestar Baby and really gave us peace of mind, so we could also have a good nights sleep!

The Nitestar Baby also has two full length zips which allowed us to totally unzip the sleeping bag into two seperate pieces. This means you can use them as blankets which can be removed, rather than as a sleeping bag, if it gets quite warm and we also used them as a soft, warm place to lie Garden Lass (3 months) when she was having a kick about in the tent. And although we didn't make use of this feature, it is possible to attach this sleeping bag to a pushchair, so if you want to be able to lift your little one straight into the tent already snug in their sleeping bag after an evening stroll this gives you that option. Vango have really thought about the details with this one and I think it is great product. When Garden Boy moves into a bigger bag Garden Lass will be able to use the Nitestar Baby for a couple of years. The bag costs £20, which I think is a reasonble price to pay for peace of mind.
Garden Girl, who now moves about much less in her sleep, slept in the Nitestar Midi, which has a maximum height of 155cm. Garden Girl at almost age 4 is probably about a metre tall, so has plenty of growing room left in this sleeping bag. She likes to tuck her arms inside so only her head peeks out of the top but the sleeping bag has an elasticated top so we were not worried she would slide inside during the night. At just £25.00 this sleeping bag is real value for money as it will fit for a number of years.

Both sleeping bags are made to a high quality and were clearly very comfortable. They get a raving review from the whole family.

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