The Vango Planet sleeping bag range has proven a hit with our customers over the years, and Vango have certainly upped their game with their 2015 model. Although they’ve kept all the key features from the previous model, the 2015 version comes with two main changes in the form of upgraded anti-microbial and insect repellent treatment and the addition of a mosquito net in the foot area of the bag. With these changes in mind, I thought I’d take a closer look at the new Vango Planet 50 and see if, like it’s predecessor, it would be a sleeping bag I’d want to accompany me on my travels…
Sleeping Bag Specifications
Season Rating: 1-2 season
Suggested Usage: 11°C to 25°C
Open Size: 210 x 80/55cm
Pack Size: 25 x 15cm
Insulation: Insulite Superfine
Fill Weight: 1 x 50g/m²
Lining: Polair Silky Polyester
Shell: Polair 240T Diamond Ripstop Polyester
Max. User Height: 190cm
Temperatures tested to EN 13537:2002
Based on the above specifications, not a lot has changed compared to the previous model, with the same maximum user height, sleeping bag dimensions and season rating. However there are a few minor changes in terms of spec, including a slightly lighter weight of 900g compared to the previous 950g. It’s impressive that Vango have managed to shave off 50g from the Planet 50’s weight, especially considering there has been no significant change to the fill or usage temperatures.
Another slight change I noticed was the pack size, which is listed as 25 x 15cm on the sleeping bag’s label. I compressed the sleeping bag down and managed to compress it to 19 x 15cm, which makes it even more compact than Vango specify. For a synthetic bag of this season rating, you’d be hard pushed to find anything much more compact or lightweight.
The most notable feature of the Vango Planet 50 is the built in mosquito net in the hood, which can be unzipped and stored inside the ‘mosquito net’ pocket on the inside of the bag when you’re not using it. This has been updated from the previous model, with the net being a lighter grey colour. I feel that the lighter colour is an improvement on the black coloured net from the last Planet 50 model, as this will be better in warmer climates. Vango don’t specify a hole count for the mosquito net, so I can only assume it meets the WHO recommended mosquito net hole count. The net can also be zipped up during the day, which is great for keeping insects from climbing inside while you’re not using the sleeping bag.
Another addition Vango have made on the 2015 Planet 50 is the mosquito net in the foot area of the bag…this probably seems like a strange feature to include, but it’s pretty useful when you think about it. This allows you to unzip the bottom of the bag in warm climates and allow air in, without you having to worry about insects biting your feet and legs, or crawling inside your sleeping bag. The sleeping bag has a full length zip which also runs along the bottom of the sleeping bag, so you can easily open the sleeping bag out and use it as a blanket on warmer nights. However, I would only recommend doing this if you’re staying in low infestation areas or if you’re also sleeping underneath a mosquito net, otherwise you run the risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes and other insects.
As well as featuring a mosquito net in both the hood and foot, the Vango Planet 50 also comes with improved anti-microbial and insect repellent treatment for 2015. Vango Shield is their new and improved protection used on the new Planet range, replacing the old HHL Vital protection from the previous model. Vango Shield is proven to reduce the growth of bacteria which causes odours and mould from developing on your sleeping bag, and this is also included on the net as well as the sleeping bag’s fabrics. It also acts as an insect repellent to deter insects from landing on the sleeping bag.
In addition to the mosquito net storage pocket, the Planet 50 also includes a large internal pocket for storing valuable items such as your passport or mobile phone. The pocket also features a Velcro fastening to help keep everything inside. Maybe not a feature unique to this sleeping bag, but definitely a useful one and I’m glad they’ve chosen to retain this feature for 2015.
Vango have also kept the fleece lining on the stuff sack, which can be reversed and stuffed to create your own make-shift pillow. This is probably more of a feature for camping, but if you want an extra pillow in hostels it could be useful.
Not much has changed for the Planet 50 in terms of comfort features. It comes with the same single layer Insulite Superfine insulation and loose shell design, which makes it particularly well suited to use in hot climates, as it ensures the sleeping bag is breathable. No stitches are made through the sleeping bag’s insulation, which helps to minimise cold spots and keep you warm. The insulation is designed to be compressible, durable and lightweight and is a blend of both siliconised and spiralised fibres.
In addition to the Insulite Superfine insulation, the sleeping bag also comes with an insulated zip baffle, which runs along the length of the zip to keep drafts out and help retain body heat. It also comes with a 2-panel 3D hood, which helps to reduce heat loss, as the head is one of the main areas of the body we lose heat from.
In terms of the fabrics used on the sleeping bag, Vango have used similar fabrics to their previous model, with a silky polyester lining and 240T diamond ripstop polyester shell. These fabrics make the sleeping bag lightweight, comfortable and durable, and the silky feel of the sleeping bag’s lining makes it comfortable against your skin – great in hot climates when you most likely won’t be sleeping in much clothing. The ripstop construction of the sleeping bag’s outer shell helps to reduce damage should your sleeping bag get snagged, as it prevents rips from spreading.
The RRP of £50 is a little steep for a synthetic 1-2 season sleeping bag. However, we’ve managed to price it considerably lower than the RRP and it is worth noting that they have added features yet the RRP has only increased slightly compared to last year’s model (RRP £45.00). For me, the colour of the bag is a big improvement, with a teal and grey colour way which gives it a more contemporary appearance, and these colours are much lighter than the black version, which will be much better for hot climates.
As mentioned previously, Vango have retained the majority of the features from their previous Planet 50 model, but made some improvements to existing features with a lighter coloured mosquito net and the addition of the mosquito net in the foot area of the sleeping bag.
There are now so many different mosquito net sleeping bags on the market, it can be difficult to know which one to buy, but as Vango have added the mosquito net to the bottom of the sleeping bag as well, they have managed to set themselves apart from their competitors, giving you another reason to choose the Planet over versions by Highlander and Snugpak. Vango have also upgraded the anti-microbial and insect repellent treatment used on the sleeping bag, and claim this is now even more effective at preventing mould and odours developing and repelling insects.
The only main concern I’d have with this sleeping bag is how comfortable you would feel with the hood mosquito net over your face, but we haven’t heard any negative feedback on this from customers and this would be down to personal preference. You also have the option of unzipping it if you feel uncomfortable and using a mosquito net instead. Whether or not you use the net feature of the bag, it would still make a great addition to your travel kit, especially for travellers visiting countries with tropical climates.
If you like what you see, you can buy the Vango Planet 50 from our online store.
Rachel has worked for the company for 9 years and as one of our buying team, has a wide knowledge of travel gear. She has travelled in Europe and Southeast Asia, but her dream destination would be South America to experience Carnival in Rio, unleash her inner Attenborough in the Galapagos and sip on Colombian coffee in colonial Cartagena.