Top positive review
86 people found this helpful
You can't go wrong with this one - Highlander Echo 400
on 17 October 2012
I got this sleeping bag over 9 months ago after much deliberation. I have purchased many a sleeping bag and usually have found that they are always colder than they make out, so I decided to get one that was advertised and reviewed as being extra warm...better to be on the warm rather than cold side. I have a tall (6ft), slim build and if slightly too cold cannot sleep very well. I also like camping and sleeping outdoors, although I actually sleep in a sleeping bag every night at home. Hence the importance for me of a good snug bag. As well as often being too cold, bags for me are often either not spacious or long enough. In a cold environment it is essential to have the head and shoulder area covered which otherwise will render the bag obsolete even if the rest of it is warm. I can safely say that the Highlander Echo 400 ticks ALL the boxes. It has taken me a while to build up to this, but I personally am delighted with this product which after having used it only a few times I was counting my lucky stars. I have been disappointed many times by sleeping bags often purchased at much higher prices, so this purchase has put it all right. Things to be noted about this bag:
It is WARM, unexplainably warm. It defies how it manages this because it is just a normal size bag. I have had much bulkier ones which are not half as warm. This was the number one priority for me, and I have NOT been disappointed.
It is WASHABLE: I have a £300 down winter sleeping bag, and this is the only thing comparable to the echo 400 for warmth. However even the down bag is not as physically comfortable as the Echo, and of course the problem with down is it cannot easily be washed. The Highlander is the perfect all round solution. It only fails to match on weight and compression (which is still amazingly good given the warmth factor).
It is COMFORTABLE: for the first time I have found a bag that is the perfect shape. It is long enough to cover head and shoulders, as well as being spacious enough to move around inside whilst still retaining warmth. I have had super compact bags which are all claustrophobic and sweaty, and bags which are so spacious that they cannot retain warmth. The Echo 400 manages to combine both needs: it retains heat without needing to mummify you(!) and ensures you are fully covered (speaking as a 6 ft 111/2 stone male). It has a really good neck baffle also which uses both a drawstring and a button to retain warmth around the head and neck area ensuring total snugness. In addition it has a fantastic 'box' compartment at the bottom for the feet which essentially means there is much more padding and protection so as to make sure the feet are snug. For me this is genius since I am especially prone to cold feet and warmth is only warmth when the WHOLE body is covered, as all campers know. Also the inner material is excellent. I have often had problems with itchiness on the skin, and am quite sensitive, but this lining is really smooth on the skin, and in over 9 months I cannot report any discomfort. Highlander must have a secret in the way the fibres retains warmth even within the spacious dimensions because I have bought bags especially for their size which have very thick padding, yet any warmth still seems to seep out of them, whereas the highlander encapsulates all its warmth.
It is CHEAP: really for what it is this is a bargain. You would expect to be paying a LOT more. It looks like any other sleeping bag, but it is a hidden gem.
I really hope people buy this bag, because it deserves recognition, and it will not disappoint as bags often do when one cannot test what one is purchasing. I was hopeful about this bag as I had seen many good reviews, not just amazon. However this has happened before and led to disappointment. Not so with the Echo 400. It exceeded my high expectations. I am so glad it is out on the market, as I will not hesitate to repurchase whenever I have need of a bag. I also know exactly which one to recommend to friends, knowing they will be well equipped and served by this one at a price that is as comfortable a the bag itself.
Some have mentioned about the quality of the bag. I personally think this is a bit impish. If the quality of the bag's materials were in ratio with the rest of the bag's good features, you would probably be having to pay triple the price. I think it is amazing that Highlander have managed to produce something like this at so affordable a cost. Sure they could have put much more into workmanship etc, but then you would never have been able to get it so affordable. There are plenty of bags out there you can pay double, triple or whatever the price, and perhaps get sturdier workmanship. (Having said that I have paid double and still seen bags coming apart within weeks). Nevertheless, I wanted something affordable that is within range for anyone, and can be repurchased again and again. This is the Highlander Echo 400. I have had my bag over nine months and slept in it almost every night. The only signs of strain are on the stitching of the neck liner, which one would expect as it is sewed on separately to the rest of the bag, and obviously gets tugged around a lot every night. This can be fixed easily enough. Yes if you decide to jump up and down in it and what not, it may become challenged, but then again a bags life is dependent on how well it is taken care of.
In conclusion, I heartily recommend this product. It is easily the best buy I have made on a sleeping bag, and a product I look forward to using. Every so often we purchase something which actually impresses and puts a smile on our face, and this one did it for me. It's a discovery, as I said, mainly for the warmth factor, but in general for the overall comfort which its design has produced. Someone put a lot of thought into getting all the features and dimensions in this just right so they did not miss out on any one point. It really is a bag for overall warmth and comfort, which cannot really be appreciated until experienced. A good sleeping bag experience is now available to all.