By Dave Smith, Finland
There is no better sleeping bag insulation than down, most commonly goose down, and the highest quality generally available comes from Eastern Europe. Cumulus are a specialist manufacturer of down sleeping bags from Poland and, as you would expect, use some of the best local down available. After having used the Panyam 600 sleeping bag from Cumulus for about three weeks last winter I can confirm it is a quality sleeping bag.
What sets this bag aside from much of the competition is the 850 fill power (European standard) down, about as good as its possible to get without paying silly money, all wrapped up in a sophisticated, trapezoid baffled, Pertex Quantum shell for a very decent price. The fill weight is 600g and the whole bag weighs under the magic kilo. According to Cumulus the regular length bag weighs 970g, my small length actually weighs about 950g. That makes for a light and warm bag. Cumulus rate the comfort limit of the bag at -6oC and the limit temperature at -13oC. Its not clear whether they are using the EN standard test to determine these ratings. I used mine in a freezing winter refuge in the Moroccan High Atlas and in Norway this winter and was warm and toasty throughout. I have not used it near its limits but estimate the temperature rating would be about right; though this is of course affected by how ‘cold’ a sleeper you are and what you are willing to wear in the bag.
The Anti-Snag Zipper
The bag appears well constructed with neat stitching and using good quality materials. The outer is Pertex Quantum 29g/m2, in this case in an attractive orangey brown colour they call chestnut, and the inner also in Pertex Quantum in black. It lofts up beautifully to an impressive depth given the amount of fill – reflecting the quality of the down. It comes with a mesh storage bag, a basic stuff sack and a ten year warranty. There is a similar model; the Panyam 450 which has 450g of fill for a total weight of 820g and is good down to a comfort temperature of 0oC.
Pertex Quantum Inner
My bag is a short size which is supposed to fit those between 160 and 178cm – not so short really - and I find there is plenty of room for my 171cm. There was also plenty of width in the bag, though as I’m on the skinny side that’s the case with most bags I use, and so you don’t feel too constricted in it. The regular size is recommended for those up to 190cm. The foot box (top image) is sculpted, baffled and well filled with down, there is a down collar with an elasticated drawcord which has a large Velcro tab fastener which can be neatly folded back on itself to keep it out of the way if you are not using it. The full hood also has a drawcord and can be pulled in snugly around the head. The bag I chose has a 1/3 length zip, the standard is full length, and has a double-ended YKK zipper which has a non-snag slider, something I’ve not seen before. It works well, if not absolutely perfectly.
The only niggle I’ve found is in the zip baffle. Its a nicely filled baffle that works perfectly well except that, at the lower end of the zip, the baffle is not sewn down - once or twice I’ve noticed it has folded back at that spot and I’ve felt a little colder patch. I’ll probably put a tiny stitch in there to hold the baffle in place.
Testing the Panyam 600 in Morocco Feb. 2018
In conclusion, I wouldn’t describe this a minimalist, narrow, ultralight alpine bag but if you are looking for a top quality down sleeping bag at a reasonable price which is suitable for a range of adventures then its worth a serious look.