Alpkit use their own rating system for sleeping bags and have given the Pipedream 400 a -6C rating, which on the face of it is pretty amazing for the weight and price but it turns out to be a little generous. The EN comfort rating, which is what we would normally go by, is -4.2C. But even this seems rather optimistic given that the specs suggest use in temperatures down to around -2C. This isn’t because the specs are bad, 750 fill power RDS approved down is nothing to complain about, but this is a classic three season bag and for a slim guy without much 'natural' insulation I need to make sure that it can perform as expected.
The reality is that I've been camping in this sleeping bag on nights where the temperature dropped to -2C and wouldn’t want to use it in anything colder, so it predictably performs as most of the other top end three season sleeping bags would.
The upshot is that depending on whether you sleep hot or cold we would recommend adding a few degrees or more to the stated comfort rating to ensure a decent night's sleep.
For the warmth though, the Pipedream offers an excellent weight of 865g, which is very lightweight and easily carried. The down filling and 20D face fabrics are able to be compressed down into a small 18 x 25cm pack size, which is perfect for stowing in a hiking backpack or in bikepacking frame bags.
The down insulation inside the Pipedream 400 is high quality 90/10 grey goose down with a DownTek PFC free hydrophobic treatment. This means that if it gets soggy on a bivvy it shouldn’t lose too much insulating power. True to form we found it dried extremely quickly after one unfortunately damp camp and was back to full working order after only a brief airing the next morning.
Protection from the drawcord adjustable hood is great, adding a lovely additional hit of warmth, but at 6ft 2” we struggled in the regular Pipedream 400. It was too short for us meaning that with the hood up we weren't able to lie out straight without our head and feet being forced into the extents of the bag. If you’re anything over 6ft go for the long version for sure.
The Pipedream is available in left and right zip options with a full-length zip baffle which does a great job of keeping out draughts. Our only complaint in this department is the lack of zip garage on the inside to stop the cold zip rubbing up against your cheek.
We've found the fabrics durable over sustained use wild camping and bikepacking, assuming the same kind of care you would give your other lightweight camping kit. One of our testers has had a Pipedream 400 since 2017 and it's still going strong.
Putting aside the optimistic temperature ratings the Pipedream 400 is a solid three season sleeping bag at a truly excellent price. Have a quick Google and you're unlikely to find many other sleeping bags offering this combination of weight and performance at this price, making it one of the best value sleeping bags for bikepacking and wild camping out there.