Trails

Piteraq Arctic Bedding HD

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For our winter trip through Norway we used pulkas/sleds and in addition to having more volume and space for our things it allowed us to try out a new set-up for our sleeping system, the Piteraq Arctic Bedding. Neither of us had ever used this system before and after reading a lot of positive thoughts about the system online we were really eager to put it to the test.

In harsh and extremely cold temperatures it is essential to be as efficient as possible in setting up and taking down camp and this is where the Piteraq Arctic Bedding comes to play. An Arctic Bedding is a concept which was first designed and developed by the Norwegian, Sjur Mørdre for an expedition to the South Pole. It is basically a bag which contains your essential items for sleeping where everything is kept together in a way which makes it possible to take the whole bag directly from your pulka/sled into your tent and have it all set up in a matter of seconds. We tested two models of the Piteraq HD, the standard size and the XL, they are very much the same product except for a few minor details.

Specs
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Piteraq Arctic Bedding HD Standard
  • Volume: 124L
  • Dimensions:STD L 184cm W 57cm H 12cm
  • Weight: 630g
  • YKK non-stick vislon zipper with 3-Zip heads for opening and venting
  • Sewn construction
  • Bathtub floor
  • Zipped 2-Slot pocket & Velcro pocket on top
  • End pull handles
  • Extremely durable 210D Nylon N/robic with PU coating. 0.8m Hydrostatic Head and DWR
Piteraq Arctic Bedding HD XL
  • Volume: 214L
  • Dimensions: XL L 200cm x W 67cm x H 16cm
  • Weight: 720g
  • YKK non-stick vislon zipper with 3-Zip heads for opening and venting
  • Sewn construction
  • Bathtub floor
  • Zipped 3-Slot pocket & large Velcro pocket on top
  • End pull handles
  • Extremely durable 210D Nylon N/robic with PU coating. 0.8m Hydrostatic Head and DWR
First Impressions
As mentioned before we had never used this set-up before and the minute we received them we laid them out on the floor to see how we would do it while out on the trip. We found that, as I reckon most people do, it was best to put a foam mattress at the bottom, followed by an air mattress and then finally our big winter sleeping bags. The Standard sized bedding is 10 cm narrower and 4cm shorter in height than the XL, and this created a small problem for Eef as it became rather tight to close it with everything inside. I on the other hand had no problem and could fit my down jacket and primaloft pants inside of the bag as well without any problem. Now, it’s not that the Standard sized bedding created any problems except for it being a bit more of a hassle to close up in the mornings, which might cause some frustration in the long run. However, if you will be using a large sleeping bag such as the Helsport Kongsfjorden, I would recommend you go for the XL version instead.
Another difference between the two sizes is the number of pockets; the Standard version has 2 zipped pockets and a velcro pocket on the top, whereas the XL version has 3 zipped pockets plus the velcro pocket. Seeing that the XL version is not only wider and higher, but also 16cm longer it is obvious that the size of the pockets on the XL is much bigger resulting in much more space for items you want close at hand.
Ease of Use
This product is in my view nothing but brilliant. I absolutely love it and how easy it makes setting up and breaking camp. On a sunny and gorgeous day it really doesn’t matter if you’ll be getting into your sleeping bag quickly or not, but when the weather turns or temperatures drops below minus 30°C or even 40°C it really makes a difference getting into your sleeping bag quickly. Whilst on our way from Abisko to Ritsem we experienced that the temperature dropped rapidly below minus 30°C, and as I had pushed on to hard that day without really eating or drinking much, hypothermia began to kick in fast. We quickly set up camp and within minutes I was lying inside of my sleeping bag. While I was warming up I watched as our friend, who had joined for this stretch, battle with his foam mattress, then having to blow up his air mattress before finally unrolling his sleeping bag. Watching him wrestle with his equipment while fighting against the biting cold I realized how much of an effort and struggle this simple piece of equipment, the Arctic Bedding, had saved me from dealing with. As mentioned before, on a beautiful sunny and warm day/afternoon the struggles mentioned above become much less cumbersome and is completely fine to do, nonetheless, I find that the simplicity and ease of use makes it extremely useful.
Eefs point of view on the other hand is a bit different. She found it easy to use and very practical as well, however she also found it to be rather clumsy and cumbersome it its own way. One thing that really frustrated her was the fact that by having the bedding on top of the pulka/sled it made the whole thing quite top-heavy, which can be a hassle in difficult terrain
Water resistance & durability
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The Piteraq Arctic Bedding has a hydrostatic head of 800mm, which to some might not seem as much, at least that’s what I thought. I was a bit nervous about whether or not melted snow or rain would seep through the fabric and soak my sleeping bag, especially considering the amount of bad weather we encountered on this trip. I was happy to see that the fabric withheld everything that nature had to throw at us, of course we never experienced heavy down pour which one might have on a late spring trip, nonetheless I was really pleased with how the Bedding coped with it all.
The 210D Nylon N/robic fabric has proven to be very durable and even through dense forests where it has been scraped against rough trees and branches it has shown no wear or tear, in fact, it hardly shows that it has been used at all.
Room for improvement
As much as I love this product I must admit that there are certain aspects to it that I feel could be improved. In my view the zippers are too small. It is very difficult to open or close any of the zippers while wearing gloves or mittens and it isn’t always very pleasant to take those off to open or close the bedding. I would prefer to see the zippers being made a bit larger or add a puller so that they are easier to grab a hold of without having to freeze your fingers.
Conclusion
The Piteraq Arctic Bedding HD is absolutely fantastic and I love how it saves me time and a lot of hassle while setting up and breaking camp. Simply pull the whole bag into the tent and then your sleeping arrangement is ready. The Arctic Bedding HD from Piteraq is highly durable and weather resistant and with a few minor tweeks to the zippers this bag is a massive time saver for anyone out there with a pulka/sled.

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