Sleeping bags are symbolic of the classic outdoor experience. Anyone planning to sleep outdoors needs a warm sleeping bag. At the OutDoor 2016 from July 13 to 16, manufacturers are focussing in particular on synthetic insulation sleeping bags and there is a wide range of models on show.
According to the European Outdoor Group (EOG), sleeping bags are annually responsible for some EUR 100 million in sales – which explains their prominent position in the collections. Michael Hübertz, Marketing Manager Nordisk, describes sleeping bags as “the core of the outdoor business,” and Mammut Product Manager Orlando Campo adds, “Really intensive outdoor experiences are only possible when you sleep out in the open air.” This doesn’t have to be extreme: “We’re seeing more and more families with children going camping,” explains Markus Wiesböck from Grüezibag, “Experiencing nature at first hand and the amazing freedom of sleeping outdoors is unbeatable.”
Hardwear products sometimes suffer due to the trend towards shorter leisure activities. However, sleeping bags seem to be unaffected by this. “Even on shorter outdoor adventures, you still need a warm, comfortable and versatile sleeping bag. And sleeping bags are also used for other purposes, such as music festivals and staying with friends,” explains Anna Ferrino, Managing Director of family-owned company Ferrino. Her fellow competitors see things similarly. “Even on short trips, having your own sleeping bag or blanket provides more privacy and a certain amount of comfort,” says Markus Ernst, Product Manager Sleeping Bags at Vaude. “Not everyone likes hotel sheets. Lightweight sleeping bags offer a snug feeling of comfort and security.”
Synthetic insulation sleeping bags will be increasingly important in the coming season. “Manufacturers enjoy good sales with them and they’re ideal for customers who don’t plan to spend the night in extreme conditions,” says Deuter Head of Sales Andreas Herrlinger. In addition, new materials make the new generation of products smaller and lighter: “Modern synthetic insulation sleeping bags have an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio thanks to their advanced fill materials and can also be combined with new materials.
Down sleeping bags continue to experience strong demand. They amply cover the expedition, mountaineering and lightweight sectors. Down excels thanks to its comfortable warmth and softness. However, significant increases in duck and goose down prices in recent years have posed a challenge for manufacturers, “to make sure that price points for sleeping bags don’t creep up too high,” stressed Tom Strobl, Mountain Equipment Germany. “For 2017 Mountain Equipment has used scientific methods to analyse every stitch, every chamber and every other detail to significantly improve performance through lighter designs.” Hannah Berger from British manufacturer Rab also adds that they have, “invested a great deal of time in optimising chamber design to offer very good performance.” Marmot is also attracting attention with their completely re-engineered down sleeping bag range for 2017.
“Animal welfare is a fundamental requirement. Consumers expect the industry to act responsibly and to offer clean and ethically correct products without increasing prices,” explains Tom Strobl. The outdoor is meeting these requirements across the board and is even being praised by animal welfare organisations.
The OutDoor trade show is open to industry visitors only from July 13 to 16, 2016.