A few weeks back I was sent a Lippi Selk Bag to evaluate. If you’re not familiar with this very unique products, it’s marketed as a “wearable sleeping bag”, and for the most part, it lives up to that billing, although it’s clearly not a product for everyone.
The Selk Bag, named for the Selk´Nam, a nomadic tribe in Chile, comes in it’s own stuff sack, just like any other sleeping bag, although I quickly noticed that it was quite large, which probably ruled it out immediately for any serious backpacker. Removing it from the stuff sack was easy, but getting it back it was a lot trickier. The Selk Bag isn’t easy to roll up, thanks to its unique design, that includes sleeves for your arms and legs. Once figured out a few tricks however, it was easier to get the Selk back into the sack.
The bag itself is high quality for the most part, and quite comfortable to wear in the proper conditions. I say high quality for the most part, because while it feels well designed and solid, I did have one zipper pull tab break off the first time I used it, and another that is very stiff and feels like it could break easily as well. There are some nice touches to the design though, like vents in the pits and along the legs of the bag that allow for some air to get in, while still keeping other areas of the boy warm.
The Selk comes in three varieties, aptly named the Selk Bag One, Two, and Three. Moving up the scale means an increase in thickness and improved performance in cooler temperatures. Unfortunately, the Selk is only rated down to about 45º degrees, which further limits it’s usefulness. On top of that, it’s not waterproof, which is probably destroys any last shred of relevance the product could have had with the hardcore outdoor crowd.
So, who is the Selk Bag good for? That’s a great question! While I think it’s way too big and bulk to take backpacking or trekking, and certainly not mountaineering, the bag is perfect for car camping. As I said, it’s quite comfortable and actually fun to wear, and it struck a chord with everyone I showed it to who weren’t outdoor types. Many noted that it would be a perfect product for them to use in cooler weather sitting out on the back porch or around a bonfire with friends. Several asked me where they could get one, and were intrigued with it’s potential on cool nights. Granted, I live in Texas, where “cool” and “cold” nights are defined quite differently then other places I’ve lived.
The Selk is certainly an interesting and unique product, and a lot of fun to lounge around in. However, some design elements keep it from being recommended to the traditional sleeping bag crowd. But for someone who isn’t concerned about weight and performance issues, but wants a fun, comfortable way to stay warm on backyard or car camping adventures, the Selk is a nice product.
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