The Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN is a mummy model sleeping bag for 3 seasons. Its design is spectacular and sustainable. Watch the review!
- Weight: 1368 grams (Claimed 1200 gr)
- Pack size: 24 x 34 cm (Claimed 24 x 37 cm)
- Sleepsize: 225 x 55/85 cm
- Price: € 380.00
The Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN is a very innovate mummy sleeping bag within the Vaude range. You might have seen some posts on the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN already a year ago when it was introduced to me at the Outdoor Tradeshow in Munich. From the first time I saw the sleeping bag, I found the concept very interesting. And this concept is pretty hard to explain on paper, so I do strongly suggest watching the video too. But let me give it a try.
The whole idea behind the sleeping bag comes from the sustainability heart of the Vaude company. More on this later. Most sleeping bags are made out of two large panels: one on top and one for the bottom. With rectangular sleeping bags manufacturers can design smartly without losing too many fabrics as waste. With mummy shaped sleeping bags this is a different story. Yes, with nesting them close together waste is minimised but still… With the Meglis Eco 700 SYN Vaude designer Markus Ernst did something very clever.
It’s most easy to explain Markus Ernst idea by sending you directly to your bathroom or paper bin and find or create an empty roll of toilet paper. The heart of a toilet roll is a tube made from cardboard papery stuff. You will find that on both ends there is a little pointy triangular. Start pulling and you will end up with a flat long diamond shaped piece of paper.
Now imagen that this piece of paper is the fabric of the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN and you get the idea behind this sleeping bag. And since this results in very little waste, this is the way Vaude wants to go. But sleeping in a toilet roll where all the sides are the same is not a snug fit mummy model sleeping bag. So, to create this mummy fit the Meglis Eco 700 SYN pattern is shaped a bit from the straight panels and next to that stretch seams are used to make it a snug fit. Hence the funny shape of the Meglis Eco 700 SYN.
I did an interview with Markus Ernst at the ISPO tradeshow in 2019 about this sleeping. Use this link and scroll to 02:42.
Vaude and sustainability
At Vaude, sustainability has been key of everything they do already for years. The main driving force is the current owner and boss of Vaude, Antje von Dewitz. The company uses recycled fabrics, coffee-granulate, RDS-down and recycled down, responsible wool and takes great care in designing products that are recyclable. Also, they use DWR coatings without the harmfull PFC’s. Now for the filling of the Meglis Eco 700 SYN Vaude does something really special: they use kapok.
Kapok is a material that looks and feels quite similar to cotton but has a totally different origin. The Kapok material comes from the Kapok tree. This tree grows in the tropics and in the far east where it is cultivated for its fibre. The Kapok material is the heart of the fruit that the Kapok tree produces. The fruit looks a bit like cocobeans. Inside the soft fluffy Kapok fibres protect the seeds and ensure that when the fruit opens when it is ripe, the seeds will be carried by the wind to ensure a new tree on a new spot. The fluffy Kapok material has the characteristic that it is hydrophobic and resistant to water. In fact, in the old days it was used as the stuffing for life jackets. For so far, a bit on the background on the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN.
Now for full correct details I should make clear that it is not only Kapok that is used as an isolating material. The mix is a Primaloft Silver Insulation Natural Blend that incorporates 30% kapok together with 70% synthetic fibres. Of these synthetic fibres two thirds is recycled post-consumer PET bottles. And now the bad news from a sustainability point of view: The Kapok mix with PET-bottles it is not so clever since it cannot be recycled since there is not yet a way to separate both. So, at the end of lifetime the only thing that can be done is burn the bag or on the landfill or… up-cycle it in – for example – a fashionable shopping bag.
The outside and inside fabric of the mummy is 100% recycled polyamide. The sleeping bag is provided with a water-repellent layer on the outside (Durable Water Repellent DWR ) that is free from PFC’s. More on DWR in this tutorial.
Size and weight
The sleeping bag has a pack size of 24 x 34 (claimed 24 x 37) centimetres and a weight according to Vaude of 1200 grams without the compression bag. I weigh the sleeping bag with compression bag on my calibrated scale at 1317,7 grams. The stuff bag weights 92 grams so Vaude is accurate. The sleeping bag is 225 cm long and 85 cm wide at the shoulders and 55 cm wide at the feet. You can sleep in it until your maximum height is 185 centimetres long.
Most sleeping bags are constructed with baffles and in the baffles is the isolating material. It depends on how the baffles are constructed if the sleeping bag has cold bridges or not. When the outside and the inside with the isolating material between it are stitched together directly the stich creates a cold bridge. Vaude does it different with the Meglis. One layer of the isolation mix is connected to the inside of the outer fabric and the second layer to the inside of the inner fabric. Both layers float on top of each other and are only connected at the seam at the zipper. Thanks to the floating layers the Meglis is free from cold bridges.
The Meglis comes with a very large compression bag so I have no trouble whatsoever getting the sleeping bag in it. The bag has a roll-top, so compressing is easy too: just roll the top of the bag. On both sides an aluminium hook hooks onto a Daisey chain. I mentioned it before in a Vaude sleeping bag review: it is a pity that the compression bag is not waterproof. Vaude has done this to secure easy compression and packet which is understandable. When setting up camp be sure to start with taking the sleeping bag out of its compression bag since it needs some time to regain its fluffiness.
Like most sleeping bags the Meglis has a long zipper to enter the bag. The zipper is made by YKK and it is a two-way zipper. Handy because I can open it at the feet when they get hot. This long zipper begins on the left shoulder and since the bag is constructed like a toiletroll, the zipper spirals around the bag to the feet. Image the toilet roll again and follow the line that runs around the roll.
On the right shoulder side, the Meglis has a second zipper. It’s about 30 cm long and a one-way zipper only. Both the zipper runners have a zipper garage near the hood and an extra button the prevent the zipper from opening accidentally. The zippers have a great pull tab; handy with cold hands. Behind the zipper is a super draft tube. Between the zipper and the draft tube the zipper is equipped with a guide rail that prevents the zippers from snagging in the sleeping bag fabric.
Hood, collar and pockets
Like the sleeping bag, the hood is very snug too. If you like using a pillow inside the hood, think again because it will not really fit. The hood can be narrowed to fit tight around the head with a drawstring.
The heat collar around the neck is a very special one. It is designed like a large V. This V fits very nice around the neck and cover the shoulders too if you do it carefully. The thing with the collar is that it only works for me if I don’t move around too much and in my case that is impossible. This results often in a collar that is everywhere but not around my neck. My wife and daughters loved the heat retaining collar.
Step 1: the V-shaped draft collar fits around the neck. Step 2: the V-shaped draft collar in place over the shoulders.
The Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN has one pocket on the inside near the rights chest. It has a zipper and is a perfect place your passport or a pair of ear plugs. A plus size smartphone fits also and that is good when the nights are cold and I want to prevent the cold from draining the battery. The last remaining details: the sleeping bag has two loops on the outside at the foot end. This allows you to hang it on a hanger if you do not use the sleeping bag for a long time.
Vaude Meglis Practice
I have been testing the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN for a good time during early spring and summer this year and my experiences are a bit ambiguous.
The first reason is that – despite two side zippers – it’s quite a hassle to get into the sleepingbag. Partly because of all the elastics that pull the entrance tight but mainly due to the zipper that spirals. If I open it a bit too far the zipper is underneath me and I have to wiggle the sleeping bag so I can move the zipper. My wife and daughters have been using the Meglis too and they share my opinion on this. And they share my opinion on more things.
One big benefit we found out about the two zippers and the buttons on the top, is that you can use both arms but still keep the body warm. This comes in handy when reading a book, knitting or playing a game on the iPad…
We all love the skin-feel of the materials that come in contact with the naked skin. We also do like the fact that the sleeping bag feels heavy; I never like sleeping under very lightweight sleeping bags or blankets. Not even when it is hot outside.
On colder days we do like the cocoony feeling that the Meglis Eco 700 SYN gives, but when temperatures are a bit warmer, I hate it. The reason why I hate this is that it is almost impossible to open the zipper and still be comfortable under the sleeping bag. But… my wife and both my daughters don’t agree; they all love the cocoonfit and don’t really mind the feeling that I have when opening the zipper for some cooling . In the end this is something personal, so my advice would be: try before you buy! We all like the footbox ventilation too and the mummy hood with collar is mostly fine.
When you go camping with a tent touching the tent cloth that might be a bit wet from condensation, is not a problem thanks to the water-repellent layer DWR on the outside sleeping bag.
Vaude rates the Meglis Eco 700 SYN at a comfort temperature of 2 °C, Limit temperature of -3 °C and an Extreme temperature of -20 °C. More on the temperature rating in the review of the Rab Mythic 600 sleeping bag.
Like I mentioned above: I used it in early spring and summer. Temperatures varied from plus 6 °C to 35 °C. Well 35 °C is definitely too hot for this sleeping bag but it is not designed that way. The lower end of the Comfort temperature range of 2 °C… although I did not have that kind of temperatures, I think it should be no problem. Especially because the Meglis has this very snug fit which is important in retaining warmth. And if you do get a bit chilly: thermal underwear is the answer.
Just because of the innovative design and the sustainability I do like the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN a lot. Using kapok in a sleeping bag is an absolute cool development, but in the mix with PET-bottles it is not so clever since it cannot be recycled. The Meglis has proven to be a fine three-season sleeping-bag and temperature wise it has proven itself fine between 5 °C and 25 °C. The construction without cold bridges and the snug fit is super in this respect.
Because of the spiralled zipper and all the elastics, getting into the sleeping can be quite challenging from time to time. Sleeping in the cocoony Meglis is a wonderful experience but definitely not for everybody. If you move around a lot in your sleep like I do, the snug fit of the Vaude can become a bother , but the stretch seams help a lot. If you are like my wife and daughters: you will love it. Try before you buy! The price of € 380.00 is steep but if you look at the construction and materials it is not expensive. I rate the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN 8.8 points out of 10 total.
Sad news: Cancelled!
Now the sad news: Vaude has decided to cancel the Vaude Meglis Eco 700 SYN because of two reasons. The first reason is the rather high price and sells where not what they hoped for. Second reason: Vaude want to be sustainable and that means that products should be recycle too. The Primaloft Silver Insulation Natural Blend of Kapok and PET bottles cannot be recycled and that is not what Vaude wants. Is the bag still for sale? Yes, and they retail for far less online because of the above. So if you like this sleeping a bargain can be made. Also the rest of the Meglis series will remain available.