They don’t call it “The Wet Coast” for nothing. While Vancouver is only Canada’s third wettest city after St. John’s and nearby Abbotsford, the Coast Mountain range which us Greater Vancouverites inhabit, has microclimates everywhere we go. Just thirty minutes away in North Vancouver, the rainfall averages 2522 mm each year; almost double that of Vancouver International Airport so we always need to be prepared for rain.
For us We[s]t Coast outdoorsfolk, finding gear that can keep us warm and dry year-round, even in the wettest weather is a top priority. I took out the Mountain Hardwear Lamina -9C sleeping bag to put it to the test in our two main environments that face the most exposure: by the ocean and up in the snowy mountains. Specially designed for such conditions with its shell fabric coated with DWR and Thermal.Q™ insulation, the bag handled both famously.
From the Mountains to the Sea, in my Lamina is Where I Want to Be
Spring adventures are what put Vancouver on the map. We’re currently in that sweet window when you can experience dramatically different environments in the same day. The days are long and temperatures warm at sea level during the day, yet it’s still properly winter up on the local mountaintops. Most adventurers like myself want a bag that can do it all so I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to put the Lamina -9C to the test: could it hold up equally as well in the cold, snowy mountains as during a coastal ocean beach camping session? The answer: it sure can!
Details I love:
- Thermal.Q™ synthetic insulation
- Lightweight 30D nylon ripstop shell fabric with DWR finish
- Proprietary welded Lamina™ construction enhances loft and eliminates cold spots
- Standard mummy cut with tailored hood, ergonomic draft collar, and contoured footbox
- Shaped draft collar blocks the escape of warm air
- Contoured footbox follows natural foot position for maximum warmth and comfort
- Lightweight, anti-snag, two-way #5 side zipper with glow-in-the-dark, reflective zipper pull
- Left hand and right-hand zippers available for zip-together functionality
- Nylon compression sack and large mesh storage bag included
- Durable water-repellent finish
- Weight: 2 lb 9 oz / 1151g
- Bag Loft: 5.5″ /15 cm
- Bag Stuffed Size: 8 in / 20 cm x 16.5 in / 42 cm
Adventure 1: Porteau Cove Provincial Park
To celebrate vernal equinox, my boyfriend and I headed off for a cheeky weeknight out camping by the ocean. Located just below the highway between Squamish and Lions Bay, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a beautiful spot with waterfront campsites providing a great launch point to SUP or kayak along beautiful Howe Sound.
While down-filled bags are often prized for being lightweight and space-saving, they are not ideal for wet climates like BC’s west coast. A bag’s warmth is largely determined by its loft (fluffiness), and when down gets wet, it loses its loft. This is why I prefer synthetic-filled bags like the Lamina, which retain their loft better if and when they get wet. I don’t know about you, but I sure have woken up many a night to discover an unexpected storm roll in after falling asleep sans rain cover to stare at the stars through the mesh, or to find a nasty tent leak even with it on. Things happen, so it’s important to have gear you can rely on.
While the afternoon temperature reached a blissful 15C, in the evening it was about 8C and overnight reached a low of 3C. I was cozy as can be in the tent through the night, as well as enjoying the sunset from the beach thanks to the durable and water-resistant shell material so I didn’t have to worry about fabric tears.
Adventure 2: Mount Seymour Provincial Park
Vancouver is home to a temperate climate year-round so for most adventures by the average camper, a three season sleeping bag like the Mountain Hardwear Lamina – 9C is typically all we need. In the spring especially, the local mountaintops don’t often drop much below zero so the Lamina -9C is plenty warm for most, if not all of the year.
We hiked up to my favourite local snowshoe trail destination: Brockton Point on Mount Seymour to make sure the bag could handle our soggy, snowy spring and it sure could! Thanks to the water-repellent finish, we could confidently unpack it out in the snow as we set up the tent, as well as use it as a warming blanket in the chilly evening as we enjoyed dinner watching the sun set.
Heading back after dark, the tent had crystallized ice covering it so I knew we’d be in for a chilly, sub zero night. As I do with all cold-weather camping (because I am especially terrible at generating my own heat!) I boiled up some water to fill a Nalgene bottle to use as a hot water bottle. I tucked into my Lamina, hugging my bottle and knew that the welded construction, mummy shape and great features of the sleeping bag like the draft collar, would keep the heat inside and give me a cozy night’s sleep, which it sure did!
Verdict? A+ from me!
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY:
Kristine Krynitzki – Kristine would spend every waking moment on the trails, on her SUP or on her bike if she could. Ever since her first real hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in 2006, Kristine has been obsessed with hiking most of all. As an environment conservationist by profession, she is always looking for new ways of helping others develop a connection with the wondrous natural world that surrounds us. She manages a wildlife education non-profit by day, and in her free time she shares her love of the great outdoors through her passion project called Hikes Near Vancouver. Leading a local community hiking group as part of this platform keeps her connected and motivated to always be learning about the latest issues surrounding outdoor recreation. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram here: @hikesnearvancouver
Photos by:Kristine Krynitzki and Richard Carroll