When we got our Class B motorhome in 2009 we already were experienced bicycle tent campers and had a variety of sleeping bags. We had several weights of mostly backpacking type down mummy bags. But RV camping was not roughing it, and we were ready for something more home-like. We played with the idea of sheets and blankets, but putting sheets on a bed touching 3 walls is extremely challenging. And dealing with making a bed every night did not appeal.
We learned from the Yahoo Roadtrek email list that many people were happily using Travasaks. These were like an extra wide sleeping bag with removable cotton sheets. They had a summer side and a winter side. We bought a pair of twins, since we often set up our bed as twins instead of the “king”. A queen size Travasak was also available. Travasak has since gone out of business, but a new company came along making something similar called SuperBag. The SuperBags might be warmer – they do seem bulkier than the Travasaks. Travasaks and SuperBags are not cheap. We found their “big advantage” of the removable sheets was not such a great advantage. It seems like the bags needed to be washed washed as often as the sheets, and putting the sheets back in was a tedious task.
(Editor’s Note: Mike and Jennifer Wendland use the Superbags and swear by them. Here’s a video Jennifer did on how they work. )
The Travasaks roll up neatly and we usually store them upright in the aisle at the back door (our aisle goes all the way to the door, unlike most newer Roadtreks). This also keeps the dinette seat cushions from sliding into the aisle while driving. This location works great until we seat four people at the dinette – the Travasaks take up foot room. So when we have guests we tuck them under the overhanging clothes cupboard on the passenger side and the overhanging pantry on the driver’s side. They are out of the way there. We also found that if the weather is very cold, the winter side of the Travasak was not really warm enough. They are a great 3 season solution. So in the winter we would break out our down mummy bags. They are cozy warm if rather restricting. And they certainly pack smaller– two take up less space than one Travasak.
The two sided feature of the Travasak was ideal for most travel since temperatures can vary from place to place and day to day. Recently we stumbled across the Ticla brand of sleeping bags. They’re made for car camping and are semi-rectangular sleeping bags with two temperature ratings. The Ticla Besito is a 30/45 degree bag and the Rambler is a 15/25 degree bag. We have no idea who calculates sleeping bag ratings but long ago we learned a 30 degree bag was not warm enough at 30 degrees! We decided that the Rambler might make a great winter Class B bag. We bought two in the L size (the XL is for over 6 feet) on closeout from REI.
They pack quite small for a winter synthetic sleeping bag. The inside is polyester and is much more comfortable against the skin than our nylon down bags. Although not as roomy as the Travasaks, they are reasonably spacious and have a two way zipper with a guard to prevent the zipper getting caught. The smaller foot area definitely helps to keep your feet warmer. The symbol for the warmer or cooler side is at the foot on the outside. They do completely unzip so you can use it as a comforter. You can zip two together to to form a double bag – However – you end up with one cool side up and one warm side up. If you sleep hot and your partner cold it could be perfect – otherwise not so great.
The winter is still young, but we think this will be a great solution for our winter bedding. And if you don’t already have a Travasak or SuperBag you might want to take a look at the Ticla Besito as a cheaper 3 season (non-winter) alternative. Our strategy is to keep looking for improvements in traveling comfort.