User Review: Big Agnes Encampment 15°
Temperature Rating: 15 Farenheit
Price Paid: $160
This is the first - and last - Big Agnes bag I will purchase. Why? Because the temperature rating is highly exaggerated.
Like other companies, Big Agnes has thus chosen to play fast and loose with the health (and potentially, the lives) of its customers in order to increase sales. I say shame on them, and on every other company, for doing so; and the sooner customers demand that they switch to the new standardized EN ratings, the better.
So, more details about my experience. This bag is rated for 15 degrees Farenheit. I camped last night. The officially recorded low for the night was 42 degrees. I had eaten a full dinner (lamb chops, carrots, bread and cheese, and s'mores) about an hour before turning in. I was in a tent. Underneath me, on the tent floor, I had sheepskin, an old synthetic sleeping bag, and a slim inflatable mattress. And inside the Encampment bag, I had the thermal inflatable mattress made by Big Agnes, just as they recommend, and I was wearing an Icebreakers wool shirt. That is, I cannot imagine any more charitable real-world test of this bag's temperature rating.
And I woke up several times, too cold to sleep. Luckily, I had an old Wal-Mart bag with me, and threw that on top of myself. If it weren't for that, I would have had a very bad night. Fortunately, I wasn't using out on a far colder night with one of their other bags, relying on it to avoid hypothermia!
One other thing is that while it was nice to have the inflatable mattress inside the bag sleeve, I wasn't used to how much that restricted my movement inside the bag. So even if the temp rating was accurate, that restriction would take some getting used to.
I'll be returning this bag and getting a Primaloft bag from Integral Designs, which I understand is very conscientious with their temp ratings.