User Review: Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15°
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $159
If you are like me, a bigger guy, who likes to sleep on his side, yet stay warm and be comfy all night, then you will love the Big Agnes Lost Ranger 15. I have gone through a few sleeping bags in my life. Before backpacking I was drawn to square bags because I had a lot more room to move around, I wasn't worried about bulk since I wasn't lugging it along the trail and warmth never seemed to be an issue. But things changed once I discovered backpacking.
- Very light for its size.
- There are lighter bags this size
- Occasional zipper snag
When I started backpacking I read that I needed a mummy sleeping bag, a pack, a pad, and a tent. Those were the main 4 things I needed for a night in the back country. From there I didn't do much research and bought things mainly based on what I could afford.
I ended up with some off brand sleeping bag from eBay, which did the job, but could have been better. The best thing it did for me however was open my eyes about sleeping bags and what I really needed and wanted. In the end I wish I did more research so I didn't buy that first bag. But hey, at least I have extras for my friends who want to come along.
One of the first things I was looking for in a new bag was more space. While many have more width around the shoulders not many are as wide as the Big Agnes modified mummy shape. In short it is a more squared off mummy bag which gives you more room in the foot box and shoulder area. This was great as I could now roll around a lot more in my sleeping bag and was a lot more comfortable at night. I am 5'11" and went for the regular sized bag and it was the perfect size. If you are in the 6' range, go for the long.
Another factor in choosing this sleeping bag was weight. While it isn't the lightest sleeping bag at 2lbs 14oz, it wasn't too bad considering the extra room. Big Agnes does that by adding a sleeve pad on the bottom side of the bag in place of the filling. When in your bag laying on your pad, you are squishing all the filling so it doesn't loft up and keep you warm anyway. Instead you rely on your insulated mattress pad to keep your backside warm. A nice little bonus is you don't slip off your pad at night. This bag is also 650 fill goose down, which is lighter than synthetic fill.
Keeping me warm at night was also of utmost importance. The bag itself is rated to 15 degrees. But as many people will tell you add about 10 degrees to that if you are a guy and 15 to 20 if you are a woman as the lowest temperature you would expect to be warm at in this bag. So in this case I figured the bag would keep me warm down to 25 degrees. Again, this is with an insulated mattress pad.
I have taken this down to the mid 20's and have been plenty warm in it. I don't think I would test it in much colder weather though. Another thing to think about, this bag is bigger inside which means there is more space to for your body to keep warm and an greater chance for cold spots. For me this hasn't been an issue, however after doing some research, it has been an issue for some.
There are other features on the bag I like too. The zipper is a nice burly zipper YKK #8 zipper which doesn't get caught often. I have had issues with the zipper catching, but not as many as other sleeping bags I have had. There is a draft collar to keep cold air from blowing down your bag from the hood. It has a pillow pocket in the hood so it won't slip out of your bag. A draft tube along the zipper keeps cold air from coming in between the teeth of the zipper. It also comes with both a stuff sack and a big cotton storage sack for when it isn't in use.
If you are wondering, this bag does have its weak points. The cons about this bag are, for the price you can find a lighter bag, but not with as much room. The zipper still snags even though it is a nice YKK zipper. The stuff sack is a basic sack with a toggle and draw cord. So if you are looking to really cinch down your bag, you will have to buy a different stuff sack. ou can only use square sleeping pad for the sleeve in the bag, so you can't cut more weight using a mummy shape pad.
With all that said, I still think this is a great bag for the money and if I was in the market for another bag, this would be at the top of my list. Big Agnes did come out with another bag that piques my interest though, the Mystic SL. The SL is for super light and they achieve this by using 850 power fill goose down which drops the weight of the bag 10oz to a scant 2lbs 4 oz, while retaining the same shape and extra space I have grown to love from the Lost Ranger. But costing $160 more, I think I am okay with the extra 10 oz.
Of course on the other end of the spectrum is the Encampment 15. Same dimensions as the Lost Ranger and Mystic, but with synthetic fill. This bag weighs in at 3lbs 4oz but is $80 less. Might be an option for those on a budget, or for those who have a chance of getting wet since down doesn't keep you warm when wet, but synthetic does.
Either way you go what I have stated above, along with Big Agnes quality I am sure you will enjoy any of those bags.