Brooks-Range Elephant Foot Sleeping Bag
This is a different concept for most of us. The first…
Design: Elephant Foot
Fill: 800 Fill Down
Temperature Rating: ~15F
Weight: 16 oz
Price Paid: $0
This is a different concept for most of us. The first time I saw anything like this was when a friend took a kid's sleeping bag to the base of an alpine climb, combined it with his down jacket, and went to "sleep" leaning against the wall. I was impressed.
The elephant foot bag is just a more elegant version of this system. There are no zippers, or any other feature you expect in a sleeping bag. It is a big, down-filled, sock that goes up to about your chest. You pull your down jacket over it, cinch it tight, and that's it. And it works.
I tested this for the first time on a May night on Long's Peak. We bivied in the Boulder Field (about 13,000') before skiing the North Face the next day. The temperatures got down to about 20F, but there was essentially no wind. I used this system, in conjunction with its partner jacket - the Alpini Anorak - with a light bivy sack. I am nearly always cold, so I was a bit nervous. It worked out amazingly well. I shivered a little, but nothing that was horrible, and certainly not scary.
I wouldn't use this system for a week-long trip in Alaska, but that's not its intended purpose. This is the perfect tool to keep you warm enough for a short night before a climb or ski that is too far to do in a day.
Recently, I have been using it in conjunction with another lightweight, synthetic bag. It basically a layering system for sleeping. I am experimenting with this because of huge elevation differences - and one bag just isn't right. It's pretty cool. For the weight of a big, cold-temp bag I am comfortable in a variety of conditions.
The bag is well constructed. The nylon is tough and water-resistent. The down is high-quality from Canada. The bag can get a little "lumpy" so it takes a little extra care after pulling it out of its sack. It is ridiculously light.
Overall, I give it four stars because it is such a cool concept and so helpful. It certainly is not an "everyday" bag. The down is not packed in, so it can move around. But it's very light because of this. It will help you get further, faster.