L.L.Bean Down Sleeping Bag with DownTek, Rectangular 20°
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Very happy with the flexibility we have with these…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $200
Very happy with the flexibility we have with these sleeping bags. Good product!
- Lighter than synthetic rectangular bags and roomier than a mummy bag
- Well designed and stitched
- Fairly priced
- Down shifts around
There are very few conventional rectangular sleeping bags out there that are insulated with down. You'll find a few if you look where hunters shop; and you'll find a few in the Western Mountaineering catalog. Other than those I think these L.L. Bean sleeping bags are the main option for rectangular bag dimensions, and flexibility, without the bulk and weight of synthetic insulation.
My wife and I have had a pair of these bags for a few years and we use them zipped together. Zipped together, our bed is the size of a queen sized mattress, and the zippers are on the outside, so entry and exit is no different from sleeping at home. Wife acceptance factor has been very good.
There have always been a few double sleeping bags out there, (Big Agnes has some) and I'm sure they work as well or better than ours do for that purpose, but it's a lot of money to spend on an item that can only be used one way. I like the flexibility of our system...
When we got them, LLB offered a 40-degree version of the bag. So we bought one 40-degree version and one 20-degree version. We put the 40-degree bag on top in mid-summer, and the 20-degree version on top the rest of the time. For early and late season trips with the kids' Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, only one parent goes, and we can get more warmth by placing one bag inside the other. They are certainly roomy enough to accommodate this use.
You'll enjoy using this sleeping bag. It's made from high quality materials, the zipper is beefy and doesn't snag too much, and the small construction and stitching details around the zipper, draw strings, and the draft collar are on par with any good quality mummy bag, which is not a given among rectangular sleeping bags. So it's definitely an A game product.
Like mummy bags, these are light and pack small which makes backpacking use possible, and it's handy when flying to our destination as we've done from time to time.
Like most sleeping bags out there, the warmth rating has no correlation to reality. Our 20-degree bag keeps us comfortable in the 40s and our 40-degree bag is good down to about 55-60. Just the way it is. Mummy bags are warmer due to their smaller dimensions and hood, so consider that.
I see they're using silicone-treated down now, this is good, as our older bags definitely pick up moisture in humid climes.
If I could wave a magic wand, I would make these design changes:
- The down can shift and create thin spots. Ours needed more, smaller baffles; Lucky for you the current version has more baffles, so this is probably not the issue it was a few years ago.
- They put more down on top than on the bottom. While this is common practice in sleeping bag construction, it becomes a downside when you zip two sleeping bags together and one side has more insulation than the other. It would be helpful if the down baffles were continuous from top to bottom so insulation could be moved as needed.
- Finally, and this may have been resolved since we bought our sleeping bags, the down quills have very little trouble poking through the shell material. It would be nice if the shell material was a little more down-proof.
All in all, I'm pleased to have these sleeping bags and would buy them again. They're light and packable enough for backpacking use--as long as you're not an obsessive gram-counter--we have the zip together option, and we can use them in a variety of temperature ranges.