User Review: Sierra Designs Nitro 15
Temperature Rating: 15 deg F
Weight: ~2lb 1oz
Price Paid: $270
SD seems to finally have something here. At least for the ultra-light crowd. After rejecting the Marmot Helium 15 and the SD Arrow Rock 15 I chose the Nitro 15 for the design, quality, performance and value. SD's snag free zipper design, IMO, is the best around.
Perhaps not as "snag free" as Marmot but there are no flappy stiffeners or potential cold spots if you toss around in this bag. The shell/lining material is polyester, great feel, excellent breathability.
Probably has a DWR finish but not enough to hamper transpiration. I have an SD Trade Wind 15 800 w/ the Dri-Zone shell. IMO, Dri-Zone does not breathe well, traps body moisture; I've never been able to use the Trade Wind much below 30 deg.
Anyway, I tried the Nitro last month in the Gila, night temp around 25-30 deg w/ a snow squall coming in early AM w/ 20-30mph winds. I slept in Capilene 2 under a tarp with the wind blowing thru. I felt absolutely snug and warm. The loft and weight are the perfect combination.
The half zipper is not much a problem at all. In fact, even with my full length zipper bags it is seldom that they are unzipped all the way. It is no trouble at all to climb out of this bag considering the increased thermal efficiency that you get in return. The bag takes up almost no room in my Osprey.
This bag may not be for some and I consider it kind of a minimalist's bag only in the sense of weight and cut. It doesn't compromise quality or performance and it has a nice luxurious feel. I didn't think I'd like the jacket hood but when that squall came blowing thru it was perfect.
The only drawback to this bag is the silver color lining -it's going to show oily dirt from your face and hair rather easily. I'm guessing the silver lining might have some heat reflective properties since I'm seeing it on other makes. The Nitro is a bargain especially since it gives certain Western Mountaineering models a good run for the money. I just don't want to pay $400 for a sack of goose feathers.
To conclude, I had several SD products in the early days that were of excellent quality at a fair price point. It has been somewhat hit or miss for the past several years but hopefully the Nitro might be an indication they're on the comeback trail possibly giving Marmot a good run for the money and edging out TNF.
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