Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 15

4 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   3
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

Regular Long
Weight 2 lb 11 oz / 1200 g 2 lb 14 oz / 1300 g
Fill Weight 1 lb 10 oz / 740 g 1 lb 12 oz / 790 g
Temperature Rating 15° F / - 9° C 15° F / - 9° C
EN Comfort 23° F / - 5° C 23° F / - 5° C
EN Lower Limit 11° F / - 12° C 11° F / - 12° C
EN Extreme - 24° F / - 31° C - 24° F / - 31° C
Fill 600 Fill-Power Down 600 Fill-Power Down
Shape Mummy Mummy
Max User Height 6 ft / 180 cm 6 ft 6 in / 200 cm
Shoulder Girth 62 in / 157 cm 64 in / 163 cm
Hip Girth 58 in / 147 cm 60 in / 152 cm
Foot Girth 40 in / 100 cm 42 in / 110 cm
Price $209.95 USD $229.95 USD

Reviews

3

Excellent value for a quality entry-level, down sleeping…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130 (on sale)

Summary

Excellent value for a quality entry-level, down sleeping bag. This bag has come with me on all of my alpine backpacking trips for the past few years and is no worse for wear. Though this model is now out of production, I'd recommend Sierra Designs newer mummy-style bags (Zissou line), which look be a similarly great value.

Pros

  • Affordable for down insulation
  • Accurate temperature rating
  • Lightweight but durable fabric
  • Anti-snag zipper guard

Cons

  • Lower quality down means poor packability, higher weight
  • Vulnerable to moisture
  • No elastic in hood drawstring

When I started to head out on backpacking trips for the first time a few years ago, I lusted for those top-of-the-line down bags made by companies like Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering among others, the ones that weighed less than your water bottle and packed down smaller too. That dream disappeared pretty quickly after looking at the price tags on bags like those!

Instead, I found this SD Ridge Runner sleeping bag on sale, which has been one of the best additions I've made to my camping gear. Since most of the technical details for this bag are listed at the top of the page, I'll skip that part and get straight to it.

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Fully preened and lofted for your viewing enjoyment

Features

For an inexpensive bag, the Ridge Runner is full of little details that I really appreciate:

  • Hang loops and cotton storage sack
  • Nylon stuff sack
  • Two-way zippers for ventilation
  • Full length draft tube that extends up the zipper and around the chest
  • Drawstring hood that fits well and leaves mouth open for moisture control
  • Removable sleeping pad straps
  • Hook-and-loop closure at top of zipper to protect face and prevent zipper from creeping open

Warmth and Comfort

Depending on the source, I've seen the EN lower limit of this bag to be somewhere in the range of 11-18˚F. I've taken this bag down below freezing and been more than comfortable, so that rating seems accurate to me. The 5"+ of this bag really do a good job keeping me warm. In fact, I rarely have to zipper the bag fully when I'm up in the mountains for the summer season.

In terms of sizing, at 6'0" I'm right at the upper limit of the Regular size but I haven't had any problems with the bag length. Neither have I had any claustrophobic moments in this bag, short of when I nearly permanently tied the hood drawstring with my head still inside! I'm an incredibly mobile sleeper at night and I have always felt like this bag gives me the room to wiggle as I please.

But speaking of the hood, my one comfort complaint is the static cord used in the drawstring. I would have preferred some sort of elastic shock cord instead, which would have helped the hood move with me in the night.

One last note here, the bag comes with sleeping pad straps which are removable. I took them off the first night I used the bag and haven't touched them since. I'm sure some people prefer them in their sleep system, but I've never used the straps so I can't speak to their utility.

Packability and Weight

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Shown with included stuff sack, 32 oz. bottle for scale.

Since this bag uses 600 FP down, it's not the lightest or most compressible sleeping bag on the market by a long shot. But for my budget backpacking needs, it does the trick just fine. In fact, I usually try to leave the bag uncompressed on short overnight trips to prolong the life of the down. It lives in the bottom of my pack, compressed by the weight of the gear above.


Weather Resistance

While I'm lucky enough to do most of my camping in the drier parts of the West, moisture in the form of condensation is still a regular occurrence, especially at high elevations. Since the down in this bag has no hydrophobic treatment, nor does the bag have any sort of water-resistant fabrics at the head and foot, it is very susceptible to all forms of moisture.

If I know the temperature will drop to near-freezing levels at night and condensation will be an issue, I usually wrap my rain jacket around the foot of the bag for protection. The good news is that if/when the bag does get some moisture, the inside fabric is dark which helps to dry it out in a sun bath the next morning.

Durability

The fabric on the bag still looks like new after two years. I've tried to baby it as much as I could, but the bag has still been hung to dry on pine trees, rough fence posts, etc. with no ill effects. The loss of down has been more noticeable, with feathers frequently flying out of the stuff sack during unpacking. But it doesn't seem to have affected the warmth of the bag yet so that's been a nice surprise.

Conclusion

The Sierra Design Ridge Runner 15 is a great budget backpacking sleeping bag and it's a shame that it was discontinued. It certainly isn't up to the modern standards of the lightweight and ultralight weight backpacking community. But being fully-featured at an entry-level price, the Ridge Runner (and the next-gen Zissou line) is certainly worth a closer look.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, Paul! Thanks for sharing it on Trailspace.


2 months ago
G00SE MODERATOR

Nice review! I've been telling myself for the longest time to go back and edit my own weak review on this product. Now, you've gone and said it all. :)


2 months ago
1

Great bag for the price. I just spent a week backpacking…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130

Summary

Great bag for the price.

Pros

  • Warm
  • Quality construction

Cons

  • A bit on the heavy side
  • Zipper does not fully open around foot box

I just spent a week backpacking in Shawnee National Forest. Night time temps dipped into the low 20's. (Including backyard tests, I've spent 8-10 nights in below freezing temps in it.) This bag kept me warm and comfortable every time.

There are lighter bags on the market, but you're paying hundreds of dollars more for those. I am very pleased with this bag!

0

Excelent bag for the price. The bag does not compreses…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $152

Summary

Excelent bag for the price.

The bag does not compreses a lot (since is 600 Fill Down and not more) but, as it is down, it's small enough and very light too. The temperature range allows to use it on different kinds of trips/climates.

I like the protector on zipper to avoid jamming fabric. Highly recommend!

0

Bag does NOT have a pillow pocket, as in some descriptions,…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $160 at sunnysports.com

Bag does NOT have a pillow pocket, as in some descriptions, but it is well made, the zipper works well and was on sale. I looked at the Pyro but the RR has a good bit more down for a few dollars more and is EN rated accordingly.

I bought the long as I am 6' 3" and 240 lbs. The length is good and shoulder room adequate but not really roomy.

I tried it in mid 30 degree temps last evening in my shorts and was warm enough to have to crack the zipper about 4 am when I woke up feeling a bit sweaty. With some socks and thermals I'm guessing 20 degees would be no problem. If you are any bigger than me or like to toss and turn you might want to look for a little bigger bag.

I plan to use it for overnight dirt bike trips in the desert where it rarely gets below 25. Will leave room in my overnight pack where my old synthetic bag did not. Looked at the Kelty Cosmic and Light Year but this bag was rated to a lower temp and packs smaller, which was a prime consideration on this purchase. Material could be a little delicate but only time will tell.

Too bad it doesn't have the pillow pocket and a stash pocket, but as I mentioned, it was on sale. Whoo Hoo!

Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 15

MSRP:
$209.95

The Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 15 is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen June 24, 2014 at Rocky Mountain Trail.

If you're looking for a new 3-season down sleeping bag, check out the best reviewed current models.