The North Face Elkhorn
Fill: "Heatshield Optimal Technology"
Temperature Rating: O Fahrenheit
Weight: 5 lbs, roughly
Price Paid: $50
I just gave this bag its first real test in subfreezing temperatures in the Great Basin. The Elkhorn kept me plenty warm, though without a sleeping pad (oops) I found it difficult to keep the ground side of things from getting a little numb. Woke up with the bag covered in ice but didn't once feel any concern over my comfort, let alone safety. The temperature was moderate at about 18-degrees Fahrenheit/-8 Celsius.
Interestingly, my friend was carrying a 'Cat's Meow' (20 F rating) from the same company and nearly froze to death while wearing full thermal gear(seriously)! A last note: the head cover felt difficult to adjust and it is a real pain to fiddle around in windy, sub-freezing air for more than a few moments.
I too picked up this bag on sale at a Big Outdoor Store. Due to its poor compression and weight, this is not a great bag for long hikes, but it is warm and cheap. For the price, this is an outstanding bag that I will continue to keep in the truck for spontaneity's sake-that is, so that I know I have the gear to keep me warm and safe whenever I decide to spend the night out.
However, as a rule, I assume that temp-ratings for bags err on the optimistic side, and based on my experience I would not rely on this bag alone in 0 F/-18 C temperatures. Finally, for long treks I would continue to use something less bulky.
Price Paid: $109
Bought this bag from Cabela's. Used this bag in warm weather (50 degs) to cold snowshoeing camping 3 days 2 nights (15 degs). Great bag.
I have a close foam sleeping pad under it. I have fleece PJ's and stayed warm with no problems. As far as being a bit heavy, it's fine. For the money is a great bag.
3.5 stars because the zipper does stick a bit.
Price Paid: $120
Bought the Elkhorn several years ago for early spring, late fall multi-day canoe trips in Ontario. Salesperson talked me out of the Marmot Sawtooth for this bag.
The plus: a very reliable, warm bag in sub 0 degree Celsius weather. I use a hammock and pad.
The minus: As noted, a compression sack is a must buy. As well, as noted, the zipper can be troublesomely sticky and I've had a few nights fumbling in the dark trying to get back in the bag after taking a pee.
Price Paid: $50
Great bag for the money. My wife and I picked two up at Joe's for $50 during a sale they had they last summer. The few times we went hiking/camping they worked perfect.
The temperatures were in the 30-40 range at night and we were nice and cozy without being extremely hot. Although, I do not recommend this bag if you go hiking with a Boston terrier.
My Boston went on a pretty tough seven mile (14 round trip)hike with us and decided that she wanted to sleep in the sleeping bag near my feet. This bag obviously doesn't have much room down there, so it was a wee bit uncomfortable.
All in all, awesome product for the price and you get a solid brand name instead of the crappy Wal-mart Coleman bags.
Price Paid: $90
North Face Elkhorn 0 degree:
I bought two of them from Campmor "on sale". My son and I have used them extensively in varied weather conditions over the last three years.
It is an inexpensive bag that appears to be well made. I have had the bag to the very low teen's with thermal underwear/pad and was fine. (May recommend a liner if you go below low teens.) Additionally easy to care for.
I do a lot of long distance hiking and would like it to lose +/-2 lb.s.
In short for the money you can't beat it!
Temperature Rating: 0 farenheight -18 celsius
Price Paid: $100
Bought my Elkhorn in Jan 2008 and used it in a camping trip at Lac La Biche Alberta Canada. Temps dipped into the -25 Celsius -13 Fahrenheit and I was toasty warm. I did use a fleece bag liner made by Mountain Equipment Co-op which I purchased for $40 cdn. I would recommend using a liner as the inside of the bag is a poly type material and would be pretty cold to first crawl into.
Other than that this is a great winter bag for casual use especially for the price. It compacts well and is lightweight.
Fill: Hollow core synthetic
Temperature Rating: 0 degrees Farenheight
Weight: 4lbs 10oz
Price Paid: $100
I live in the Adirondacks and have always loved backpacking and camping. This past fall I wasn't ready to hang my gear up for the winter so I decided it was as good a time as any to get into winter camping.
Needless to say I started looking into a winter bag and the prices amazed me. Since I wasn't sure how I'd enjoy winter camping I opted to go with an entry level, inexpensive bag, and this was the one I chose.
The first trip out temps were in the low 20's high teens. I slept in nothing but a pair of boxers and was still nice and toasty inside. Next trip out my partner and I failed to find the lean to, seeing we'd never been there before, it was 7pm when we hit the trail and it was snowing rather hard. I threw an emergency blanket down and by bag right on top of it, I woke up to freezing rain on my face, the outside of the bag was rather wet, yet inside I was warm and dry.
Needless to say this bag has already seen over a dozen nights ranging from mild winter nights in the high 30's, to snow,to temps well below 0. It has always performed amazingly. I can't understand why anyone would pay three times as much for another bag. This bag is truly perfect for the weekend warrior on a budget.
Price Paid: $120
I was given this sleeping bag as a gift for Christmas of 2008. I liked it from the start. It is very warm and comfortable, although if you use it it warmer weather you will feel like you are in an oven. I do recommend taking a sleeping pad with you because you back will get really cold. Nice bag, great price :)
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