User Review: The North Face Ibex
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: a bit over $250
First bag I bought in 1970, and I'm still using it in 2013.
- Survives the years
- Meets the temperature ratings
- For its time, packs small
When I started serious backpacking in the late '60s, I had to borrow gear as college took up my "spare change". Finally, in 1969 I saved enough to buy a bag. Taking a chance, I bought the Ibex (-15 degrees rating), figuring I would use it for everything. This tack worked — I did not buy another bag (The North Face, of course) until 1981. While I now have multiple bags, I still take the Ibex out occasionally.
This bag was the top of the line for The North Face back in the late '60s. It used the then new, super-high-loft 550 down, so it compressed very small for this low temperature rating. While it doesn't have a down-filled collar, the hood is quite sufficient for all conditions I have been in.
This bag accompanied me out to the desert in summer, into the Sierra and Cascades all times of the year, and for use as a "spare bed" during visits with friends. While rated -15 degrees, I have been out several times in night time temperatures below -40 degrees, while the bag will still vent sufficiently for above +50 degree nights during the summers. Even when soaked one night during a snow storm, the bag still worked.
A bag this good is very hard to find. The Ibex proves an expensive, well constructed bag more than pays for itself in the long run (about $250 investment for over 40 years of very rough usage!).