Big Agnes Crosho SL
Historic Range: $374.96-$539.95
Reviewers Paid: $200.00
Warm, cozy, light, compact.
- Compact for a -20° bag
- 4lb 1oz
- Could use a drawcord around the neck area
Performs very well. I'm used to using two bags in Minnesota during the cold season since it often reaches -20° F here in the winter. Packing in two bags, two pads, and other gear gets heavy and bulky. I fill up my 95L pack. If I hike in a long ways, I normally pull my bag in on a sled. At a compact 4lbs 1oz (long), I can finally pack in on my back.
The bag repels water well. (I washed it after I bought it online. I hand kneaded water into it and it took forever to get the water to permeate the bag enough to weigh it down for the washing machine to do the trick. It also took six full cycles on 30 min low heat tumble dry and two days hanging over the de-humidifier to get all the moisture out.)
The baffles and collar keep heat in well because they are extra lofty (though the collar doesn't cinch 360°)I have noticed some minimal cold around the neck in really cold conditions (<0*F).
The zipper functions well enough (maybe some very minor sticks if I zip and unzip with wanton hands).
I spent the night in 15° weather and sweat bullets by 5 a.m. I found it necessary to unzip the bag from head to hip to cool off.
When I slip a Gore-tex bivy over the top of the bag and wear a puffy, I don't get cold even in MN winters (this is a first for me).
Entry Exit: The bag is easy to get into and out of due to its silky interior and light top.
Fit: The regular length is for a 5'10". I am 5'11' so I bought a long. It's slightly too long for me since it fits up to 6'6". It leaves a small pocket of cold at my feet or too loose of a dome around my head. Not a big deal. This can work to your advantage if you'd like some extra room in the foot box to keep your gloves or other clothing warm for when you put them on in the morning.
Loft: Great! Just take it out of the compression sack and shake it around like you're shaking out a dirty door mat and it fluffs up in 10 seconds. Vertical chambers are supposed to distribute the heat better. I can't tell if this is true but it seems to work. It's super comfortable and just roomy enough to move around a bit. There's about 8.5 inches of loft.
between 8-9 inches of loft
Features: No pocket!!! I rolled around on my contact lens case all night. The baffle does not cinch behind the neck. This doesn't allow you to contain the heat and a bit can sneak out the face hole. Since the internal collar is so lofty, it stops most.
I am actually going to bring it to my old Armenian tailor friend to have a full circumference draw installed. I think then it will be the perfect bag. The baffle strings are easy to access when you are in the bag and they glide well.
Compression: It compresses quite well for a -20°F, as you can see in the picture. Most of the 0° bags I've owned compressed to a similar size. Because this model has 700 fill down, it can loft better with less mass and therefore compress more.
Crosho -20° next to a 32oz Nalgene bottle
Durability: Call back in two years.
View of the puffy neck collar and head casket
Note: if you do not have a good insulator under the bag, you will get cold. I've slept in this bag in 15°F and was cold because the pad I used did not have an R-value that corresponded with the weather conditions. Compressed down loses its insulating qualities so your underside needs additional adequate insulation. If your pad(s) is(are) sufficient for the weather, the bag will perform as advertised.
Update 3/2015: I was on a trip where I had to spend a night on a farmer's field. It was -10°F (-23°C). Wind was minimal. I was in a tent with no fly and did not bring my Gore-tex bivy. I was uncomfortably cold by morning even with several layers on. I slept on two insulated pads and a mylar reflector so it wasn't the ground pulling the heat out.
3 pads kept me warm from underneath. I was just a bit cold on top in -10°F
I will say that previous to entering the tent, I was already in the cold for about 4 hours. This does not mean the bag is not worthy of its rating. It just means that the bag performs to its comfort rating (comfort rating tends to be about 15 over the bag survival rating) as advertised but does not go well below it (in the case that you're hoping to use it in -40°, don't). I did get a bit of seepage around the draft collar until I cinched down the face hole to mouth size. Yeah, that's my frozen drool and vapor on the bag.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $200