A warm synthetic bag of decent weight and bulk that…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
A warm synthetic bag of decent weight and bulk that gets the job done without breaking the bank.
- Can zip into other bags
- A little heavy
- Bulkier than down
After having this bag for a year I have enough experience and knowledge of it to now review it properly.
The bag comes with its own compression sack, which is quite effective at packing the bag down to a small enough size to fit into a multiday pack with room still available, or for a tight squeeze into a day pack. Out of the compression sack, the bag had about 85% of the loft of my hiking partner's $700 dollar down bag. Getting in and out is easy, and the zippers work comparatively to any bag — if you put strain on the zipper it doesn't open or close easily, but if you use the zipper when the bag is properly positioned it works just fine.
The bag is rated to -20 for ambient air temperature. Being windproof, and hopefully with the hiker in another shelter, the bag is able to withstand windchills with no problem. I have tested the bag at 30 degrees laying in snow with no sleeping pad and I've been too hot.
I've also brought the bag on overnight trips. On one trip the mercury dipped to 15 degrees and I was too warm with the bag zipped up. On my most recent trip in an attempt to climb Mt Washington in winter, the air temp was 17 degrees and windchill was -45 F. From 8pm-3am I laid in the bag with the top half zipped up and half open to keep from over heating, and only just zipped it up about 75% of the way between 3am and 6am before getting up.
I move constantly during my sleep. I have found that this bag has enough room to put water bottles, boot liners, and damp clothing down by your feet and still be quite roomy. I am 74 inches tall. I have comfortably slept on my back, on my side, and on my stomach in this bag, and move through all of these positions throughout the night.
The material of the bag is also waterproof, which is nice when the tent fills with condensation and frost overnight. You wake up with a dry interior despite some nasty conditions out of the bag. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to get out of the bag to get started for the day, because you don't want to leave your warm cocoon!
Obviously this bag weighs more than down, and doesn't compress as greatly as down does. But down bags don't insulate when wet, this synthetic bag does if for some reason it got soaked. Also, down bags easily cost 3-4X the amount as I payed for this bag.