Specs

Weight 2 lb 8 oz / 1.13 kg
Temp Rating 31°F (EN Comfort)/ 20°F (Limit)
Fill 800 fill DriDown

Reviews

Sierra Designs thought outside the traditional box…

Disclosure: The author of this review received a sample of the product from the brand or its representative in exchange for a review.

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)

Summary

Sierra Designs thought outside the traditional box in designing the Backcountry Bed sleeping system. Starting with a basic mummy bag, they removed the zipper and provided a curved opening in the top of the bed. They then attached an integrated oversized comforter that allows the sleeper easy access in and out of the bed. What you end up with is a hybrid mummy bag/quilt, providing the best of both worlds.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Hybrid construction
  • DriDown
  • No zippers

Cons

  • None

The comforter, with insulated arm and hand pockets, can be left open or tucked into the bag. Along with the self-sealing foot-vent, this allows for easy climate control. The Backcountry Bed has an integrated sleeve that secures an inflatable sleeping pad to provide a bed-like experience.

The bed is filled with DriDown, a goose down treated with a polymer that creates a water repelling finish on each down flume. DriDown has been proven to stay dry longer, dry faster, and keep its loft better, which translates into keeping the user warmer under a variety of conditions.

By removing the zipper and the insulation above the pad sleeve Sierra Design has significantly lowered the pack weight of the Backcountry Bed compared to an equivalent mummy bag. The Backcountry Beds are available in a variety of sizes and temperature ratings for men and women. Included with the bed are a lightweight stuff sack and a large ventilated storage bag.

An 800-fill, 3-Season, the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed was used during a season-long field test. Rated at 20 degrees it performed very well while backpacking in June in Yosemite National Park, canoeing in July along the Yukon River, and backpacking again in August in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The packed weight of 2 pounds, 8 ounces was a plus on the two backpacking trips.

Setup of the bed consists of inflating a sleeping pad and inserting the pad into the bed sleeve. Two openings in the top corners of the sleeve provide access for pulling the pad into its proper location. This is most easily accomplished with the sleeping pad partially inflated; finishing the inflation after the sleeve is in place.

Climbing into the Backcountry Bed for the first time I loved not having to contend with zippers that invariably get stuck during use. With the bed attached to the sleeping pad, slipping off the pad during the night was a nonissue.

The June trip to Yosemite coincided with a heat wave. By folding the comforter portion back and utilizing the foot vent for temperature control I was able to achieve a comfortable night’s sleep during the abnormally warm weather.

The July Yukon canoe trip was a wet one. With almost constant rain and colder temperatures, this trip put the DriDown to the test. With so much moisture, it was inevitable that portions of the bag would get damp where the bag came into contact with portions of my tent. Regardless, the Backcountry Bed retained its warmth on nights that fell into the low 30-degree range. The occasional sun break was all that was needed to dry out the damp portions of the bed.


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The final trip in August to the Sierras coincided with a cold night that featured winds of 70 miles an hour. Luckily lodging was secured in a Sierra Club hut for the night. While the unheated hut was cold, by slipping into the hand sleeves and tucking in the comforter I was snug as a bug.

  • Weight- 2lbs, 8oz
  • Size- Regular, Long
  • Color- Green/Gray
  • Price- Regular $489.95
  • Price- Long $519.95

Disclosure: I received a sample of this product for purposes of this review, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Plays well within its limits. Update 1/2018: I have…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $315

Summary

Plays well within its limits.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Dries very quickly
  • True to temperature rating
  • Roomy
  • Innovative

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No cinch for the opening
  • Foot vent can't be sealed shut

Update 1/2018: I have used this bag over and over again this year. It is definitely my go-to bag if lows are above 20°. I knocked it half a star because of the cons.

Purchased a Willow Bough (green) Long on Amazon on July 13, 2016. Just finished a 4-day backpacking trip January, 2017 and an overnighter February, 2017 on the Ouachita Trail in Arkansas. On the 4-day trip. We basically spent two of the four days below freezing. On the overnighter the high was 45 degrees Fahrenheit and the low was 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bag is very well thought out in general. The back of the bag to about the knee area has no insulation whatsoever. There is a "slot" there to place your sleeping pad. There is a "foot box" that is completely circumferentially insulated with down that has a slot to stick your fee out.
SD-Backcountry-bed-800-3_070a5fa86196d8c

I'm 6'3" tall and the bag should definitely fit someone up to 6'6" or so. Lots of elbow room. Getting in and out is fairly easy. Unlike other bags though there is no zipper whatsoever. So you have to "scrunch up" to get in and out of the bag.

The bag is extremely compressible. It leaves a lot of room in the bag portion of my Gregory Baltoro 75, so I've taken out the divider. The basic setup with the bag goes like this. 1. Roll it out and slide in the sleeping pad through the "slot" in the back
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Pull it all the way until you can see it on the corner cut outs. 
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Then flip it over. It's ready to use. 

For a pad I would definitely use closed call type material in the sleeve. Used the Klymit Static V2 the first night on the 4-day trip where it was below 0 Fahrenheit. There were some drafts along my uninsulated back area depending on how my body was contorted. The second night when it was a low of 17 degrees used a closed cell pad and felt no drafts whatsoever. Every once in awhile you can contort/twist your feet to where the foot slot will allow drafts as well. Hence my knock for the foot vent not being sealable. 

The bag is good to its 20 degree Fahrenheit rating. I sleep with my merino wool top and bottoms just in case in the middle of the night Mother Nature calls. Dressed like that the bag is too hot if you do a "neck seal" with the temp in the 30's. When it's below freezing condensate/frost on the bag was worrisome but the down really does dry out very quickly and returns to the original loft.

Having previously used synthetic bags for winter time in the south because it's more rainy season than snow season down here, this down bag has changed my mind in the down versus synthetic conundrum. The bag has really shined in being so warm, light, comfortable and drying out very quickly. The construction of the bag seems to be very high quality. No issues whatsoever in that regard.

Besides a sealable foot slot another nice thing would be to have some snaps (like some Feathered Friends bags with a cinch in the hood so you could go "mummy", "pie hole" and sleep on your back in really cold weather.

Don't get me wrong this is a wonderful bag. It's good in warm weather and down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It's light. The DriDown does dry out quickly. Love it. Well worth the money spent. 

G00SE

James, thanks for the great review.


2 years ago
Steve Mullen INCENTIVIZED REVIEWER

Can you talk a bit about why you think it is too narrow when you are on your stomach, I see you are a big guy but what is the difference between being on your back versus your stomach?


2 years ago
James Wise

Steve when lying on my back having my hands down by my side is comfortable. However lying on my stomach I like having my elbows at shoulder level to help prop my head up and provide some constraint to the pillow. The bag isn't big enough to keep the elbows in. No biggie in warm weather. But hard to keep warm that way in cold weather. I've only used the bag in cold weather.


2 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, James! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. Have fun on any upcoming trips.


2 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the update on your bag, James!


2 years ago

I'm a bigger guy, and never slept well in a sleeping…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $270 on Amazon

Summary

I'm a bigger guy, and never slept well in a sleeping bag...until I got the Backcountry Bed.

Pros

  • Comfort
  • Ease of use
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Cost

I have two sons in the Boy Scouts and have spent my share of evenings in a tent/hammock. I'm a bigger guy, approx 5'10" and 240 lbs. I find most mummy bags constricting and have struggled to get a good night's sleep. That is, until I recently tried the Backcountry Bed by Sierra Designs.

We were heading out on a 4-day, 42-mile hike and I was determined to find a quality bag that's comfortable...and boom, I learned about this amazing product. It's a little more than I would usually spend, but after deciding to take the plunge, I could not be happier. It's comfortable and warm, but I'm also able to move around...and it (remarkably) never gets off the sleeping pad (that sleeve on the back is ingenious).

I could not recommend the Backcountry Bed more.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, jims349! Thanks for the review of your SD Backcountry Bed. I hope you'll keep us posted on how it continues to work out for you.


2 years ago

rated 5.00 of 5 stars All Backcountry Bed 800 3-Season versions

In addition to the 3 men's reviews above, there are 2 reviews for other versions of the Backcountry Bed 800 3-Season. Read all reviews »

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.
MSRP:
$399.95

The Sierra Designs Men's Backcountry Bed 800 3-Season is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen February 17, 2018 at Moosejaw.

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