Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Duo SYN 1.5-Season
Someone who sleeps with a partner will find this bag has such great design features that they will know the person who designed it loved and hated doing this many times in the past. tThey distilled all these experiences in one great couples bag!
- NO ZIPPERS
- Great design and quality
- Good mix of access options
- Built-in and adjustable mattress pockets
- Ability to cool your feet
- Buttons make repair easy if needed
- Use of buttons was a surprise and awkward
- Could use a little more width in hip area
I am 5'8" and weigh 240 lbs and my partner is 5'5 "and weighs 130 lbs. Most of my weight is in the belly, cursed that I am! Considering my proportions, this bag was just a little snug at the mid-section when laying flat next to my partner...not too snug and plenty of room sleeping on our sides as normal.
Main Point: I have used zip together bags in the past by Slumberjack. These are very comfortable, but you still have legs parted due to the two bags' foot sections where there is no zipper. Also in spite of the fact there is a large flap to cover the zipper it seems it usually goes the other way thus exposing a cold zipper...and this zipper ends up right on top of you and underneath your partner dead center. Also, dealing with the zippers always wakes up your partner, results in jams, and exposes them to the cold on exit since the opening is dead center on top.
These problems do not exist in this bag. It is great because it is one bag and yet it is much lighter than two separate bags that zip. It has NO ZIPPERS! It has a nice light loft and the material is really nice on the skin. The large flap allows for great comfort control which is needed when two people sleep in the same bag...almost always they have differing metabolic profiles leaving one cold while the other is to hot.
This bag allows one to just "take the blanket off" your side if you're too hot. Also, the large flap allows entry and exit without much impact on the other person in the bag since it is a side entry and not a top entry.
There is also a foot flap that allows cooling in the foot area. This is great as we all know how much foot temperature has on total body comfort. This option give more ways to cool down. This feature though is more shared by both.
There is a sleeved section on the back that accommodates the sleeping pad or mattress. This allows adjustment between the two standard width mattresses. The adjustment is made by unbuttoning places along the side to accommodate a larger mattress. This means you could use two different size mattresses.
I found the button flaps were difficult to open on a new bag when they are so tight. No deal killer though as this was only a tight fit issue. Possibly it is intentional for longer usability of this feature as the button holes enlarge from use. Also, buttons and button holes are much easier to replace or fix than snaps, zippers and Velcro. Great low tech solution. Again no zippers.
Great design thought was also given to the comfort at the shoulders and face when finally getting to sleep. These areas have a nice snug overlap that allows you to tuck your shoulder in as if pulling a blanket over it. Just a comfy feature that makes you feel more in bed and one absent on two bag zip together solutions.
I cannot say much yet about hot and cold extremes and this bag's insulation features have not been tested yet, but I suspect when used by two people it will perform in colder weather better than specified due to sharing body heat. I doubt the insulation specs take this into account. I have no experience yet with summer heat in the bag, but know of no other that has such great options for staying in the bag and yet exposed for cooling without a bunch of zipper skills.
This bag packed nice and small and comes with a nice stuff sack.
I got this bag as part of a manufactures discount credit on a problem with my 30-year-old tent! They allowed the credit to apply to up to three products. I also got a Flash 3 tent which is reviewed elsewhere.
I would never have considered paying $250 list for this bag, but getting it for $125 seemed a deal I could not pass up. Now that I have it, the price of $250 is actually well worth it. One cannot appreciate the great design and value inherent therein without first seeing and trying. Unfortunately this is not an option in most retail outlets.
So I am writing this review to encourage others that is is a great sleeping bag for normal temperature ranges and two partners who want great comfort and freedom of movement yet the least disturbance to the other when sleeping. I see no equals.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125
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Historic Range: $174.93-$249.95
Reviewers Paid: $125.00