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Sierra Designs Nitro 15

rated 5.0 of 5 stars
photo: Sierra Designs Nitro 15 3-season down sleeping bag

SD seems to finally have something here. At least for the ultra-light crowd. After rejecting the Marmot Helium 15 and the SD Arrow Rock 15 I chose the Nitro 15 for the design, quality, performance and value. SD's snag free zipper design, IMO, is the best around.

Perhaps not as "snag free" as Marmot but there are no flappy stiffeners or potential cold spots if you toss around in this bag. The shell/lining material is polyester, great feel, excellent breathability.

Probably has a DWR finish but not enough to hamper transpiration. I have an SD Trade Wind 15 800 w/ the Dri-Zone shell. IMO, Dri-Zone does not breathe well, traps body moisture; I've never been able to use the Trade Wind much below 30 deg.

Anyway, I tried the Nitro last month in the Gila, night temp around 25-30 deg w/ a snow squall coming in early AM w/ 20-30mph winds. I slept in Capilene 2 under a tarp with the wind blowing thru. I felt absolutely snug and warm. The loft and weight are the perfect combination.

The half zipper is not much a problem at all. In fact, even with my full length zipper bags it is seldom that they are unzipped all the way. It is no trouble at all to climb out of this bag considering the increased thermal efficiency that you get in return. The bag takes up almost no room in my Osprey.

This bag may not be for some and I consider it kind of a minimalist's bag only in the sense of weight and cut. It doesn't compromise quality or performance and it has a nice luxurious feel. I didn't think I'd like the jacket hood but when that squall came blowing thru it was perfect.

The only drawback to this bag is the silver color lining -it's going to show oily dirt from your face and hair rather easily. I'm guessing the silver lining might have some heat reflective properties since I'm seeing it on other makes. The Nitro is a bargain especially since it gives certain Western Mountaineering models a good run for the money. I just don't want to pay $400 for a sack of goose feathers.

To conclude, I had several SD products in the early days that were of excellent quality at a fair price point. It has been somewhat hit or miss for the past several years but hopefully the Nitro might be an indication they're on the comeback trail possibly giving Marmot a good run for the money and edging out TNF.

Design: mummy
Fill: 700
Temperature Rating: 15 deg F
Weight: ~2lb 1oz
Price Paid: $270

This bag rocks. It is very light and very warm. It packs very small. I was kind of worried about the narrow focus of the bag on lightness. I wondered if there would be durability or waterproofing issues. I have not had a problem with either. This thing is impervious to the morning dew and so far looks like it will hold up well to life on the trail. I have high expectations for a purchase of this expense, and I really feel like I am getting my money's worth.

Design: mummy
Fill: 800 fill down
Temperature Rating: 15 F
Weight: 2.1 lbs.

This thing was quite an upgrade over my REI Polar Pod +20. After spending many nights not-quite-warm-enough in my Polar Pod, I decided to spend a bit more and get something better. I am really impressed by the light weight, small packed size, and fill of the bag. I've been warm every night I've slept in it.

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Regular Long
Price MSRP: $379.95
Historic Range: $229.93-$419.95
Reviewers Paid: $270.00
Weight 2 lb 2 oz / 960 g 2 lb 5 oz / 1000 g
Fill Weight 1 lb 4 oz / 570 g 1 lb 6 oz / 620 g
Temperature Rating 15° F / - 9° C 15° F / - 9° C
EN Comfort 28° F / - 2° C 28° F / - 2° C
EN Lower Limit 16° F / - 9° C 16° F / - 9° C
EN Extreme - 17° F / - 27° C - 17° F / - 27° C
Fill 800 Fill-Power Down 800 Fill-Power Down
Shape Mummy Mummy
Max User Height 6 ft / 180 cm 6 ft 6 in / 200 cm
Shoulder Girth 53 - 60 in / 130 - 150 cm 55 - 62 in / 140 - 160 cm
Hip Girth 50 - 57 in / 130 - 140 cm 52 - 59 in / 130 - 150 cm
Foot Girth 35 in / 89 cm 37 in / 94 cm
Price $379.95 USD $399.95 USD
Product Details from Sierra Designs »