Tag Archives: sleeping bag reviews

Gear Review: Marmot Ion 20 Sleeping Bag

October 19, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Marmot Ion 20 sleeping bag.

Marmot Ion 20 sleeping bag.

Sleeping Bag
Marmot Ion 20
$419, 1 lb. 13 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular and long ($439)

Heading into Washington’s North Cascades National Park for an 80-mile backpacking trip in the last week of September, I didn’t want to take a chance on gear and clothing that might not stand up to cold, wet weather, maybe even sub-freezing nights and snow in that notoriously soggy mountain range. The hybrid-insulation Ion 20 fit the specs for that mission, thanks to its blend of high-quality down feathers and synthetic insulation and super warmth for such a lightweight bag. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Big Agnes Boot Jack 25 Sleeping Bag

August 31, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Big Agnes Boot Jack 25 sleeping bag.

Big Agnes Boot Jack 25 sleeping bag.

Three-Season Sleeping Bag
Big Agnes Boot Jack 25
$190, 2 lbs. 6 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular and long ($200)

Backpackers and campers shopping for a sleeping bag often focus on just a few specs: temperature rating, length, insulation type, and of course, price. They might not give consideration to construction, design, or how the bag fits—as in how much space you have to move around. They might not even bother to crawl inside to try it on. Sleeping in the Boot Jack 25 from Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and City of Rocks National Reserve to the Panamint Range of Death Valley National Park, I found it nearly true to its 25-degree temp rating, very competitively priced for its quality—and, just as importantly, it has fairly spacious dimensions, so I slept like a baby. Continue reading →

August 17, 2016 Spring Canyon campsite, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

10 Pro Tips: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag

In Backpacking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   7 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Head into the mountains in summer, or almost anywhere in fall or spring, and you can encounter nighttime and morning temperatures anywhere from the 40s Fahrenheit to below freezing. I’ve spent enough frosty nights outside over the past few decades to learn a few things about how to stay warm. (My coldest night was -30° F, in winter in New Hampshire’s White Mountains; I don’t recommend it.) Here are my 10 tips for making your camping experience more comfortable. Continue reading →

July 19, 2016 Nevada Fall, Half Dome, and Liberty Cap from the John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park.

Ask Me: What Gear Do You Suggest For Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Hello Michael,

I read your article about ultra-backpacking and how you did the John Muir Trail in seven days. I am planning on doing it, but would like to know, for an ultralight backpacker, what items did you use for tent, sleeping bag, etc.? And any feedback or thoughts that you have that would be beneficial for me would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Covina, CA Continue reading →

Gear Review: Exped DreamWalker 450 Sleeping Bag

June 29, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Exped DreamWalker 450

Exped DreamWalker 450

Sleeping Bag
Exped DreamWalker 450
$349, 2 lbs. 1 oz. (medium)
Sizes: medium (fits up to 5 feet, 11 ins.), large (fits up to 6 feet, 5 ins.)

On a cool, early morning at Numa Creek camp on the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, I told my wife I was heading for the camp’s cooking area to fire up our stove for breakfast. She responded in her way of letting me know she wasn’t getting up yet: “It’s cold out there.” I said, “That’s why I’m staying in my bag.” And I was: Within seconds, I converted my DreamWalker 450 bag into a long down parka and proceeded to wear it walking and sitting around in camp. Continue reading →

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