sleeping bag reviews

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Zissou 15 Sleeping Bag

 

Sierra Designs Zissou 15Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bag
Sierra Designs Zissou 15
$260 regular, $280 long, 2 lb, 9 oz. (reg)
Sizes: regular and long
sierradesigns.com

For years, I’ve rarely used a synthetic sleeping bag because they’re so much heavier and bulkier than down bags, and I’m not often out on the sort of extended, really wet trips where a down bag can get damp enough to lose its loft and warmth. But the advent of hydrophobic down could be a game changer nonetheless, and the Zissou 15 is among the first sleeping bags on the market to use down feathers that resist saturation.

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Gear Review: MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 Bag

MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3

Sleeping Bag
MontBell UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3
$339, 1 lb. 7 oz. (regular), $359, 1 lb. 9 oz. (long)
Sizes: regular and long
Montbell.us

We tend to buy a sleeping bag based primarily on temperature rating, price, and weight, ignoring a key characteristic that will affect how well you sleep in it as much as its warmth: comfort. I’ve slept in many bags—especially ultralight models—that are cut so narrowly to shave grams that they felt like a straitjacket. Montbell’s UL Super Spiral Down Hugger #3 provides superior comfort through a simple but unique feature: elasticized baffles that stretch and contract with your movements. The bag effectively acts like a second, much thicker and warmer layer of skin, moving wherever you move without inhibiting you at all.

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Gear Review: Stoic Somnus 30 Sleeping Bag

Stoic Somnus 30

Sleeping Bag
Stoic Somnus 30
$299 (regular), $319 (long), 1 lb. 8 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular (6’), long (6’6”)
backcountry.com

I tend to get a nervous tick when a manufacturer touts an ultralight sleeping bag: I think they shaved weight either by using less insulation (read: you’ll shiver), or the bag is cut like a straitjacket. So I was truly impressed by the new version of the Somnus 30, which just went on sale (with the down upgraded from 800- to 850-fill, making the bag slightly lighter). It may be the perfect summer-weight down bag.

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Gear Review: Marmot Plasma 30 Sleeping Bag

Marmot Plasma 30

Sleeping Bag
Marmot Plasma 30
$419, 1 lb. 6 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular (6’), long (6’6”)
marmot.com

I don’t have room in my life for a heavy, bulky sleeping bag. If I’m backpacking with my young kids, carrying most of our food and gear, or loaded down for a multi-day climbing trip, I need to cut ounces everywhere possible. If I’m backpacking without my family, I want to go as light as possible. The newest bag to raise the superlight bar—or lower it, if you will—is the Plasma 30. I used it recently for five nights on the Ptarmigan Traverse in Washington’s North Cascades, and earlier this summer camping at Idaho’s City of Rocks and rafting Oregon’s Grand Ronde River.

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