Tag Archives: sleeping bags

May 18, 2017 In the tent, Grand Canyon

Pro Tips For Buying Sleeping Bags

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Paddling, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Finding a sleeping bag that’s right for you may be the most confusing gear-buying task. Getting the right one is critical to sleeping comfortably in the backcountry, and your bag could save your life in an emergency. But with the myriad choices out there, how do you tell them apart, beyond temperature rating and price? I’ve slept in many, many bags as a gear tester for two decades (and counting) for Backpacker and this blog, in all seasons, in temperatures from very mild to -30° F. (Mild is more pleasant.) In this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned about picking out a sleeping bag that will be ideal for your body and your adventures. Continue reading →

May 2, 2017

10 Pro Tips: Staying Warm in a Sleeping Bag

In Backpacking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   9 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 →

Gear Review: Big Agnes Storm King 0 Sleeping Bag

December 14, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Big Agnes Storm King 0 sleeping bag.

Big Agnes Storm King 0 sleeping bag.

Winter Sleeping Bag
Big Agnes Storm King 0
$380, 3 lbs. 9 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular and long ($400)
backcountry.com

When is a mummy-style bag too constricting? I’ve used ultralight, three-season bags that felt a little too coffin-like. But in winter—or wintry conditions, such as you encounter when mountaineering in spring and summer—there are more practical reasons to use a bag with extra space, and you get it with the Storm King 0. Beyond its dimensions, the Storm King’s water-resistant down feathers, fairly unique “system” design that requires sliding an air mattress into a sleeve on the bag’s bottom side, and its relatively affordable price for this category of bags merits a close look. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 Sleeping Bag

November 23, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 sleeping bag

Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0 sleeping bag

Winter Sleeping Bag
Feathered Friends Snowbunting EX 0
$599, 2 lbs. 12 oz. (regular)
Sizes: regular and long ($624)
featheredfriends.com

On chilly nights of camping, nothing’s more popular than a fat sleeping bag. When my 15-year-old son and I took turns testing out this bag and another winter bag for three nights on a climb of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in mid-April, and for three nights in February sleeping under the stars outside a backcountry yurt in Idaho’s Boise Mountains, he was always eager to relieve me of the Snowbunting EX 0. Little wonder: It’s super warm. And it’s also an excellent value in a winter bag that crosses over to three-season camping in temps around or just below freezing. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Marmot Ion 20 Sleeping Bag

October 19, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
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)
moosejaw.com

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 →

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Grand Canyon Hiker