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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Summer Sleeping Bags

by: The Backpacker Editors, Photos by Sethhughes.com

Sierra Designs Nitro 30
Sierra Designs Nitro 30
Rab Quantum Top Bag AR
Rab Quantum Top Bag AR
Montbell Super Stretch Burrow #4
Montbell Super Stretch Burrow #4
MontBell U.L. Super Stretch Down Hugger #2, Courtesy photo
MontBell U.L. Super Stretch Down Hugger #2, Courtesy photo
L.L.Bean Katahdin Climashield Semi-Rectangular 40 degree
L.L.Bean Katahdin Climashield Semi-Rectangular 40 degree

*=Eco-Friendly

Lafuma X 950 Pro
This inexpensive synthetic mummy has a smart cut for thermal efficiency. Our stocky male tester found it plenty roomy in the torso and shoulders, but slim around his legs and feet, where dead space is hard to heat. "It kept me warm in temps above freezing," he said. "And I loved the cottonlike feel of the microfiber liner and the way you can lay the hood flat on mild nights." The X 950 Pro is rated 20°F, but that's optimistic by about 10 degrees. Still, it's a great price and weight for a 30°F summer sack. Note: The one size fits folks 5'3" to 5'9" best. $120; 1 lb. 7 oz.; 20°F

MontBell UL Super Stretch Down Hugger #2
At less than 2 pounds, with an accurate 25°F rating, this high-lofting 800-fill down bag is a great choice for cold sleepers who want a lightweight summer sack with near three-season warmth. As in other MontBell Super Stretch bags, elastic baffles boost warmth by eliminating dead space. During a week of rainy, foggy nights with lows near freezing, at elevations up to 12,000 feet, our cold-sleeping tester got chilled only one night after turning in wet. She reported the bag remained reassuringly puffy even after days of humidity and drizzle, though it did develop a few insulation gaps. $315; 1 lb. 12 oz.; 25°F

REI Nooksack +35
With its wispy shell and a new, poofier incarnation of PrimaLoft synthetic insulation, this bag impressed testers with its low weight, small packed size, and comfortable tailoring. "It fit me perfectly," wrote a female tester who used the women's Nooksack +30. Others liked the cut as well, but the consensus was that, like most ultralight synthetics, the temperature rating is optimistic by at least five degrees. The simple hood closes easily with a captured cord lock for one-handed tightening, and a very wide, stiffened zipper flap is totally snag-free. Bonus: It comes with a lightweight nylon compression sack. $169; 1 lb. 12 oz.; 35°F



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READERS COMMENTS

Russell
Jul 08, 2009

"The Nitro (Spark 30 is the women's version) kept our tester toasty on a fall trek in Idaho's Sawtooths, when lows dipped into the high 20s and chilly gusts snuck under his tent's fly."

Dude... what summers do you deal with???

Daphne
Aug 11, 2008

Can one take a Sierra two person tent with
collapsing poles as part of carry on luggage
for air travel? Can't find the answer anywhere.
ddelores@gmail.com

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