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Backpacker Magazine – March 2008

2008 Three-Season Sleeping Bag Reviews

by: The Backpacker Editors, Photos by


Women's Bargain!
Mammut Ajungilak Kira 3-Season
Even our coldest-sleeping tester found warm salvation in the women's-specific Kira. Credit plenty of synthetic insulation, an efficient cut, and a high "turtleneck" insulated collar that closes with simple snaps and seals gently without constricting. She also liked the twin two-way zippers that serve as armholes, which make the sack jacketlike in the chilliest temps. "I really liked that I could hang out in this bag and still have both arms free," she said. Fit was roomy in the right places for her 5'5", 120-pound frame, but left no excess space to heat. The men's Kompakt ($159) is similar, but lacks the collar. $169; 2 lbs. 8 oz.; 25°F

Marmot EcoPro 15*
Several companies introduced eco-friendly synthetic bags this year, and this is one of the best in terms of warmth, price, and weight. The 15°F mummy is made with 100-percent recycled shell and lining material and 80-percent recycled EcoPro 100 insulation. It proved plenty warm, even on howling, sub-freezing October nights in Utah's Escalante high country. "There were no cold spots when I rolled up tight against the wind under my tarp," our tester said. He found it comfortably roomy in the shoulders and elbows even with the hood cinched. Quibbles: The stuff sack is a tight fit and the zipper is a little sticky up near the face. $165; 3 lbs. 3 oz.; 15°F

Marmot Pinnacle

Short of an electric blanket, you can do no better than this 800-fill heater. After four cold nights atop Utah's 11,000-foot Boulder Mountain in this 15°F mummy, our tester reported, "The last night dropped to 20°F with wind gusts to 30 mph, and I never even shivered." Double-layer baffles around the footbox let him skip the booties he'd normally wear in such conditions. The draft collar is satisfyingly poofy and uses snaps, not Velcro closures, so it doesn't catch hair or beards. The thick draft tube and zipper are virtually snag-proof, and a smart pocket atop the draft tube has a loop to help you pull the shoulder around for easy zip-up. $299; 2 lbs. 8 oz.; 15°F

MontBell Super Stretch Down Hugger #1
Restless sleepers, here's a mummy that doesn't feel like one. The 15°F down bag has stretch baffles that gently constrict the lining around you, eliminating dead air space and allowing unusual freedom of motion for knees, arms, or cross-legged sitting. With a 40-denier nylon shell and 650-fill down, it's a more economical and durable alternative to MontBell's Ultralight line of stretch bags (also a favorite of our testers). Dual draft tubes with anti-snag stiffeners make short work of frantic exits. A drawstring at ankle level lets shorter people cinch the bag to a 64-inch internal length, increasing heating efficiency. $250; 2 lbs. 14 oz.; 15°F

Sierra Designs Trade Wind 15
This overstuffed 800-fill sack won a recent field test of weatherproof bags (8/07) for its all-around performance. It's not as rainproof as the Mountain Hardwear Spectre (above), but the DriZone laminated shell does what most campers need: It sheds condensation, snow, and light showers, and it kills wind on open bivies. The Trade Wind (Solar Flare is the women's version) is conservatively rated, keeping testers warm as much as 5 degrees below its 15°F rating. It's comfortable, with a cut that's roomy enough for restless sleepers yet still plenty efficient, and the hood cinches cleanly around the face. Bonus: It has enough insulation on the bottom that midnight tossers can roll around without getting cold on the backside. $239; 3 lbs. 1 oz.; 15°F

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