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Backpacker Magazine – Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011

Gear Review: Mountainsmith El Diente 5 Degree Sleeping Bag

If you’re built more like a linebacker than a cyclist, consider the El Diente.

by: Kelly Bastone

Mountainsmith El Diente 5 Degree (Courtesty Photo)
Mountainsmith El Diente 5 Degree (Courtesty Photo)

If you’re built more like a linebacker than a cyclist, consider the El Diente: It’s roomier than most mummies, with a 65-inch circumference at the shoulder and enough length to accommodate sleepers up to 6’4”. “I didn’t feel like a sausage,” rejoices our Massachusetts tester, who calls it “roomy without being sloppy.” The 650-fill down is a bargain and packs as small as some summer models (think basketball).

During a four-night March foray into Maine’s Baxter State Park, it kept our tester toasty at 16°F (he estimated the bag’s rating to be optimistic by five degrees). The warmth is due in part to a differential cut: The shell is cut bigger than the lining fabric, which helps the down achieve maximum loft.

Beefs: Testers wished that the shell fabric was more water repellent; condensation soaked through to the fill, so treat the bag with a DWR spray like ReviveX Spray-On Water Repellent ($10, mcnett.com). The draft collar fits a bit too loosely around the neck and the El Diente is heavier than some in this temp range. But its price and elbow room earned applause from bargain hunters and big campers.

$229
3 lbs. 14 oz.; 5°F one size
mountainsmith.com

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