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Backpacker Magazine – Gear Guide 2011

Gear Rview: Big Agnes Big Creek Sleeping Bag

No more zipping bags together, a two-person bag designed for couples.

by: Ben Fullerton

Big Agnes Big Creek 30 (BP Photo Department)
Big Agnes Big Creek 30 (BP Photo Department)

[best for couples]
Three truths about couples camping: 1) It’s more fun to share a bag; 2) it’s more thermally efficient to share a bag; 3) finicky zip-together models often get in the way of numbers one and two. Avoid that unfortunate problem with this double-wide bag, which is made specifically for the task. The single rectangular chamber facilitates spooning (and couples sleeping with a baby), but twin hoods and draft collars make for sound sleeping as well. Snag-free zippers run down each side, allowing each person to stealthily escape for midnight breaks. And the Big Creek even has a center draft tube so you can fine-tune your own ventilation without affecting your partner’s.

“It was nice to have the option of snuggling or separating,” says one tester who sleeps warmer than his mate. Integrated pad sleeves keep mattresses in place, and hood pockets accommodate a jacket for an instant pillow that also stays put. And warmth? The new SL90 insulation, a short-staple synthetic* fill with uniform thickness (and warmth), kept our testers cozy below the bag’s temp rating, down to 25°F in Arizona’s Cochise Stronghold.

Not surprisingly, the bag is bulky—even after squashing it in a compression sack (not included), it was the size of a large watermelon. (Suggestion: One of you packs the tent, the other this bag.) At a hair under five pounds, the weight is comparable to two separate bags, and the price, in the long run, makes it a really cheap date. $200; 4 lbs. 15 oz.; 30°F

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