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October 2005

Sleeping Bag Review: 4 Down Bags

Sleep warm, carry less with these 20-degree sacks.

©Mitch Mandel

Feathered Friends Swallow UL Nylon

Choose from numerous shells and lengths to suit your conditions, budget, and height.

Want custom-bag options in a high-quality down mummy, but without the exorbitant custom fees? Like other Feathered Friends bags, the Swallow is available with an Epic, eVent, or Pertex Quantum shell for only $50 to $85 extra. (These materials are all highly weather-resistant, but have different levels of waterproofing and breathability.) The Swallow also comes in four lengths, but the girth favors thin hikers. I found it snug at the waist, and couldn’t change clothes easily inside. The silver lining is super insulating efficiency; in the low 20s, I had to strip down to a single layer to avoid overheating. Featurewise, this full-length zip was Best of Show: It always operated cleanly, and double snaps prevented it from sliding open even a fraction of an inch.

Price: $286 (standard nylon shell)

Sizes: 4 lengths

Weight: 1 lb. 15 oz.

Contact: (206) 292-6292; www.featheredfriends.com

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