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Backpacker Magazine – May 2013

Gear Review: Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL 17 Sleeping Bag

Lightweight and affordable, this bag will keep you warm and dry in a variety of weather.

by: Seth Urich

Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL 17 (Photo by Ben Fullerton)
Big Agnes Bellyache Mountain SL 17 (Photo by Ben Fullerton)

Verdict
ThiLight, warm, and affordable for a bag of its rating, this mummy uses 700-fill DownTek and vertical baffles (a lightweight construction that channels warmth from the core to extremities) to provide comfort right down to its rating. On 20°F nights along New Hampshire’s AT, I stayed cozy and detected no cold spots—even at my feet, which often feel chilly in other bags. The DWR-treated nylon shell fabric and water-resistant down (which is coated with a hydrophobic polymer) take the worry out of wet weather. The cut is efficient but not confining. $300 to $340; 17°F; 2 lbs. 7 oz. (reg.); 3 sizes; bigagnes.com

Best For
Three-season hikers who want lightweight warmth

Tester Data

» Seth Urich (other testers: Kristin Hostetter, Jonathan Dorn, Brian Mockenhaupt)
» Duration Feb. to Nov.
» Locales/conditions CA, ME, NH, WY; 20°F to 60°F
» “Unlike previous BA bags, this has insulation on the underside, yet it still packs to volleyball size.”

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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Nick
Jun 11, 2013

Great bag, before purchasing I did a little research and compared weight and warmth with others. Don't let the price scare after the trips I'm extremely happy with my purchase.

Took this out in two locations in the spring. The first in late March in the Smokies, temperature was swinging from 60s to below freezing. I use a non-insulated blow up mat and stayed warm all night. One night it drops to 5 degrees and wind picked up, the buffer helps trap the heat in. Not one problem.

This went with me to Glacier in early May. All sites still in winter status, camped at about 6,000 ft elevation with snow all around. Ended up camping in top of snow for two nights due to flooding, bag stayed warm and the water proofing held off the little water our tent took on one afternoon.

As far as weight and size, the down is extremely light and the regular size fits tightly into a small Sea to summit eVent. Saved a bunch on room in my pack.

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