2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

The BACKPACKER Sleeping Bag Water Torture Test

We go above and beyond the regular gear testing rigamarole. We'll simulate a thunderstorm, go for full submersion, and then, a cold–weather a beer fridge.

by: the Backpacker Editors

A full-submersion sleeping bag test.
A full-submersion sleeping bag test.

In this trilogy of videos, Shannon Davis worms inside three waterproof sleeping bags for the ultimate insulation test.

Part 1: Simulated Rain Smackdown
In this gear test, Shannon Davis jumps in three sleeping bags and we hose them down to see how each one handles high-force rain.

Part II: Full Submersion
Yeah, we know you probably won't ever get fully submerged in a raging river while in your sleeping bag, but that's not good enough for us.

Part III: The Beer Fridge
Frigid temperatures are hard to find in the middle of the summer (when we shot this video) so after soaking these bags, we chilled out at a local liquor store. See which bag kept the cold out best.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Oct 21, 2013

Wow amazing

Logan C
Jan 04, 2012

Very helpful

Nov 04, 2008

Yeah, these tests don't reflect even close to real world conditions, just some entertainment value to them. I respectfully disagree though with Pauline. I have only backpacked about 19 years but I have always found a down bag to be the best. You do have to spend more to get the best but down is always better in my book. It's light, compressible and never left me cold. I do take excellent care of my gear though, on and off the trail. A down bag does take more attention but well worth the bother... for me.

Oct 22, 2008

Are you insane?? This other then being stupid dumb funny was not even close to being help. MAYBE you could take a few bags out in the WINTER, then use them in some way a hiker may really use it. I am just saying…maybe wet a bag then lay outside in temps where the bag is “rated” to keep you warm and see what happens. A few more videos like this and I will not waste my time, unless I want a good laugh

Pauline Brokaski
Oct 18, 2008

But will Backpacker tell the readers that the only safe sleeping bag (that has been exposed to a dunking in water or rainstorm) will be a synthetic -which will keep you warm and safe even when wet! Down sleeping bags aren't meant for backpackers in the true wilderness, though YOU would have us believe it! I never see you put a warning in your magazine. Sign me, a backpacker of some 29 years experience who has see it all!


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Jury acquits man who (probably) killed
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
Trailhead Register
Scouting woes...
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: starwalker

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions