Brand: Big Agnes
Model: Star Fire UL 20°F
The sub-2-pound Star Fire UL punches above its weight when exposed to the elements. When we cowboy camped near a lake outside Leadville, Colorado, a drizzle wasn’t enough to penetrate the bag or impact its 850-fill hydrophobic down. The reason? The Star Fire’s ripstop nylon Pertex shell is coated with a best-in-test DWR (and it’s PFC-free). This material also lines the interior of the footbox to guard against rips if you shove electronics, boot liners, or other gear down there. It wasn’t too crinkly when we shifted around in the middle of the night, and the down gets superlofty superquick—a boon to any mountaineer’s backcountry quiver. We took the Star Fire down to 23°F and never felt a chill.
The ripstop nylon lining isn’t as plush as in other bags we tested, and the Star Fire’s dimensions (a 60-inch shoulder girth and 54-inch hip girth) are only just roomy enough for smaller frames to side-sleep. However, we were willing to accept these tradeoffs for this bag’s warmth-to-weight ratio.
With a formfitting hood that embraces your head even when not cinched, the Star Fire seals in warmth. A half-zipper isn’t ideal if temps rise, but it shaves weight and isn’t snaggy.
For a sleeping bag with such sturdy materials, the Star Fire packs down to the size of a toaster, making it a great pick for fast-and-light missions and long-distance trails alike.
$500; 1 lb. 15 oz.; 17°F; small, regular, long