After six straight nights in notoriously damp Olympic National Park, our tester said, “It didn’t matter if I put the bag away wet or dry, I could still get into it at the end of the day and count on being warm to its rating.” Credit goes to the Climashield Apex continuous filament insulation, which sprang out of the stuffsack night after night. Testers also appreciated the extra-tough 30-denier Pertex Endurance shell, which has a DWR finish; the shell endured everything from rocky beaches to granite stargazing parties without a rip.
Multiple testers raved about the perfectly contoured cut of the deep hood: It cinches tight via one drawcord, which is wrapped in a layer of insulation to create a plush seal. The standard mummy cut “has just enough room for some rolling around, but is still trim enough that I could easily heat it up,” reports one tester. Compressibility is excellent for a synthetic; the included compression sack will shrink this bag down to about the size of a large honeydew melon. Annoying: The draft tube zipper jammed frequently. $219; 2 lbs. 11 oz.; short, reg., and long; firstascent.com
The unique features of the Rock Wren make it a favorite for bicyclists, light hikers and for use in a bivy bag. A drawstring closure at the bottom of the bag allows you to pull the bag up and walk around camp. The main zipper comes halfway down the bag and there are two zipped arm openings, so you can actually wear the bag for cooking or reading. It is fully baffled and works great in combination with a down jacket for colder weather.
Outer shell is highly water-resistant/breathable NanoSphere by Schoeller
Sewn in Seattle, WA, USA
The Winter Wren model has more down and a 25 degree F rating.