[light and packable]
What happens when a sleeping pad specialist makes a sleeping bag? Some serious thought goes into incorporating the former into the latter. Here’s how the Antares works: On the bag’s uninsulated underside (no feather-filled baffles here), a simple nylon sheet mates with—no surprise—an insulated pad. Two nylon pad straps (fitting mattresses up to 25 inches wide) hold the bag in place. And because the straps are stitched just below the side seams (not on them, like most pad straps and sleeves), they allow more ease within the bag, which kept claustrophobes from feeling straitjacketed. Plus, the Antares is wider than most ultralight models, which allows roll-around room and space inside for drying out damp clothes.
Our tester gave the system a thumbs-up after a trip through Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness. Add highly compressible 750-fill goose down, and you get a comfortable bag that packs down to volleyball-size. After a 31°F night in Oregon’s Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, another tester said, “I was so comfortable, I was surprised to see snow falling nearby.” The hood is spacious as well, offering a fit more like a cap than a sausage casing. The 30-denier, DWR-treated nylon shell proved plenty durable—one tester used the bag as a camp seat and it suffered no punctures. But several testers called the 20°F rating ambitious, so this bag is best for warm sleepers or hikers who rarely camp in shoulder-season temps. $350; 1 lb. 15 oz.; 20°F; thermarest.com
Therm-a-Rest has been recognized as the world’s leader in outdoor sleep solutions since it debuted the world’s first portable and self-inflating mattress in 1972. In 2013, Therm-a-Rest takes the logical next step in its mission to deliver premium outdoor comfort with its 750+ fill-power goose down Antares bag for backcountry enthusiasts. Designers embedded 40 years of innovation, cold-chamber testing, global fieldwork, independent trials, and consumer feedback to create the Antares. It is highly compressible and, at a 20 °F rating, it’s the most efficient, lightweight choice for three-season backpacking comfort on the market.
Therm-a-Rest eliminates unneeded bulk and weight with thermal mapped, zoned insulation. Unlike conventional bags, Therm-a-Rest placed additional loft in the top of its sleeping bag and reduced loft beneath the bag for the greatest ratio of warmth, comfort, and efficiency. Designed for use in the backcountry, the lightweight bag is equipped with two patent-pending, flexible synergy link mattress connectors—compatible with up to 25-inch-wide sleeping pads—to create the most secure, comfortable mattress connection in the industry.
It features a unique Therm-a-Rest fit—one that prioritizes extra torso room to allow shoulders, elbows, and hips to move without restriction, as well as a narrower, sculptured hood and trapezoidal foot box to increase thermal efficiency. Combined, the bag perfectly fits the body’s natural resting position.