With a unique “Marie Antoinette” draft collar, which seals snugly around the neck with a zipper on one shoulder and Velcro on the other, the Shocking Blue creates a luxurious cocoon good enough for a queen (or king). “I felt frustrated and tangled while first learning how to work the collar,” says one tester who used the bag in the wintry Sierra. “But once I figured it out, I was able to lock my body warmth in the bag, and I stayed warm down to -7°F, even with blowing snow and ice accumulating on the outside of the bag.”
The 850-fill down lofts up like a hot air balloon, and the bag warms up fast and stays that way throughout the night. Testers also raved about the shape. The torso is roomy enough to wear a down jacket in extremely cold temps, and baffles of varying heights (loftier ones around the feet and torso, where you need the extra warmth, and thinner ones in the legs, where you don’t) provide precision-controlled insulation.
The result is a superior fit that minimizes dead space while still providing enough volume to roll around. “I had room in the torso to spread out my soaking-wet clothes after a winter hike through Zion’s Virgin River,” says one tester. The angled trapezoidal footbox* also received high marks: “It creates a floating cloud of down that kept my feet warm, yet I still had enough room to stuff my boot liners into the bottom of the bag.” Sticker shock is the only fly in the ointment. $745; 3 lbs. 1 oz.; -10°F; valandre.com
*ANGLED TRAPEZOIDAL FOOTBOX A bottom chamber sculpted and canted to mimic the shape of the feet; allows down to fully loft around the feet for maximum warmthThe Shocking Blue is a completely new approach to sleeping bag design incorporating an anatomical cut in every baffle including the hood. At the foot end of the bag the base compartments have been raised and angled to follow the natural flex of the foot keeping your feet surrouded by our fully lofted high quality French down. The Marie Antoinette inner collar prevents body heat escaping from the core section of the bag. Outer and inner fabric is our Asahi Kasei Anti Static Impact 66 Polyamid rip stop imported from Japan. Meticulous attention to the anatomy of the human form while designing each chamber of this bag creates an unprecedented fit.
Best use: Backpaking and outdoor adventures late into the year when the temperatures are starting to fall.