Don’t be concerned that Valandre refers to it as a Marie Antoinette draft collar. As one tester quipped, “With its unparalleled ability to seal in heat, I’d prefer to simply think of it as something fit for royalty.” The 2.5-inch-thick collar has a 9 ¼-inch zipper above your left shoulder; pull the drawcord over the middle, and you have a girthy draft collar that’s custom-fit to your neck size and comfort level.
The unusually wide, 65-inch shoulder circumference allows extra elbowroom, or you can wear a full expedition down jacket to bed in order to lower the temp rating even more (a common technique for mountaineers). “I loved that I could roll around like a rotisserie chicken and still stay plenty warm, even on a -3°F, tentless night,” said our tester after hiking through Colorado’s Pike National Forest.
Valandre designers studied the ideal baffle height in each sub-section of the bag, which resulted in 91 different pieces to create the anatomical shell and liner. The tallest baffles have more of the 800-fill goose down over your torso to maximize warmth in your core, whereas the baffles over your legs are minimized to save on weight. Naturally, the premium materials and extensive R&D boost the cost.