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Archive | Sleeping bags & pads

Typical cowboy camp in upper Conness Creek on the Yosemite High Route in August, when nighttime temps were normally in the high-30's/low-40's. This year I slept on the Insulated AXL for about 30 nights.

Review: Big Agnes Insulated AXL Pad || Very light & comfy, not very warm

Until last spring, Big Agnes had no sleeping pads in its line that interested me. The pads looked comfortable, but they were considerably heavier than my time-tested Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite ($170, 12 oz). But with the AXL sleeping pad, Big Agnes caught my attention — its weight and thickness looked promising. The AXL comes in two […]

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Because cats are too good for concrete.

Review: Sierra Designs Animas Pillow || Comfortable 2.1-oz inflatable for $25

Last summer I used a prototype of the new Sierra Designs Animas Pillow ($25, 2.1 oz) for about 30 nights. It was a similar experience to when I first used a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (instead of foam): it’s hard to imagine reverting back to my old approach, which included sleeping on my: Soft-sided water bottles (full […]

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Especially when cinched, the contoured top color will help to reduce drafts around the neck. But it still does not seal as well as a mummy or hide-away hood.

Preview: Western Mountaineering Nanolite & Astralite || Premium UL quilts

Western Mountaineering is known for not chasing trends and for being supremely loyal to its retailers. So the news that it’s offering a sleeping quilt for spring 2018 says two things to me: Quilts are not a fad, and have perhaps reached critical mass; and, WM retailers became convinced — by either a compelling WM […]

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reset-dry-video

Stay warm when it’s wet: How to protect down insulation from moisture

When shopping for a sleeping bag, insulated jacket, or insulated pants, you will have a choice of insulations: Down, which is a commodity product measured by fill power, e.g. 800-fill; or, Synthetic, which is normally made of interwoven plastic fibers and which may be marketed as Primaloft, Climashield, or a proprietary version like TNF Thermoball. […]

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Cowboy camping in Tablelands in September, using the 20-degree Nitro 800 mummy bag from Sierra Designs

Review: Sierra Designs Nitro 800 mummy || Great price, ordinary design

The Sierra Designs spring 2018 line-up has two themes: (1) back to basics, and (2) better pricing. Innovation is not entirely lacking, evidenced by the “zipperless mummy” Cloud series (my review) and the High Side Tent (my review), but the “better and different” mantra was no longer a requirement of new products. Review: Sierra Designs […]

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The top comforter tucks into the side of the bag and has a shoulder "hook" to eliminate drafts even without a zipper.

Review: Sierra Designs Cloud 35 & 20 || Premium mummy/quilt hybrid

For eight consecutive nights in July, I slept in the https://goo.gl/ywp58a, which is new for spring 2018 and which may establish a new sleeping bag category. SD describes it as a “zipperless mummy,” but it takes just as many design cues from top bags and quilts. Review: Sierra Designs Cloud Sleeping Bag I can think […]

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The Nitro (right) and Cloud (right), SD's new premium mummy bags

Preview: Sierra Designs 2018 sleeping bags || Highlight: “Zipperless mummy”

The Sierra Designs 2018 sleeping bag program includes four distinct models, each with several temperature rating options and in a male and female version: an updated Backcountry Bed and Zissou mummy, and an entirely new Nitro and Cloud, which are an ultralight mummy and “zipperless mummy,” respectively. The Backcountry Bed and Nitro will be available […]

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