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Sleeping Bags

Brooks Range Elephant Foot

Field test report for the Brooks Range half bag, the Elephant Foot.

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elephant_open_red-800.jpgBrooks-Range Elephant Foot | $249 |
Alpini Mountain Hoody | $249 |
16 ounces (1 pound 6 ounces with hoody) |
Rating 15 F |
Field Rating low 20s |

What we call a half-bag used to be known as an “Elephant Foot.” The logic of the design is that since you’re carrying a down parka in the mountains anyway, you might as well use it at night, combined with a half-bag. This combo of half bag and down parka weighs a feathery 22 ounces (tested with the Brooks Range Alpini Mountain Hoody) and was warm to the low 20s.

The Elephant Foot has two elastic “suspender” draw cords to lock you in to the sleeping bag. An additional draw-cord at the waist tightens the mid-section to seal off drafts between the parka and the half-bag. The upper part, the Mountain Hoody is an astonishing six ounces—the weight of a t-shirt and is warmer than fleece or fiber-fill parkas that weighs three times more. The Hoody is short, barely hip length, but still fits deep in the half bag. The Hoody also has a kangaroo pocket for keeping your hands warm in the half-bag, and two hip zips that provide ventilation and access to your harness. The hood fits easily over a helmet.

STRENGTHS

Amazingly light, compact and versatile sub-freezing sleeping combo.

Works with any hooded parka.

Down Hoody is sophisticated in design and astonishingly light for its warmth.

CONSIDERATIONS

This is for the ultimate “light is right” person.

Not as comfortable as a full bag.

If you extend your arms during the night you need gloves.

It would be nice if the hood rolled up and locked with velcro so it could be tucked in as a collar.