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Sleeping Bags

Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag 19°F / -7°C

It’s been said that “Good things come to those who wait.” Patagonia waited forty-five years before launching an official line of bags, and after testing them this spring in the Sierra’s and in Alaska, it appears the aphorism remains true.

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 It’s been said that “Good things come to those who wait.” Patagonia waited forty-five years before launching an official line of bags, and after testing them this spring in the Sierra’s and in Alaska, it appears the aphorism remains true.
First, about that trademarked front zipper. Most quality sleeping bags feature a two-way zipper, with the bottom zipper opening the foot end for cooling off
on a warm night. The 19 F. front zipper bag goes one up with a three-way zipper that allows one to stay completely zipped in but with an opening at chest level to pop out your arms to operate a stove, read a book, drink coffee etc. all while staying fully cocooned in the bag. This little trick also lets climbers sleep in their harness, fully tied in but without the rope having to rub up against your face during those long heinous nights.

But what about that frosty air coming through the zipper? Patagonia’s design prevents this with plump double draft tubes that lock in behind the zipper to insulate it.

The temperature rating of 19F/7C is accurate. I spent nights in the bag with temps in the low teens (summit of Mt. Whitney) to temps in the mid-forties. Below 20 F I added layers. Above that, I along with four other testers, slept comfortably in only long underwear. The thick deep hood and raised foot box offer insulation normally seen on much heavier 0 F. sleeping bags.

For a budget that allows for only one high quality bag, this one is your ticket.

PROS

– High-quality down.

– Versatile three-way zippers allow one to tie in on bivy ledges, permits use in a wide temperature range and means you can walk around in the bag.

– Compresses to the size of a cantaloupe.

– A lot of sleeping bag for one kg.

– Comes in three sizes, small 5’6”, med. 6’, large 6’6” and two colors, blue or orange.

CONS

– Quality isn’t cheap. $499.00 (size medium).

– A small pocket inside the sleeping bag, near your face, to place an alarm for those alpine starts would be a welcome addition.