Friday, June 22, 2012

Big Agnes: Would You Like a Bag?

In life we have choices; summit or vista, lead or follow, wake up or stay in toasty sleeping bag? Another choice to make, related to toasty sleeping bags, is whether to get a down sleeping bag or synthetic sleeping bag. For years down was the go-to, 'cuz hey- feathers keep birds warm. But research and development have led to advancements in the quality of synthetic sleeping bags. There are a few trade-offs but in my book synthetics are the way to go.

Down's one major upside is less weight, but there is a vital drawback. Not to be a 'downer' but wet feathers don't keep you warm, only dry ones.

Synthetic sleeping bags do have the insulating properties to still capture and contain heat when wet. You will also save money when you buy a synthetic sleeping bag, and the weight issue has improved substantially.

Two Big Agnes summer sleeping bags, the Gun Creek (30 degrees) and Cross Mountain (45 degrees) bags, use A-Shingo construction to save weight and keep you warmer. Envision how shingles on a roof are aligned. All of the space between each 'shingle' creates more trapped air, which maximizes heat containment by eliminate gapping. And the "Integrity" insulation within the bags comes from 97% recycled materials. It is by far the lightest and warmest synthetic insulation that Big Agnes offers.

Both the Gun Creek and the Cross Mountain have pad sleeves which fit a 20" wide sleeping pad, eliminating the risk of a roll off. They're also both constructed with breathable nylon and finished with a stain and water resistant coating. The warmer of the two, the Big Agnes Gunn Creek has a no-draft collar to prevent air from sneaking in near your head, a no-draft zipper tube and a no-draft wedge between the bag and pad sleeve. The Big Agnes Cross Mountain, for down to 45 degrees, has a pillow pocket for a fleece or a Big Agnes pillow. The Gunn Creek at 2 pounds 13 oz, and the Cross Mountain at 1 pound 11 oz, are both cozy, dream inducive and capable to keep you warm if even if the bag becomes wet- a potentially life-saving parameter. Mountain Gunn Creek

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