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Pity the sleeping bag. The better it does its job, the less likely you are to stay awake to appreciate it.
The innovative mummies pictured here have everything from newfangled ventilation flaps to no-slip pad systems to expandable sidewalls.
These bags keep you drier and more temperate. They keep you atop your air mattress the entire night. In short, they keep you more comfortable than ever beforeso you'll be even less likely to notice them.
All prices in U.S. dollars.Adjustable Warmth
The Sierra Designs Anita Bath is one of the company's six new Thermospectrum bags, which have zip-off top panels so you can add or subtract insulation based on the temperature outside.
Filled with high-grade 775 goose down, the 4.4-pound [1.6-kilogram] Anita Bath carries a dual minus 20/0°F [minus 29 to minus 18°C] temperature rating, making it ideal for expeditions in shifting fall conditions. Removing its top panel between uses also allows accumulated moisture to escape, which is of particular importance with down bags.
Every model in the Thermospectrum line has a Pad Lock, a system of elastic bands that anchors your mattress to the bag. Half the models, including the Anita Bath, are designed specifically for women.
True, the Big Agnes Lost Ranger has less insulation than your average 15° F [minus 9°C] bag. But that's because designers have eliminated the down filling from the bottom of the 2.8-pound [1-kilogram] Ranger and replaced it with a full-length, 20-inch-wide [51-centimeter] sleeve, which your sleeping pad slides into. This means you can thrash about without slipping from your pad onto the cold, hard ground.
If you fear that the lack of insulation will make for chillier nights, don'tonce compressed by your body weight, the filling in the bottom of standard bags loses most of its insulating value anyway. The Ranger sheds a third of its volume and nearly a half pound of heft by getting rid of it, and you stay warm because your mattress is with you the entire night.
Each of the versatile bags in Mountain Hardwear's 11-model Quantum line has an extra zipper on one side.
Keep it zipped, and a Quantum bag like the Mountain Hardwear Universe SL is your typical 0°F [minus 18°C] mummy. Open it, however, and the bag blouses out an additional 8 inches [20 centimeters], becoming airier, roomier, and more comfortable in warm weather.
The extra space is also a boon to hip shakers, foot stompers, and arm stretchers who feel confined by the straight-arrow sleeping style demanded by traditional mummy bags.
The shell fabric of the 3.8-pound [1.4-kilogram] Universe SL is Conduit SL, a windproof, water-resistant, and breathable ripstop nylon that helps protect the bagand, ultimately, youfrom the elements.
Photograph by Francesco Bittichesu