Weighing in at well under 2 pounds and featuring 850-fill duck DriDown water-resistant down insulation and ultra-lightweight fabrics, the innovative Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Elite 2 Season zipperless sleeping bag lets backpackers sleep in the great outdoors with similar comfort to your bed at home whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper.
Sierra Designs revolutionized the idea of what a sleeping bag can look like and how it can function with the introduction of the award winning Backcountry Bed. In the Backcountry Bed Elite Two-Season Sleeping Bag, ounce counting backpackers can enjoy that same great set of features at a weight under two pounds. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this such a high performance option for through hikers or backpackers.
There are a lot of unique aspects to the Backcountry Bed. Probably the most obvious, the one you notice first, is this large opening on the face of the bag. Stitched behind that opening is actually an insulated comforter. Again, not something you are used to seeing on a sleeping bag, but actually plays a key role in why this functions differently than a traditional sleeping bag. A lot of venting potential here. It is easy to get in and out of the bag. It saves this bag from needing to utilize any zippers. Zippers can add weight. Zippers can be a warranty issue, too, so kind of a dual benefit of the Backcountry Bed not needing to use it. Because of those weight savings can have a nice broad cut up high here at the shoulders, across the chest where folks who find mummy bags restrictive most feel that restrictiveness. So opens that up a little bit, allows side sleepers, back sleepers, regardless of how you sleep, allows you to be comfortable throughout the night in this bag.
Still tapers away at the feet to save weight, which isn’t unimportant. And because of that tapered cut makes this that much more packable as well. When I first used a Backcountry Bed my real concern was: How can this possibly be thermally efficient when it doesn’t zip closed at the top? It surprised me. It is very thermally efficient.
There is a really smart design here on either side of the comforter where you can basically... it is almost like a hand pocket. It allows you to very easily pull this in around you. It allows you very easily and, more importantly, perhaps, to just pull it in around you and underneath that lip, for lack of a better term, of the bag itself. I found it very, very warm, as warm as it needed to be. This is not a cold weather bag that we are looking at here in the Backcountry Bed Elite. It is two season. It says so in the name. It is really for warmer and milder weather. But in those conditions certainly a very thermally efficient option.
The overall construction of the bag also contributes to that high performance and those weight savings. You have got 850 fill duck down and it is a DriDown insulation. It is treated in such a manner that unlike traditional down which will lose its ability to keep you warm should it become wet, not the case with DriDown. Resists becoming wet. Should it become wet, it dries much faster and even if it is wet, it does still retain its ability to keep you warm. That is much more like a synthetic insulation. So it has got those benefits, but extremely light weight, extremely packable, like you would expect from a down insulation.
The face fabric here is a very, very lightweight 10D nylon rip stop fabric. Surprisingly strong for what it is, but, again, this is an ultra light weight bag, so not as durable, not s burly as you might find on a heavier sleeping bag, so something you have got to weigh there in deciding to go this direction.
A couple of other features I would like to call out on the Backcountry Bed. As you can see, it does not have a traditional hood, but it certainly has the length and the design at the top of the bag that delivers the type of warmth you would expect from a hood. Fully insulated, you actually have almost a little bit of a brim here at the head. Again, a little bit more roominess than you might have in something that has got a more shaped hood.
As far as weight savings are concerned, it is worth noting the bag up high does not have insulation beneath you. The thought process here being you are going to use this bag with a sleeping pad and the sleeping pad is going to deliver the warmth that you need beneath the bag. There is an integrated sleeve that ensures that whatever sleeping bag you are using stays in place to deliver that warmth and also just to comfortably keep you above the padding, that comfort that you would be looking for for a night of backcountry sleep.
The tapered foot bag also houses an interesting foot vent. So, again, there is no zippers on this bag. You don’t have a spot that you can zipper it open and stick your feet out when temperatures heat up. If you are like me, it is my feet that heat up first and often it is what I want to kind of sneak out the side of a bag if it is a zippered bag or find some way to cool off a little bit. You can easily do that with an overlapping design. So it is always open, but it is always closed, too, if that makes any kind of sense until you decide you want to put your feet out of the sleeping bag and, again, cool off a little bit. So a neat feature in a pinch. You can pull that up, gather that up around you a little bit to even kind of move from point A to point B in a camp setting. Not sure that is exactly how Sierra Designs is selling it, but it is some way that I could particularly... I could see myself potentially using the bag.
Again, all very unique design features on the Backcountry Bed.
It is worth noting that the Backcountry Bed Elite two season sleeping bag is available in three different lengths. We are looking at the regular length here today, which is.... basically fits up to six foot. It comes in a short which will fit to five foot eight. It also comes into a long which will accommodate sleepers as tall as six foot six inches.
In every instance, Sierra Designs does include a light weight stuff sack and also a storage sack, a mesh storage sack. At home, any time you have got a sleeping bag, you really don’t want to store it in a compressed state. So this is very handy. It lets that breathe a little bit and so the loft of the bag is extended for a longer life period than if you got this in a constant, compressed state at home. So definitely some value built in there.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Elite two season, just a fantastic, feature rich, but lightweight option for back packers and through hikers.