There’s nothing worse than ending a great night of camping by freezing your butt off in your sleep. Sleeping bags have come a long way since the days of those twenty-pound flannel bags with squared-off ends. Now there’s no need to pack an uncomfortable and clunky bag into the wilderness, on that road trip, or across Europe. The modern sleeping bag can keep you warm on cold nights, won’t weigh you down, and packs down incredibly small for efficient traveling.
Sleeping bag designers know that when people overheat in their sleep, they sweat, and when cotton gets wet, it gets cold. The Sierra Designs Vapor 15 utilizes goose down, which doesn’t retain moisture, preventing late night freeze-fests. The Vapor 15 is rated to keep an average sleeper comfortable when the mercury drops to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Warmth isn’t the only thing to look for in a good sleeping bag; intrepid travelers don’t have tons of room to spare in their packs, so space and weight savings are key. The Vapor 15 uses lightweight 850-fill goose down for its filling. The zipper only runs about one third of the way down the bag, which provides just enough room to get in and out but saves the weight of a full length zipper. The regular-sized bag stuffs down as small as a football and weighs-in well under two pounds (1 lb 11 oz). The hood of this mummy-style bag is more akin to a down jacket hood than what is found on a more traditional sleeping bag. The hood feature saves even more weight, and traps heat in, keeping your head toasty all night.In field-testing, the Vapor 15 kept me comfortable, even as temps dipped into the 20s. Condensation built up inside our tent during the night, and moisture gathered on the outside of the sleeping bag’s footbox. That moisture froze into a crystal casing on the exterior of the bag. Despite my popsicle-like state, the inside of the bag stayed incredibly warm. I even had to unzip and slink out of the bag a few times when I got a bit hot.
The price tag on the Sierra Designs Vapor 15 may cause a double-take for those not accustomed to forking over this much for camping gear. Superior construction and design play into this bag’s price, for sure. If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my years of sleeping outdoors, it’s that a sound night’s sleep is well worth the price of a good bag.
Retail Price – $419.95
Specs can be found at Sierra Designs.