Gadling gear review: Brooks-Range Alpini 30 sleeping bag

A review of the Brooks-Range Alpini 30 sleeping bagSummer camping is one of the best ways to enjoy the warmer weather that comes along with that season. The days are long, allowing for plenty of time to take in your favorite outdoor activities, and the nights are cool, but comfortable, making it the perfect time to sleep outside. As usual with any camping trip however, the gear you use plays an important role in how much you enjoy the experience, with your tent and sleeping bag playing vital roles.

With this in mind, outdoor gear company Brooks-Range has recently introduced a new line of sleeping bags for warm weather camping. Their Alpini 30 is rated down to freezing (32ºF/0ºC), which is perfect for summer nights, offering versatility and comfort across a variety of climates and altitudes.

That versatility is important on warm weather trips, when you have the potential to experience a wide range of temperatures. The Alpini was designed with this thought in mind, as Brooks-Range has wisely included high-quality, bi-directional zippers that go a long way toward ensuring comfort on nights spent in the tent. Campers who need cooler air around their legs and feet will appreciate the ability to open the lower area of their sleeping bag, independent of the top, letting in fresh air as needed. On cooler nights however, they’ll still have the option of zipping this mummy-style bag snugly around themselves, keeping them as warm as possible.The Alpini 30 uses 850+ fill goose down wrapped inside a patented Pertex Quantum fabric, which gives it a durable exterior and a soft, comfortable interior. That means that the bag is tough and comfortable at the same time. Additionally, those same fabrics allow the bag to compress down quite nicely as well, which indicates that it doesn’t take up much room in your backpack if you’re looking to carry it with you into the backcountry. The fact that the Alpini weighs in at less than a pound and a half only adds to its appeal as a lightweight travel companion for those in need of a good sleeping bag while on the go.

Brooks-Range has included a few other nice touches with the Alpini as well. For instance, they’ve built in an internal storage pocket that comes in handy for keeping small gear items, such as a headlamp or iPod, close at hand. The Alpini also comes with a high quality stuff sack for when you’re traveling, as well as a large cotton storage sack for use back home. These may seem like simple things, but they are much appreciated over the life of the bag, which should last most people for years.

As you can probably tell from this review, I’m quite impressed with the Alpini 30 both in build quality and versatility, however this sleeping bag definitely isn’t for everyone. I say that, because it only comes in one size and if you’re over six feet in height, you’ll find that it is too small to be completely comfortable. Taller backpackers and campers will need to look elsewhere for their sleeping options.

If you’re using this bag, you’ll also want to pay close attention to the temperature rating. The Alpini is a great option for three-season camping, spring through fall. But if you get caught out in colder than expected weather, you’ll definitely have some uncomfortable nights. It is an excellent piece of gear when used for the temperatures it is designed for, but if you need something a bit warmer, you’ll want to try out the Alpini 15, which is rated down to 15ºF/-9ºC.

If you’re in the market for a good, high quality, well designed and built, sleeping bag for warm weather adventures, the Brooks-Range Alpini 30 should definitely be on your radar. It is perfect for camping trips from spring to fall and should serve well in that capacity for years to come.