Q:

Which mateable zero-degree bags are light enough for backpacking?

My husband and I are looking for relatively lightweight, zero-degree sleeping bags that can be zipped together and are suitable for backpacking. Any advice? Kathy Kremmling, Colorado

Apr 23, 2008
Outside
Outside Magazine
Western Mountaineering Antelope MF Sleeping Bag

Antelope MF Sleeping Bag

A:

Actually, many sleeping bags are mateable—you simply buy one with a left zipper, and the other with a right zipper. But not all bags are mateable, because on some bags the zipper doesn’t go all the way to the foot of the bag.

One advantage of zipping bags together is that you actually can get by with a lighter bag due to the gain from mutual body heat. My recommendation is to get a pair of Western Mountaineering Antelope MF bags. These down-filled bags are conservatively rated to five degrees, are extremely well-made, and weigh two pounds, seven ounces in the regular length. And they’re mateable. They cost $435 a pop, but they’ll last pretty much forever.

In a zero-degree bag, Marmot’s Couloir ($400) also can be purchased with right and left zips and then attached to one another. It’s a little heavier than the Antelope, at three pounds, three ounces each. But it’s a high-quality bag, with 800-fill down, a Pertex nylon shell with water-repellent treatment, a snug-fitting hood, and more.

I’ve recommended down bags because cold-weather down bags typically weigh much less than their synthetic counterparts. But that isn’t always the case. The North Face’s Pyxis ($219) is a zero-degree synthetic bag that weighs a very competitive three pounds, one ounce. It might not last as long as the down bags, but it does cost considerably less.

Hope that helps!

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