I was thinking about buying a zero-degree bag. I winter cp once or twice each year and won't go if the temps will be too low (So far the coldest may have been 10 degrees). I have a buddy who is dead set against inexpensive brands. Is there really a warmth difference between an inexpensive zero-degree bag and an expensive one? I not a warm sleeper but a "cheap son-of-a-gun." Are there any recommendations that you can make? Marty Morgantown, WV
Well, I dunno. I hate to say X or Y is no good because its a $100 sleeping bag versus a $400 sleeping bag. Often, the penalty you pay is in weight (cheaper bags weigh more for same insulation), and in some cases that is no real penalty at all.
Moreover, there are good-quality makers who have excellent quality control, an interest in happy customers, and a willingness to cut costs. Besides, 10 F isnt THAT cold!
So here are three Id suggest:
The North Faces Snowshoe +0 isnt a budget bag, but at $189 its a good buy for a serious cold-weather bag. Its shell is a blend of polyester and nylon, its filling is polyester long-filament, the weight is decent at three pounds, eight ounces.
L.L. Beans Katahdin Climashield bag ($149) also is rated to 0 F. Its similar to The North Face baggood-quality insulation, good shell, nice design. Same weight.
Most amazingly, Marmota high-end gear makeroffers a good zero-degree bag for a mere $109. Its called The Trestles, and although it weighs nearly five pounds its an excellent, warm bag.
Spend less than $109? I wouldnt. Cmonyou want to sleep, dont you? Just be sure to wear a warm hat as well. And eat a Snickers bar. Its a great way to generate some extra heat at bedtime. Plus they taste good.