Tent walls condensing like a steam room? Roll over and go back to sleep in the Sierra Designs Trade Wind. The down bag's waterproof shell is impervious to weather that will wilt the feathers of lesser bags like, well, a cold shower. But that's not all. Premium down fill, a roomy cut from shoulders to toes, and no-kidding warmth when the mercury dives below freezing round out this Gear of the Yearwinning sack.
Sierra Designs Trade Wind (15°F) $330 www.sierradesigns.com
1. The Trade Wind embodies the SD philosophy: Give people what they want in a high-value, no-gimmicks product. In this case it's a warm cocoon for pushing the edges of winter camping, a waterproof shell to protect the down insulation, and a price that must keep competitors up at night.
2. Sheathing the Trade Wind is a tough skin of DriZone, a waterproof-breathable material that's been upgraded from last year's version to make it more hydrophobic. Not even a foul weekend at Washington's famously drippy Olympic National Park could soak this puffy bag.
3. You might expect that the Trade Wind reaches its respectable weight (just 2.8 pounds) by skimping on inner space. You'd be wrong. There's room to toss and turn for even big and restless sleepersespecially with the contoured footbox and spacious hood.
4. SD's designers goosed the loft per ounce with premium 800-fill down, and our testers noticedthe Trade Wind is almost a half-pound lighter and compresses better than its predecessor, and it's still reassuringly warm in the teens. No one even lamented the lack of a draft collar.
5. Why should a sleep sack be a fashion snooze? Sierra Designs finally injected some style into the backcountry bower this spring by lining the Trade Wind with a colorful print. Look for similar liners on other SD sacks, including the Trade Wind's 30°F cousin, the Rain Shadow.