Are detachable lids on sleeping bags worth the extra cost?
I looking to upgrade my sleeping bag so I can get more versatility over a range of temps. In particular, a light bag that would be suitable from 50 degrees down to about 25. I have seen ads for bags with detachable covers that offer flexibility over a wider variety of conditions, which seem like a good option for multiday trips. What do you think about this kind of bag? Worthy innovation or a gimmick? Any ideas for some good bags like this in the $125 to $175 range? David Boulder, Colorado
Indeed, you are seeing efforts by some sleeping-bag makers to come up with “multi-temperature” bags that can be modified as conditions dictate. An example: Sierra Designs’ Mojave ($159; www.sierradesigns.com), a 15-degree Polarguard-filled bag that can be morphed into a zero-degree bag, or even a minus-15 bag, by adding different bag “lids” (the lids are available in Polarguard or down and range in price from $69 to $139). The lids in turn are attachable to a ground cover to make a super-light summer bag rated to 40 degrees or so.
These systems work, but to be honest I’m not terribly enamored of them. I think they’re exceedingly complicated, and you end up spending about as much as you might on two straight-rated bags for different temperatures. I mean, once you “buy into” a setup like this, you’re committed to buying a bunch more products from the same company. And while Sierra Designs makes excellent stuff, I’d still rather be able to shop around.