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Old 08-26-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
hyperboarder OP
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Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Meridian, ID
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Big Agnes Lost Ranger Left Zip Long 15F Sleeping Bag

I should mention that most of my camping stuff came from Altrec. They had a 25% off weekend and I dropped about $700. This bag was part of that, and a mean deal. For whatever reason the left zip long version was cheaper, I think I paid about $135 after the sale, MSRP is like $220. It’s my first real down bag and my first BA bag. If you don’t know about them, they only insulate the top of the bag and put a pocket on the back for a pad. This makes the whole setup lighter and keeps you from rolling off the pad, great ideas in my opinion.

The bag is a “semi-rectangular”, so not giant, but not as tight as a mummy. I don’t like really small bags, this was a bit tight, but not bad. I was apprehensive about going with a low temp bag, but it was worth it the first night. I zipped it all the way up and closed the face hole down and was very warm in the 40 or so degree temps outside. At the Grand Canyon it was a bit warm, but I was comfy with it half zipped. The only night it wasn’t great was in Zion, where it was bloody hot. I wish I had my 45F bag with me, but I don’t think it would have helped, I just slept on top of the bag all night.

Against the advice of BA, I washed it when I got home. I had dumped a lot of sweat in while I was in Zion and it was stanky, so it was worth it to me. Per their instructions, you need a front load machine and drying takes forever (~3 hours). Put tennis balls in to break up the down and all is well, mine came out fine. Also, when storing, don’t use the stuff sac, use the big fabric bag to keep the down poofy. Great bag, I can definitely recommend it.

Bonus Review: Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Sleeping Pad

A quick note, this pad is not at all self inflating. I’ve got two Alps Mountaineering that are, and I’ll admit it’s nice. It takes a while to deflate them though, and they pack down to at least 4x the size of the BA. The pad comes in multiples sizes with or without insulation, so make sure you get the right one for your bag. I could have gotten away without insulation, but it’s nice to have and doesn’t affect the size much. Packed down it’s about the size of a nalgene.

I’ve heard that this pad functions differently depending on which side you have facing the ground. I tried it in both orientations and didn’t notice a difference. The valve is nice, you can keep one end in your mouth while you close it, which makes it easy to inflate. It’s big, so it takes a while to blow up, I’d do a few puffs while setting up the tent and it was ready to go when the tent was up. On the flip side, it empties pretty quickly and easily. I’d open the valve, lay on it for a bit, fold it in half, and repeat until it was ready to pack away.

The bag also comes with a patch kit built in to the lid, a nice feature when you’re out in the boonies and you spring a leak. I’ll admit, it feels a little more fragile than my Alps pad, but the size makes up for that. In terms of comfort, it was great. It takes some getting used to (the baffles are a bit odd feeling) but by the second night I was fine, and I loved that I couldn’t roll off it. Definitely a good investment.

Bonus Bonus Review: Big Agnes Air Core Pillow

This was a coin flip. I think it was $15 after the coupon, but the BA bags have a pocket that you can just shove anything soft in to use as a pillow. I decided why not and got it. Uninflated it’s about the size of a candy bar, so it was easy to slip into the bag for the sleeping pad. Inflated it’s pretty big, bigger than an airplane pillow for sure. The valve is the same as the pad, which makes it easy to get it truly full. Otherwise it’s pretty simple, just a baffled inflatable rubber bag.

It’s small enough that I’ll keep using it, but honestly clothes would be just fine as a pillow. If you have a spare $20 or so and want a cushy pillow, get it, otherwise you’ll be fine without.

And that's it! Good trip, here's the report if you want to read it. Post or PM with any questions, happy to answer as I have time.


hyperboarder screwed with this post 08-26-2010 at 08:10 PM
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