I (Stella) have limited experience with tent camping. As a kid, I had camped out in the backyard with friends, like most everyone. And then while I was in the military, I camped out in the woods for brief periods of time (these were not fun). Since that time, I had told Larry, on numerous occasions, that I would NEVER tent camp again. Well, on Labor Day weekend 2019, I did! And while much of that adventure was great, my sleeping situation was horrible to the point where I was beyond frustrated and grouchy. In the morning, I told Larry “never again.”
There were two main problems: this sleeping bag and the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus sleeping pad. Larry had picked out this sleeping bag for me and I did not open it up and try it out prior to our trip. If I had, I would’ve purchased something different right away. Please note that the comments below are based solely upon my personal preferences – not product flaws. This is a great lightweight, packable, warm bag – for the right person and right situation.
MATERIAL: I do not like the material of this sleeping bag, as I have always preferred to sleep on a soft form of material: cotton/flannel/fleece. And because we had been out in the sun all day, my skin was salty and sticky, which then caused the material of this sleeping bag to stick to my skin all night like a moist napkin. Plus, the inner layer material is ‘lose’ from the main layer of the bag, so every time I moved, it reminded me of sleeping on crumpled/wrinkled sheets, which I hate. Lastly, because the material is slippery and slinky, my makeshift pillow kept sliding around and seemed to be everywhere except under my head.
WARMTH: This bag is too warm for summer use, even in the unpredictable mountain regions. I do not know why Larry had chosen such a warm bag. We were anticipating temperatures to be in 30’s that evening; this bag is rated for 20 degrees, so it is not the best choice for a summer or early fall campout. Even with just a t-shirt on, I was still too warm because my overall body temperature was elevated from being in the sun all day, and well into the evening.
SHAPE: I loathe the “mummy shape,” as I had discussed in the review for the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus sleeping pad. In order to lie on my stomach with my knee slightly bent, I had to unzip the bag really far and have my knee poking out of the bag. And, I do not like the hood at the top of the bag because it kept messing up my makeshift pillow, which was a huge problem in and of itself. Again, had I been diligent with inspecting the bag Larry had purchased for me prior to this trip, I would have made an immediate trip back to REI to return it.
BOTTOM LINE: Think carefully about the type of material you like to have against your skin, how warm of a bag you need, and how much space you need for changing sleeping positions throughout the night.
Price paid: $119
Place purchased: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Link to The North Face website: The North Face Aleutian 20/-7 Sleeping Bag
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