A sweet deal on a zero-degree sleeping bag | AspenTimes.com

A sweet deal on a zero-degree sleeping bag

Joel Stonington
Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

After a cold night out in the desert this spring, I realized my 10-year-old sleeping bag just wasn’t cutting it. The down had compressed, and it was now little more comfortable than a synthetic sheet.I looked and looked for a cheap, winter bag, but I couldn’t find one. I really wanted one from Feathered Friends, a Seattle company that makes custom bags, but couldn’t come close to the $500 that one of their winter bags costs.The REI website had winter bags in the $350 range, but even that seemed steep. So I kept looking. A month ago, I scored while browsing on sierratradingpost.com. There, I found a zero-degree, 600-fill, goose-down bag made by Marmot for well under $200. The colors weren’t exactly what I wanted, orange and silver, but I figured that didn’t matter all that much.To add to my deal-finding joy, I found a coupon on the net that further reduced everything on the Sierra site by 30 percent. I felt roundly satisfied when the total for the bag came out to just $130. The bag is baffled around the head area, with a draw cord that seals off the body area. The feet stay warmer with some extra down around the lower end. When I first got it, I lay down in the bag with all my clothes on in my living room and quickly got way too hot. For backpacking, the bag is not too heavy, weighing in at just over 3 pounds. And once I saw the colors in person, I realized the style cannot be beaten. It’s sweet.A few nights ago, I took the bag on a hike up to Conundrum Hot Springs. I was hot enough to unzip the bag a bit and sleep with good warmth. Unfortunately, there were some rocks and the ground was a bit hard. I guess my next outdoor purchase will be a sleeping pad.Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com