Sold … on a cozy new Marmot sleeping bag |

Sold … on a cozy new Marmot sleeping bag

Charles Agar
Aspen Times Weekly

I have a certain nostalgia for my outdoor gear, until it stops working that is.

And it wasn’t until the failure of my trusty old North Face sleeping bag on a late-autumn trip to Moab last year (the down had worn thin and I shivered all night) that I set free the moths from my wallet and bought something new.

Enter the Marmot Sawtooth, a 2-pound-14-ounce goose down sleeping bag rated for temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

The nice lad at REI in Denver walked me through all of my choices, from sub-zero numbers that would keep me toasty on the tundra to light summer jobs perfect for that bike trip in Borneo.

The Marmot, however, was the best-priced mid-range choice.

I weighed the option of a synthetic bag, but the REI kid talked me into goose down as a more durable and better-performing option.

An excellent salesman.

In fact, everyone at REI ” from the kid to the cashier ” seemed just a little too happy to be there, and I felt like I was joining a cult when I signed up for their frequent buyer program.

“Welcome!” the cashier beamed, as if he’d had just too much company Kool-Aid.

But I came away with the right bag at the right price (and next time I’ll just shop online).

I tested my new Marmot sleeping bag on a recent trip back to Moab and it performed perfectly.

I was warm and toasty on a chilly desert night and the fluffy collar and simple drawstring even kept my ears warm. What else do I need from a bag?

The salesman left me with meticulous instructions on how to store my new down bag to maintain the warming fluff of the stuffing for decades, so like a good REI cult member I do as I’m told and the bag hangs like an upside-down mummy from my closet door (in fact, there are two loops on the outside of the bag just for that purpose).

I plan to test the bag’s limits in lots of backpacking and downriver adventures in coming years.

I haven’t been able to ditch my old North Face mummy bag, though; I’ve converted my trusty companion to a couch comforter.

Never mind the down feathers floating all around the living room, I just can’t let the old gal go.