In some places across the globe, spring means warmer temperatures. In the Southern Hemisphere, however, it’s not spring at all—but fall. And in high altitudes, it can still be cold at night.
So, when you’re traveling where you need to be concerned with staying warm at night (and are packing your own sleeping bag), temperature rating is a big deal. When I camped in the Ladakh region of India in February, high in the Himalayas, I had to make sure my sleeping bag was rated to -20 Fahrenheit. I brought the Big Agnes Crosho UL-20 sleeping bag.
The Crosho is a hardcore Goldilocks mummy bag—ultralight, warm enough for the most extreme environments, and with a high-tear strength shell. It’s just right.
The warmth comes from DownTek, a water-repellant treated down that stays dry (absorbing 30 percent less water and drying 60 percent faster than untreated down), is washable without losing its ability to repel water, doesn’t add any more weight than untreated down, and is PFOA and PFOS free (for those who are looking for more natural products).
The body mapped baffle construction in the sleeping bag is done to optimize thermal efficiency, and the vertically structured side walls integrate contoured baffles that trap heat closer to the body. The contoured hood baffles fit the head for a contoured fit, and the oversized interior draft collar helps prevent heat loss.
For my nights of camping in the Himalayas in winter, I used the Crosho with a sleeping pad, a thick Ladahki blanket, and two hot water bottles each night. I was almost too hot. But waking in the morning to a thin layer of ice on the Crosho right below my nose was enough to convince me I had the right sleeping combo. All I had to do was drape my sleeping bag over the top of my tent in the morning sun for about 30 minutes, and it was perfectly dry again.
You may not be planning a vacation in the Himalayas in winter, I get that. But that’s not the only place that gets cold at night. The Crosho isn’t for budget campers, but if you need hardcore thermal protection when you’re out camping, it’s good to have it along.
The Big Agnes Crosho UL-20 comes in regular and long sizes, priced at $599.95 and $619.95, respectively, on the Big Agnes site.