Shane F.wrote a review of Big Agnes Farwell Sleeping Bag: 0 Degree Synthetic on April 13, 2011
Okay so the picture doesn't show it unrolled, but the product image honestly says it all, really no need. However, I did want to show what my set-up was: a tarp, an Exped 26 incher, and an ultralite Z mat (which was what slid into the Big Agnes's bottom...and hopefully the only thing (hah)).
Weather was calling for 28 degree lows at night for the area code we were hiking in.
don't assume area code forecasts are relevant to people outside of the developed town
the wind was bitterly raking across the mountain all day
I wanted to test the sleeping bag (and exped mat)'s temperature rating by sleeping out under the stars.
Climax and Conclusion:
We hunkered down behind a slope to block us from some of the wind, sparked up the fire, watched our breath and dried our socks.
The technology we had said it was 22 degree's out, without accounting for windchill. I planned for 25 degrees, but thankfully I had just bought the ZERO DEGREE sleeping bag, it should keep me perfectly warm....tentless.
We got to sleep about an hour after dark. I was that giddy kind of happy getting into this sleeping bag. It was cold out, and I knew as soon as I warmed up some of the inside I'd be in heaven. With two layers of loose fitting long underwear and a pair of wool socks on I was going to sleep great!
I woke up at 1am, what little hole was left in the face area I just couldn't cover up. Happily, I wiggled around in the enormous amount of stretching space this bag provides, pulled my jacket over my face and got back to sleep.
4am I woke up from some rustling, turns out my compadres had to get up. Their 30 degree sleeping bags weren't holding any heat, and their super-lite solo tents had iced over inside. They were starting a fire so we could get a couple more hours. Although I wasn't as cold as them and the internal sleeping bag temperature hadn't reached a dangerous level, it was getting quite uncomfortable and I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep. Needless to say, I stayed in it for another hour, then got up and guzzled tea by the fire. Damn that tea was delicious.
As for the sleeping bag, I originally wanted to give it 3 stars. The only thing I was missing was a tent, which would have blocked the windchill...but there was no way the windchill brought the temperature near zero (later learned it was 18 at it's lowest). So I'm just a little tired of a rating system that is never accurate, by nearly 20-30 degrees every time I try one.
Also, this sleeping bag isn't really the "in your pack" type, as it won't ever compress enough to fit. It's just a big bag. And when attached to the outside of the pack, the fluffy loft is a magnet for thorns and sharp sticks. There needs to be a more rip/puncture resistant stuff sack if you expect hikers to use a bag that won't fit into the internal compartments of their pack.
But then I think about ingenuity of the bag, the fact that it's a U.S. company, and the fact that there are still ways for people who don't want to sleep mummified, to sleep comfortably on the trail. So even though the temp rating was a bit off, the bag got 4 stars and Big Agnes will be getting my future business just because I know no other bag I could have bought at this price would have kept me as satisfied as this one.