Note: Sierra Designs provided a sample to us at no cost in order to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Mara here. I thought this Sierra Deisgns Backcountry Bed looked pretty amazing because I toss and turn and get all wrapped up in my mummy bag. Hike Like A Woman Ambassador Sarah reviewed the bag for us. Read how she liked it. Below are her thoughts.
I am always envious of those people who can lie flat in their mummy bag in their tent and sleep soundly through the night. Meanwhile, when I am camping, I am typically tossing and turning, getting tangled up, unzipped, sliding off of my sleeping pad, and sleeping only a few hours at a time.
Enter the Sierra Designs Women’s Backcountry Bed 700. It is rated to 20 degrees (although you can also order bags ranging from 15-35 degrees) and pretty much solves all of my issues I have with traditional zippered mummy sleeping bags. The price on their website currently is $289.95, so it is an investment, but I think it’s one worth making.
The bag uses a cord system to keep out drafts in the zipperless comforter opening and the fabric is soft and cozy to curl up in. I tested out my bag while camping for several nights out in the Columbia Gorge in Washington State in April. The temperatures dropped to 40 degrees overnight and I was cozy in this bag. In fact, by the middle of the night, I was a bit too warm but luckily, it is easy to fold down the comforter and let in more air. There is even a self-sealing foot vent if you need more air flow.
I still tossed and turned while I slept the first night due to the 35-40 mile an hour wind gusts that came roaring through the canyons of the Columbia River, shaking my tent every few minutes. Despite worrying all night how my tent would hold up, I was at least comfortable in my sleeping bag and able to turn easily from one side to the other. The other aspect I really enjoyed, is that on the bottom of the bag is a sleeping pad sleeve which helps keep the sleeping pad underneath you. I didn’t have to wake up to discover that the pad was on the other side of the tent. I also liked the shape of the bag which gave me ample room to put in a backpacking pillow in the top of the bag and allowed me to spread out while sleeping unlike tight mummy bags.
One thing to note, since the bag doesn’t unzip, you do have to kind of slide in and out of it, but I found it easy to do, especially with the wide opening. If you are taking it somewhere where it will be 20 degrees, you will probably want a top layer since it will not keep in air quite as tight as a mummy sack would be.
I used this bag for car camping, but it does come with both a mesh storage sack as well as a stuff sack that condenses it to a decent backpacking size. There are lighter backpacking bags out there, but at 2 lb. 7 oz. it is definitely a weight I wouldn’t mind carrying into the backcountry since comfort is a luxury worth the weight in my opinion.
I would definitely recommend you try this bag if you are a side sleeper or are looking for a comfortable alternative to mummy bags.