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Big Agnes Encampment 15 Degree Sleeping Bag: Review And Ratings

The Big Agnes Encampment is a 3 season synthetic sleeping bag that's designed with a pad sleeve for sleeping pads and tapers from the head to the foot section making it a roomy semi-rectangular type.

The Encampment like many other bags has the features we like and some we don't. Lets take a look at an overall view on how it performs.

    What's Smart?

  • Sleeping Pad Sleeve
  • Comfortable
  • Roomy
  • Breathable

    What's Not?

  • May have to buy a pad
  • Inaccurate temp rating
  • Zipper Snags
Suitable for: Base Camp, Backpacking
Approx price: $160-$180 US or less
Countries available: US - Canada

Features and Design

Like other Big Agnes sleeping bags the Encampment has the sleeve for slipping a sleeping pad inside.

There are a couple of advantages for a bag using this design method. The first is to prevent a user from rolling of a pad and the second that Big Agnes states is that the extra insulation loses it's insulation properties anyway after being compressed by the weight of someone’s body.

Some of us favour the sleeping pad sleeve design while others don't have the need for it. It's all about personal choice of what suits the individual best and the type of sleep system they prefer.

Note, it is important to research and buy the correct pad size whether its a Big Agnes or another brand to use with the Encampment.

Because the Encampment is a synthetic bag a user will find there’s no concerns regarding getting it dry if it manages to get damp. It will also keep a person warm despite getting damp/wet.

The liner is made from a breathable nylon material that will keep a user comfortable inside and allow unwanted heat to wick away from the body that cause's a person to feel clammy.

The other problem that seems to get mentioned more than once or twice is the zipper snagging.

Comfort

The bag does well in regards to the comfort factor. The semi-rectangle design is ideal for those that want room to move and gives the bigger built user some room to manoeuvre.

Having the sleeping pad within the the sleeve provided also adds extra comfort especially if the ground is not quite level which can make us roll off the pad without the use of an attached sleeve.

If the night gets quite warm or a person is a hot blooded sleeper the rectangle design is a good option because the fit is much looser compared to a mummy style bag. Opening the zipper, loosening the hood and the overall looser fit to the body compared to a mummy style will do the trick.

Warmth/Temperature Rating

The Big Agnes Encampment is designed to keep a user warm down to 15 degrees F.

Many users have mentioned it does not keep a person warm at the advertised temperature rating, however, for some users other aspects of having the right body temperature before getting inside the bag and other factors can make a significant difference when using a bag closer to the advertised rating.

Keeping a user warm down to 40 F is more accurate for this bag. If you need to go below this you might want give the Encampment a miss.

Despite the negative aspect of this bag not keeping a user warm down to the temperature it's rated for, the draft collar provided still retains heat well and the draft tubing also does it's job of preventing cold from getting inside through the zipper area and leaking warmth out.

Packing

The stuff sack and compression sack is provided with the Encampment when it's bought that are sufficient enough for packing. A regular sized bag will pack down to approx 10 in x 10 in.

If a user wanted to reduce the packing size for backpacking they have the option of buying a sack that compresses much smaller.

The regular sized bag weighs in at 3lb 4oz. It's not what we would call ultra light but it's not heavy either. Each person decides what weight they like to carry when they're backpacking. Basicly if 3lb 4 oz is too heavy don't buy it.

Price

One of the most important factors for all of us is how much it cost's and is it worth the money? The advertised price from Agnes is $159.95 - £179.95 , however, they can be picked up slightly cheaper if a person shops about. Maybe an extra $10 - $20 off the mark up price.

It is worth its price tag for the right user, however, a sleeping pad also has to be paid for which could take the price up to $200. If a buyer wants to pay much less than around $150 for a bag it's likely start to lose some of its features and quality that can be found in bags around this price range although they wont have to find the right pad that fits.

Summary - Overall

Overall the Big Agnes Encampment is a good buy for those that want a bag that doesn’t restrict a person as much as a mummy style bag can. The price is fair and there's plenty of useful features including the pad sleeve for those that want to prevent rolling of the sleeping pad.

The Encampment is suitable for 3 season camping or backpacking and would suit a person that might camp in conditions that could get the bag wet or damp.

The main concern is the amount of reports pointing out it doesn’t keep them warm anywhere near the advertised temperature rating. If that is a concern for a buyer it is best to give this bag a miss. It also has a zipper snagging issue.

A buyer has to consider if their existing sleeping pads fit and if they don't the extra cost this adds to the price tag.

Minimum Temperature: 15 F
Insulation: Synthetic (short staple).
Weight: Short 2lb 15oz, Regular 3lb 4oz, Long 3lb 9oz.
Shell: Nylon rip-stop.
Max Lenth: small 5'8" , regular 5'10" and long 6'6"
Stuff Sack: Yes
Compression Sack: Yes
No Draft: Collar, Zipper, Wedge (between the bag and pad)
  • Synthetic rectangular/semi-rectangular shape that slightly tapers from shoulder to foot.

  • Left and right sided zippers are available.

  • Two bags can also be mated together if the zippers are the same size and on the opposite side to the other sleeping bag it will mate with, ie., a left handed with a right handed.

  • The encampment comes in three sizes which are, small 5'8", regular 5'10" and large 6'6". The size given in inches is the maximum height a person should be for that bag.

  • Pad sleeve to slip a sleeping pad inside that helps prevent rolling off the pad during the night.

  • Pocket that allows a pillow to be pushed inside.
    Features/Design
    Comfort
    Warmth
    Packing
    Price
    Overall

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