Trekking: The Hybrid Sleeping Bag is Baffled Proof that Less is More
Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.
Serious ascents and jaunts in the backcountry require serious gear — anyone who’s spent the evening freezing at 17,000 feet could tell you that much. Weight is at a premium when you’re away from home and crafting a piece of apparel that sheds the weight while retaining a sense of warmth is what all gear companies strive for. You want to be comfortable, sure, but you don’t want to (literally) shoulder the burden of unnecessary weight if you don’t have to. Patagonia knows this, having spent the past 40 years designing ultra-lightweight apparel that will curb frostbite and keep you warm even under the most hostile of circumstances.
That said, it was only a matter of time before the California-based company applied that same technology to wares other than apparel. The aptly-titled Hybrid Sleeping Bag ($299) represents one of Patagonia’s first ventures outside its everyday wheelhouse — and it’s a welcome one. It’s a bag designed for light-and-fast alpine climbing, and as such, it boasts a minimalist aesthetic that works to eliminate redundancies that may crop up with other bags. The plush, windproof bag does this by incorporating what Patagonia refers to as an “elephant foot” build, which essentially consists of two components working in tandem.
The bottom half of the Patagonia hybrid sleeping bag uses 850-fill down and a lightweight shell, while the top consists of a single layer of 1.2-ounce, 15-denier nylon that’s coated with a water-repellent finish, much like the company’s excellent Houdini jackets. Unlike most sleeping bags, however, the Hybrid is supposed to be used in conjunction with a parka or similar jacket, meaning the bag’s temperature rating is entirely reliant on the jacket worn with it. A half-length zipper saves additional weight, and draw-cords atop the baffled portion and built-in hood help you better retain warmth while you’re resting for your grueling push to the summit. This lack of insulation might seem like a hindrance, but, honestly, how else would Patagonia craft a sleeping back that weighs a mere pound?
Check out Patagonia online for more information, or to browse the company’s gear and apparel lineup.