SIERRA DESIGNS NITRO 800 0¡F
The Nitro’s specs tell the whole story: a 0°F down bag that weighs 2.5 pounds and costs less than $400. There has to be a catch, right?
Nope. The wallet-friendly price is a function of the size of Sierra Designs’s parent company, Exxel Outdoors, which can buy materials in extreme bulk to save on costs. So while the Nitro is priced just right, its 800-fill, PFC-free, hydrophobic down isn’t a compromise at all.
This bag proved light and compressible enough for use during ski mountaineering missions in Washington’s Cascades. Its 62-inch shoulder and 56-inch hip circumferences are aboveaverage mummy dimensions, and the cut doesn’t narrow too much around the legs like that of many mummies.
Some thoughtful features sweeten the deal: The main 40-inch zipper curves in toward the head at the top of the bag, which makes the Nitro easier to zip closed once you’re inside. A zipperless vent at the bottom let us stick our feet out on warmer nights. A baffle prevents cold air from coming in when it’s closed, but one tester said the vent didn’t always work as advertised. “It let in a slight draft when I turned on my side and pulled the bag with me,” he says. We say put on an extra pair of socks and enjoy the savings. –Eli Bernstein $380; 2 lbs. 8 oz. (regular); regular, long; sierradesigns.com
Descents are fun, but going uphill lets you savor the views.
Setting up a shelter, or grade-school gym class activity?