I went to a outdoor show a few months back and I had a chance to take and look at Brooks Range Mountaineering. They are a smaller company that makes Down and Synthetic Jackets that are amazing! They also make sleeping bags, tents and snow tools and accessories.
When I was at the show, I was amazed by their products. I really like their new jacket the Mojave. It is a down jacket with down tek. I can’t wait to see what other things they are going to make with down tek.
I was also impressed with their sleeping bags. They are a down sleeping which is nothing new but the added features they do is nice when you are out sleeping in the cold. The sleeping bag I was using for the last 10 or 12 years is the Mountain Hardwear Trekker. It is a synthetic sleeping bag and I have had it is some semi extreme conditions from 75* to around 10*. I was hunting one winter and when I woke up there were 10″ icicles from our condinsation and my bag was soaking wet and was still warm.
So let see how the Brooks Range Alpini 15* bag will match up. When I received the package from Brooks Range the first thing I did was lay it out on the bed to see what it looked like. When I left to get the camera this is what I had found.
My little guy love playing with everything that I get, but I can’t wait till he can come out with me and test these things out!
Here are the 2 bags side by side.
As you can see the Mountain Hardwear is wider through out. Which is a good and a bad thing. For the good it is more room to move your legs and hips. And for the bad more air space to get cold air through and around you. As for the Alpini it is more slender throughout. Again which is good and bad. The good, it fits more like a glove so there is far less cold spots throughout your body. It surprisingly has a large foot box. Your feet do not feel like they are being suffocated like some. One other thing I like about the foot box is it is not stitched together so there is a thin spot where the fabric meets at and allows cold to come in. The bad, can be a little tight feeling on your torso if you are claustrophobic. You can also see the smaller baffles in the Alpini compared to the Trekker. This will help keep the down more together and not spread all over the place.
They both have a baffle that runs the full length of the zipper to help keep the wind out and keep you warm. Now for one thing that I have not see in a lot or if any sleeping bags is a full head baffle. I am not saying that no one else does this but I have not seen it yet.
But they did both. They put it in the front of the bag and around your head which they call the “Halo Neck Collar”. This is a feature that you will appreciate when you are in the cold with a 3 season tent and the wind is cutting through it like a hot knife through butter.
Here you can see the bags are inside out and a better picture of the “Halo Neck Collar”. Again this is a very nice feature! One that is very under appreciated.
Here is another view of the bags but inside out. You still can see the narrowness of the Alpini compared to the Trekker.
Here is the info and specs from Brooks Range Mountaineering website:
The Alpini 15° Sleeping Bag™ is built for those who plan to sleep outside where it’s cold and colder. With a well insulated pad (our Alpini sleeping pad) it is easy to be warm in this bag, especially for those hardy souls who enjoy camping in the middle of winter (15° F, -9° C).
The secret to the warmth of our Alpini 15° sleeping bag is using offset baffles for maximum insulation efficiency with 850+ fill goose down sandwiched between lightweight Pertex Quantum® fabric. This allows the down to loft completely yet remain protected from the elements.
- Halo Neck Collar – full wrap baffled collar connects to head gasket
- Lightweight baffle netting for maximal loft & warmth
- Baffled head gasket reduces heat loss and a better fit
- Differential cut allow maximal loft
- Cloak hood for full coverage without extra bulk
- Baffled draft tube with zipper guard
- Ergonomic footbox
- Internal storage pocket
- Large cotton storage sack
- Rectangular shaped stuff sack stows in packs better
Down with Down
Nothing beats down for a comfortable, deep, luxurious sleep. This is as true at home as it is in the backcountry, where its lightweight and compressibility are infinitely more valuable. When every element of what you take in the backcountry matters, not only is down the insulation of choice, but the higher the fill power, the better the overall performance.
At Brooks-Range we use 850-fill down, it is super light, ultra compressible, and lofts up to provide a huge comfort range from cool nights on the beach to arctic nights under the aurora borealis.
|Model||Alpini 30°||Alpini 15°|
|Temp. Rating||+30° F
|Fill Weight||11½ oz.
|Total Weight||23 oz.
Now for the Con’s and Pro’s. I like to start with the Con’s and finish on a good note.
- Slim body design. Can be restricting for the larger guys.
- Halo Neck Collar. This is #1!!!
- Large foot box.
- The connection of the fabrics(this is a must see).
I was not able to test this bag out in the outdoor environment like I want to, but I will be buying one to test to it’s fullest. The Conclusion of this semi review of a few of the amazing features. I love the “Halo Neck Collar” that is one of the best thing I have seen in a bag and the large foot box and how the fabrics come together. I wish I could show you this, but with not being able to tear the bag apart you will just have to take my word on this one. This is a GREAT bag and worth every penny. There was a good deal of R & D that went into this bag.
Their sleeping bags and tents can be purchased at Black Widow Tackle and Hunting