The herd mentality has ramifications beyond political. For instance, consider sleeping bags, a subject and product that is hardly controversial. The mummy style sleeping bag is very popular among the climbing and backpacking crowd, and probably among casual campers too because they want to be cool like the hardcore mountaineers. It is true that when you want maximum warmth with minimal weight a mummy bag rules.
How often are you pushing limits in the backcountry where you really need that level of performance? And what about comfort, doesn’t comfort have some value for sleeping? Mummy bags may be warm but their restricted space can hardly be considered comfortable, at least compared to a bed with a down comforter.
Enter Exped’s Dreamwalker, a sleeping bag that not only delivers warmth, it restores comfort AND adds a functionality you can only dream of with a mummy bag. Imagine the ability to wear the warmth and comfort of down while walking, sitting, and hanging out around camp, not just when laying down.
In the past two years I’ve used the Dreamwalker on every outdoor trip except on the Sierra High Route, the classic 5-day ski traverse of the Sierra Nevada. On a trip of that nature a mummy is the best choice although if it were made, a trimmer, mummy-esque Dreamwalker would be preferred. On every other camping trip the Dreamwalker has been the envy of my friends as I awake and prepare the morning brew without having to leave the Dreamwalkers cocoon of warmth until it is time to pack up and hit the trail. On windsurfing trips to the coast the chill of an evening breeze is easily born by donning my sleeping bag and reclining on a lounger to watch the sunset. If you’re stuck in the paradigm that sleeping bags are for sleeping only why limit yourself? Honestly, unless you’re going to the South Pole or the Himalaya it is hard to justify buying a full length down suit. But with the Dreamwalker you can have that with your sleeping bag too. Do I make too strong of a case, am I too rabid about the subject, or am I talking sense? Oh, right, your existing sleeping bag is doing just fine, mummified or not. Fair enough.
Next time you’re in the market though, I doubt you’ll be disappointed if you shift your thinking on a sleeping bag with a mind towards ultimate backcountry comfort. Whether you’re reclining horizontally or vertically, you won’t be sorry you did.
Weight: 46 oz. (average for sz. L)
MSRP: $519 (in 2013)
Weight: 40 oz. (average for sz. L)
MSRP: $439 (in 2013)