In my post below I mentioned that I bought a new sleeping bag this weekend. The sleeping bag that got replaced has become a legend among my friends and family and thus warrants a post all to itself.
When I was a kid my family went camping quite often so we had a variety of sleeping bags. I had a light one that was great in the super-hot summer months and a heavier synthetic one my dad had given me that was warm but had a broken zipper. Also when she wasn't using it my mom would loan me her really nice North Face down sleeping bag (this bag is probably over 30 yrs old now and is still wonderful, for those of you who may be wondering). I always dreamed of someday having a sleeping bag like hers, that was warm and cozy and packed into a fist-sized ball. When I got a little older my mom, who knows the importance of a good sleeping bag, scored big at a garage sale - she found TWO down sleeping bags of unknown age that were extremely cheap and extremely nice. The downside: front and center was the brand name: Marlboro Adventure Team. Another downside: these were not true "adventurer" sleeping bags... they weren't very light, the zippers didn't operate too smoothly, and they don't pack very small. But they were warm, and down, and actually an upgrade from what I was using.
For the next five years or so I used one of the Marlboro sleeping bags but with increasing complaints. The most annoying was the zipper, which got worse over the years. And as you may expect I got a whole lot of flak for the Marlboro name on the front, especially since I'm not really a Marlboro kinda gal (I hope this doesn't actually surprise any of my readers). And the thing that was constantly lurking in the back of my mind was that this really wasn't the North Face down sleeping bag I had always dreamed of.
So last weekend when REI was having its annual Labor Day sale and their REI brand sleeping bag was on sale for almost half what it usually was ($124), I had to try it out. And as soon as I crawled in it I knew I wouldn't get back out until my Studly Hubby agreed that we could buy it. Then he tried it out and wanted one for himself too. I know it's not North Face (which they tried to sell us but was 3X as expensive) but it packs into a tiny ball and is super lightweight and cozy, so hopefully it will be good enough for what we need. It sure felt nice! We're going camping again in a few weeks and we can't wait to try out our new bags.