When I started planning for a trek on Iceland’s Laugavegur, we didn’t know whether we would be camping or staying in huts, or a combination of both. The one thing I did know was that a light weight solution for my sleeping needs. Since I was going carry-on only, it also had to pack small.
I’m a fan of quilts more than sleeping bags, but many quilts are quite a bit heavier than bags, so it seemed unlikely that it would work on this trip. The problem with lightweight sleeping bags is that, the lighter the bag, generally the more expensive.
At a recent Outdoor Retailer, I discovered a pair of down sleeping bag liners that are made by Big Agnes. Each is made to be used as a liner, on the outside of a sleeping bag, or as a standalone lightweight bag – the only difference I can see is that one is a synthetic insulation and the other is a waterproof down.
Once we found out that there would be no camping, it seemed a perfect opportunity to test one of these out. Big Agnes does not offer a temperature rating, but it seems most users agree there’s about a 10 degree effect to this bag.
At a weight of 1lb 3oz (482g) and a compressed pack size of 4.5in x 6.5in, it certainly fit into my carry-on only plan. In terms of performance, it was certainly enough comfort for sleeping in a hut, where moisture and cold were not issues. Of the 3 nights, only 1 night was a bit uncomfortable, with no heat and temps near freezing.
Flipping a coin, I ended up taking the Farrington, which features PrimaLoft Silver insulation. A 3/4 zip makes it easy to get in and out of, and allows for venting when you need it. There is cinch hood closure and hooks located at the head and foot for easy attachment to sleeping bag liner loops.
The included nylon stuff sack makes for an easy pillow by stuffing jackets or the like to one’s preference. I also used the bag in sack as a pillow one night and it was perfect for me, so it will probably be my camping pillow moving forward.
Overall, the Farrington is a great product that works in multiple ways to make your camping more comfortable. Use it as a standalone bag, as a liner, or on the outside of your sleeping bag for more warmth or to keep your bag clean, and also as a pillow.
Prefer natural down? Check out the Big Agnes McKinnis DownTek Sleeping Bag Liner.
*Product provided at a discount for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.
Other new gear used on the Laugavegur: The North Face Mountain Sneakers, Eagle Creek National Geographic Utility Backpack 40L, Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles.