It’s a pretty great idea: forever end the need to zip two sleeping bags together. We bought one of Big Agnes’ doublewide sleeping bags for specifically that reason, and we want to tell you how it measures up.
Basically, it’s awesome. But there are also a few down sides.
First, a little bit about the bag. We got a good deal, so we were able to get a little fancier setup than we might have otherwise. We purchased the King Solomon, but it looks like it’s since been updated to be even a little nicer than what we’d purchased. It’s pretty much two mummy bags sewn together. Big Agnes makes several different temperature ratings, sizes and styles. There’s a zipper on both sides of the sleeping bag, and two mummy hoods. If you haven’t seen a Big Agnes bag, they are made without any padding on the underside. Instead, there’s a sleeve that your pad slides into. The idea is that you’ll never roll off your mat. Naturally, the doublewide bag requires two mats that slide into the sleeves of the bag side by side. There are also two sleeves in the hoods that hold Big Agnes’ blow up pillows.
We found that our Exped Downmat 9 fits great in the pad sleeve (woohoo!), so we only had to buy one pad. We went with the Q-Core SL, which is conveniently the same thickness as the Downmat. Buying insulated pads is pretty important if you camp at any other time than the warmest months of the year because, as you will remember, there’s no padding on the underside of the bag.
I’ll start with all the positives: It’s really nice to not have to zip bags together. You know how sleeping bag zippers are; no company will ever make a sleeping bag zipper that doesn’t jam. The less you have to use them, the better. It’s also great to never roll off your sleeping pad, which is a standard Big Agnes bonus. Each person has a zipper on their side of the bag, which is very convenient when someone needs to get up in the middle of the night and pee. We’re split on whether or not we like the pillows and flaps they fit in. Personally, I’m a fan. I can blow up the pillow to whatever sort of pressure I want, and they fold down small enough to be packed in with the sleeping pads. The sleeve where the pillow fits in can also be stuffed with a sweatshirt or jacket, and it keeps your pillow from escaping in the night.
Overall, the doublewide also packs down smaller than two separate sleeping bags, so it’s nice for multi-day trips like canoe trips. And then there’s the very obvious pro to the doublewide sleeping bag: sharing body heat.
There are a few cons. The bag is definitely not as warm as it claims to be. Ours is rated to 15 degrees, and we were a little chilly at 32 in a single layer of clothing. On our recent boundary waters trip, we were totally bundled up and wearing several layers, but we still had a little trouble sleeping as temps went down to 22 degrees- and we even put an extra down blanket in the bag (that’s one benefit- it’s easy to add layers of blankets inside this bag).
Some heat inevitably escapes this sleeping bag because of the gaps created between the two people. Though there’s a flap to cover the opening between the two sleepers’ heads to mitigate this, the flap never stays velcroed down. Someone moves and it pops open again. Were I to give the sleeping bag a temperature rating, I’d put it right at 30-40 degrees rather than 15. But let’s be honest, does any sleeping bag actually live up to its temperature rating? Everyone knows you can’t trust those ratings.
One more note on temps: all things considered, it’s almost definitely warmer in the doublewide than it would be to zip two sleeping bags together. It’s made to keep two people warm.
Getting the whole setup together is a bit of a pain, too. If you’re in a small tent (say a two-man), it takes a little bit of finagling to get both mats into their sleeves and inflated to the desired pressure.
Overall, we love this sleeping bag and use it all spring, summer and fall. It’s our go-to for both car camping and canoe trips. Consider it MNAdventure recommended.
- Never deal with zipping sleeping bags together again.
- Generally warmer than zipping two standard bags together.
- Cuddle time.
- Inflatable pillow pocket.
- Packs down smaller than two separate bags.
- Dual zippers make entry/exit easy.
- Not as warm as the rating claims.
- Bit of a pain to set up.
- Cabin Creek Doublewide 15* sleeping bag ~$500 (this is one of the more expensive models)
- 2x Q-Core SL insulated sleeping pad: ~$280 (cheaper pads available)
- 2x Q-Core SL pillow: ~$70 (cheaper pillows available)
A note: this is not a paid review. All items were purchased and were not provided as incentive for a review. But if you want to send us stuff to review, we’d love it!