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OWNER REVIEW -- Big Agnes King Solomon 15 Degree "Doublewide" Sleeping Bag

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  • Katy Welter
    BIG AGNES -- KING SOLOMON 15 DEGREE “DOUBLEWIDE” SLEEPING BAG By Katy Welter Owner Review Name: Katy Welter Age: 28 Gender: Female Height: 5’ 7” (170
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2010
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      BIG AGNES -- KING SOLOMON 15 DEGREE �DOUBLEWIDE� SLEEPING BAG

      By Katy Welter

      Owner Review

      Name: Katy Welter
      Age: 28
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5� 7� (170 centimeters)
      Weight: 135 lbs (61 kg)
      Email address: kwelterATuchicagoDOTedu
      City, State, Country: Chicago, IL USA
      Date: April 1, 2010
      Backpacking Background:

      I became an enthusiastic backcountry backpacker after taking a 70-day
      Rocky Mountain NOLS course in 2007. My husband and I spend about 20-30
      nights a year sleeping in a tent. We typically do 3-5 day hikes, but
      have completed several larger treks, including the Annapurna Circuit
      in Nepal, the Kalalau Trail in Hawaii, the Overland Track in Tasmania,
      and the John Muir Trail this August.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION (per bigagnes.com)

      Manufacturer: Big Agnes
      Year of Manufacture: 2007
      Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bigagnes.com
      MSRP: $329.95 US

      Listed Weight: 5 lb 3 oz (2.35 kg)
      Measured Weight: 5 lb 4 oz (2.38 kg)

      Height Accommodated: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
      Our heights:
      5' 6" (1.68 m)
      5' 10" (1.78 m)

      Materials:
      Shell: Down proof, nylon microfiber rip-stop. WR surface treatment to
      repel water
      Lining: Soft, breathable down proof nylon with stain resistant finish
      Pad sleeve: Nylon rip-stop. WR surface treatment to repel water

      Specifications per Big Agnes website:
      Fill Weight 2 lb 4 oz (1 kg)
      Shoulder Girth 110" (279 cm)
      Hip Girth 96" (244 cm)
      Foot Girth 80" (203 cm)
      Stuff Sack Size XL-10" x 21" (25 x 53 cm)



      PRODUCT DESCRIPTION (by owner)

      The Big Agnes King Solomon is a two-person, down-filled, roomy 15-
      degree sleeping bag. It has two zippers--one on each side--for handy
      in-and-out. It also has draft doggies blocking zipper draft along each
      side, as well as individual draft collars. There�s even a draft �flap�
      that fills the space between two people�s heads, which you can pack
      away handily in a little velcro pocket. It also has toggles to cinch
      the bag opening, making for an even toastier sleep. The King Solomon
      also has a couple of signature Big Agnes features on the underside: no
      insulation, and two slots for holding standard 20� width sleeping
      pads. You don�t need Big Agnes brand pads: we use an REI and
      Thermarest brand 3/4 length pads. The King Solomon also has built-in
      pillow pockets, but we usually just use our clothes stuff sack as a
      pillow.

      Since the King Solomon packs into a large mass (and even that, with
      some effort), you�ll need at least a 70L backpack (or a wide 60-65L
      pack) to stuff it into. My Gregory Deva 60 (circa 2005) can�t hold it
      without a serious workout. We use an attack/compression sack and don�t
      fully compress it because it takes a long time and effort to get that
      last inch of compression.



      FIELD TEST

      My husband and I purchased the Big Agnes King Solomon (or �Bagnes,� as
      we call her) 2 years ago because we wanted to sleep together when
      camping. Frankly, there aren�t many doublewide bags out there, unless
      you want to lug 12 lbs around. We�d had great success with Big Agnes
      tents, so we decided to give the King Solomon (�KS� from here) a try.
      We�ve used the KS in countless environments because we took it with us
      on a 7-month backpacking trip in the Eastern Hemisphere. Counting this
      and many other backpacking trips, we�ve probably slept 150 nights in
      the KS.

      We slept in the KS in temperatures ranging from 0 degrees and 30 mph
      wind at 17,000 feet in Nepal in a drafty teahouse on a wood bed to 85
      degrees and high humidity in Thailand and Hawaii. Presumably because
      there were always two of us sharing the warmth, the KS certainly
      seemed more like a 0-degree bag (or warmer!) than a 15. We often
      wished we had a 30-degree version of the pack because we were so warm
      (obviously it�s overkill for the tropics, but there are no lighter
      doublewides, to my knowledge). My husband slept in the KS alone in 20-
      degree weather on snow in Colorado for about a week, and he reported
      that it was still warm, though he put his pack inside to fill some
      space.

      Our tent, a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2, is almost entirely mesh, and the
      KS inevitably draws moisture from the walls because its footprint is
      the same as the SL2. When this happens, it can be annoying to pack a
      slightly wet bag, but the fabric dries quickly in the sun (we toss it
      on bushes and have never had a tear). We never noticed loss of warmth
      due to condensation issues, nor a significant weight gain.

      In over 150 nights of use, I cannot think of one problem with the KS.
      Considering we only carry one bag, its a very reasonable weight (not
      ultralight, but it�s worth the snuggle ). The sleeping pad slots on
      the back are extremely useful and have spoiled us. We�ve tried going
      back to the old method of putting the KS on top of our pads, and even
      the slightest movement now annoys us. The no insulation on the back
      doesn�t seem to impair warmth at all, and makes me wonder why all bags
      aren�t made this way. Why waste the down and the weight?

      The only difficulty with the KS is compression it. It�s just so large
      that it can be difficult to force into even a large stuff sack.
      Inevitably air pockets get trapped in the sack during the process, and
      sometimes you have to pull out some of the KS and then give it another
      try. This is not a tiny, ultralight, mummy sleeping bag. It�s more
      like a down comforter hiding in a backpacker-style bag. Though it�s
      bulky, it is unquestionably our favorite piece of gear. We strive for
      minimalism in other aspects of our packing to make up for the bulk and
      slightly higher weight.

      SUMMARY

      If you�re looking for a bag to share with your partner, the Big Agnes
      King Solomon is one of the only backpacker friendly bags on the
      market. Fortunately, it�s a winner. The thoughtful details like, two-
      sided access, draft tubes, draft collars, and sleeping bag slots make
      it warm and comfortable all night long. After over 150 nights of use,
      the KS shows no signs of wear or warmth, and continues to be my
      favorite piece of gear.

      PROS:

      No drafts, good access.

      Lightweight compared to other doublewides.

      Durable (over 150 nights of use with no visible wear).

      Handy sleeping pad slots.

      Roomy, even with two adults. Nice wide foot box.



      CONS:

      Bulky.

      Unexpectedly too warm, even in cold temps.









      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 7, 2010
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. If you are new to BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The Editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our Editors are volunteers and your report will be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response from an Edit Moderator via the Yahoo Groups list within this timeframe, please let me know directly at jdeben(at)hotmail.com

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