SLEEPING BAGS

Sierra Designs DriDown Backcountry Bed: Is It the Best Multi-Season Sleeping Bag?

Sierra Designs Bed
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Sleeping bags are important backpacking and camping gear. Outdoorsmen need plenty of rest so that they can hike to the next location or proceed with camp activities for the next day. One of the best ways to ensure a good night’s sleep is to buy a comfortable sleeping bag that will keep you warm.

The Sierra Designs DriDown Backcountry Bed is a 3-season sleeping bag designed specifically for the sleeping needs of women when camping and backpacking. Its mummy-shaped design has warmth and comfort in mind. However, is it the best sleeping bag in its category? Let’s find out.

Product Specifications

  • 600 Fill DriDown
  • Versatile integrated comforter wraps allows you to easily adjust to varying temperatures
  • Insulated Hand/Arm Pockets provide insulation under your arms when comforter is used outside of the bag
  • Sleeping pad sleeve secures your sleeping pad to create the experience of a fully integrated bed
  • Catenary shaped opening is smaller than bag width so when you push out, the walls push in to seal out drafts

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When it comes to sleeping bags, there are many choices and many features you need to know about so that you can buy the best one suited to your needs. Manufacturers also make different shaped sleeping bags for better comfort and warmth. Sleeping bags are also rated according to the highest temperatures they can keep a human being warm.

Before choosing a sleeping bag, think about the weather where you are going to sleep. This will ensure that you stay warm even when you’re sleeping outdoors. Buying the wrong sleeping bag can result in a sleepless night or even expose you to the dangers of hypothermia.

Sierra Designs DriDown Backcountry Bed Product Specifications

Campers and backpackers who love sleeping with a comforter will love the Backcountry Bed by Sierra Designs. It is a 3-season zipper-less sleeping bag that features an integrated comforter that you can easily adjust according to temperature.

As a traditional mummy-style sleeping bag, the product is one of the most comfortable in the market. The bag is designed as a “bed” so that users can manage temperatures more easily. The bag is a good choice for all kinds of sleepers including stomach sleepers who need space to roll over.

Sierra Designs Bed review

The sleeping bag is priced between $289.95 and $369.94 and is a 600-Fill DriDown bag designed for women. Aside from the integrated comforter, it also features insulated hand/arm pockets for additional warmth, a sleeping pad sleeve so that your bag and sleeping pad stay together while allowing you to move around the bag, and a zipper-less foot vent so that you can stick your feet out when it gets hot.

The Backcountry is a good option for people who want a comfortable and versatile sleeping bag that is rated for 3-seasons.

Packaging

The product comes with almost everything you need to make your camping and backpacking trip comfortable and warm. The sleeping bag has its own stuff sack and is packed down when it arrives in your doorstep.

Once opened, the sleeping bag is 3 x 58 x 68 inches and can be unfolded easily. Once it is integrated with a sleeping pad, is ready to use for the night. The bag itself weighs 3 lbs. 1 oz and approximately 3.45 pounds when shipped.

Design and Durability

The first time you see a Backcountry Bed, you will immediately notice that it does not look like other traditional mummy-shaped sleeping bags. This is because the bed is designed without zippers which enabled the manufacturers to save on weight while making it more comfortable.

Sierra Designs Bed design

The integrated comforter gives this bag a big edge over other competitors because it enables the user better control over warmth and comfort. On warm nights, you can tuck the comforter inside but on cold nights, you can use it as a comforter.

Another unique design of this sleeping bag is the zipperless-foot vent. You can stick out your feet if it gets too hot or tuck them back inside when you get cold. This feature allows the users control over how warm or cool they want to be when they’re sleeping.

The integrated quilt, foot vent and zipper-less design gives users temperature controls without the bag being too restrictive for a mummy-style sleeping bag.

The shell of the bag is made from ripstop polyester while the lining is polyester taffeta. These fabrics are designed with toughness in mind. These materials do not tear easily and thanks to its strength-to-weight ratio, tears do not spread rapidly. Overall, the Backcountry is a durable bed that can last many seasons, especially if it is well cared for.

Reliability and Effectiveness

In traditional sleeping bags, the zipper is usually the first component that fails. However, the Bed does not have a zipper making it a good fit for people who are looking for reliable sleeping bags. You can say goodbye to snags should you choose this bag.

Sierra Designs Bed material

The Backcountry Bed is also very easy to use and effective against cold weather. It features 600-fill duck DriDown and is rated for 3 seasons. You can safely use this bag for temperatures in the mid 20’s while giving users the freedom to easily control how warm they want to be.

In cold temperatures, users can sleep inside the bag with the comforter protecting them from low temperatures. On warm nights, users can sleep on top of the comforter and open the foot vent to keep cool. This is a reliable and simple way to control temperature and comfort using the bag’s simple features.

Ease of Use

Since there are no zippers, the bag is easy to use. All you need to do to set up is to place the sleeping pad on the sleeve under the bed and you’re ready to go. You can adjust temperatures using the integrated quilt and zipper-less foot vent. Once you’re done, you can pack the bag in the stuff sack and you’re on your way to your next adventure.

Sierra Designs Bed ease of use

The Bed is also easy to maintain. It can be machine washed using a front-loading washer at home with mild detergent and cold water. You can line dry it or use a commercial dryer on low heat for drying.

Weight

This sleeping bag weighs 3 lbs. 1 oz so it is not the lightest sleeping bag out there. It does not have Velcro or zippers so the weight is comprised mostly of the down and materials used. Generally speaking, this bag is around 1 pound heavier compared to other sleeping bags in its category.

Packed Size

The product comes with its own stuff sack, but it does not pack down to a very small size compared to other sleeping bags. The 600-fill is very warm, but not very compressible, which is why many users will find this sleeping bag a bit bulky when packed. The design of the bag has a wider cut, which is another reason why it does not compress very well.

Comfort

For a mummy-shaped sleeping bag, The Backcountry is surprisingly roomy and comfortable. Many people do not want to use this type of bag because they find it restrictive due to the design. However, this is not the case with this product. It is easy to roll-around, flail a bit and is very cozy inside.

Sierra Designs Bed value

The quilt is very handy when you want a comforter and the top cut-out part of the entrance can act as a hood for extra warmth during low temperatures. The quilt is a luxurious and convenient feature that many users love about this product since sleeping in it is like sleeping in a bed at home.

The sleeping bag also features a sleeve so that you can easily integrate your sleeping pad. This feature is very intelligent because it keeps the pad and bed together while allowing you to move freely inside the sleeping bag.

Features

The integrated quilt is perhaps the greatest feature of this sleeping bag. This allows for easy temperature control. The foot vent is also another great feature which allows users to prevent overheating below the bag. These features make the Backcountry a great camping and backpacking companion during summer and mild weather conditions.

Versatility

The product is rated for 3-seasons and can be used in temperatures in the mid-20’s. The integrated comforter is easy to use during different kinds of temperatures giving the sleeping bag good versatility.

Sierra Designs Bed versatility

Aside from this, the cut of the sleeping bag is also very generous, so it can easily be used by different kinds of sleepers, including side sleepers and stomach sleepers who need some room to maneuver into their favorite positions.

Best Applications

The bag is not ultra-light, but should still be suitable for most backpacking and camping needs. It is rated as a 3-season bag and many users will still find it comfortable in mild weather. This bag is best suited for people who are looking to prioritize comfort over weight. It can be used when camping in the wilderness or for general sleepovers at home.

Value

At approximately $300, this bag is on the expensive side of the scale. However, it is also one of the most comfortable in the market. If comfort is what you need, you won’t mind the high price of the sleeping bag. However, if you’re looking for something cheaper, there are other alternatives available. Aside from this, there are warmer sleeping bags that you can use all year round for better value.

Sierra Designs Bed comfort

This doesn’t mean that it is the only great sleeping bag on the market. Here are a few of the competing products for you to consider.

Competitors: Other Sleeping Bags To Consider

Sierra’s Backcountry bed is a good 3-season sleeping bag, but it is not the only bag available in the market. Knowing what you need and doing research can make choosing the best sleeping bag easier. Here are some products you can compare with the Backcountry.

Sierra Designs DriDown 800-Fill Sleeping BagSierra Designs DriDown 800-Fill Sleeping Bag

Manufactured by the same company, the Sierra Designs DriDown 800-Fill Sleeping Bag is designed to be thermally efficient. Just like the Backcountry, this product has a mummy-shaped design that moves when you do so that you can sleep in different positions. It also features an ultra-light jacket hood so that you can “wear” the bag like a jacket to help you keep warm in low-weather temperatures.

For temperature control, the Mobile features a ventable 78-inch zipper and arm-holes so that users can stay cool in the bag. It also has a zipper on the bottom so that you can slip your legs outside to prevent overheating. The arm-holes are a great feature because you can slip your arms outside and drink coffee or hot chocolate easily while “staying in bed”.

Priced at approximately $204.10 – $349.95, is a garment style sleeping bag with 800-down designed for colder nights. You don’t have to fear the cold because you don’t need to get out of your bag. Overall, it is a very comfortable sleeping bag that allows users to sleep in different positions.

The product is a good choice for campers who prioritize comfort over bulk and weight. It is a 2-season bag and is best used for late fall and early winter camping. Many testers enjoy sleeping in the DriDown Mobile but wish it was more affordable, lighter and less bulky.

Sierra Designs Zissou Plus Down Sleeping Bag

Sierra Designs Zissou Plus Down Sleeping Bag

The unique trapezoid shaped quilt of the Sierra Designs Zissou Plus Down Sleeping Bag provides bed-like comfort in warm weather. This product is rated for 2 seasons a unique integrated quilt. The Zissou is an award-winning product that can keep you warm in camp. The sleeping bag features an ergonomic hood and foot box designed specifically for comfort.

The draft collar can keep users warm while preventing cold air from seeping into the bag and warm air from escaping. There are also draft tubes around the zipper to help maximize heat retention and to prevent cold spots from forming. To keep the bag from slipping off your sleeping pad, the bag has lock loops which you can use with bungee cords (not included) so that it stays in place.

Best used as a backpacking sleeping bag, the Zissou is rated for 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This mummy-shaped bag has 700-fill duck DriDown filling, making it a good camping companion in colder weather. The mummy-shape of the bag is not too restricting so users that like to move around when sleeping will find it easy to switch to different positions. The long design of the sleeping bag will allow you to sleep with your electronics and other gadgets.

The side walls have baffles to prevent down from migrating. Weighing in at 2 lbs 2 oz, it is very light making it a good choice for backpacking. Just like the Backcountry, it has an integrated quilt to give users a bed-like feeling. The Zissou has anti-snag zippers so you can zip the quilt up and down without fear of snags or breakdowns. The zipper also allows for easy temperature control. Zip it down when it gets a bit cold and zip it up while using the hood to maximize heat retention in cold weather.

Priced at approximately $169.95 – $239.95, this bag is a bit roomier than the Backcountry Bed and is more affordable too. However, this bag is rated for cold temperatures so you might not be able to take it with you for camping in warm weather.

Klymit KSB 20 Down Sleeping BagKlymit KSB 20 Down Sleeping Bag

Designed for 3-season backpacking and camping, the Klymit KSB 20 Down Sleeping Bag has 650 fill power down designed for exceptional warmth. It is made with lightweight breathable fabric so the user does not overheat in warm temperatures but does not freeze in colder weather.

Best used for camping and hiking, the KSB has a draft collar and foot box for easy temperature control. Weighing only 2.75 lbs, this sleeping bag is one of the lightest in its class.

To maintain internal warmth, the KSB uses high grade white duck down and can be used in temperatures as low as 20˚F / -7˚C. To fight the cold, the sleeping bag features a mummy hood and flexible baffles and over-stuffed foot box to minimize heat loss and better thermal efficiency.

The chest area is expanded so that sleepers can move around in their sleep. There are pockets inside the sleeping bag where you so that you have a safe space for your cellphone and other small gadgets.

The KSB is priced at approximately $189.95 to $300.95 and can be used for 3-season camping. It is also lightweight making it a good choice for backpackers and hikers and is a good choice for summer and early fall camping and backpacking trips. Constructed from 20D rip-stop nylon, this sleeping bag is durable and can last many seasons with care.  However, the KSB is constructed a bit narrower than other mummy-shaped sleeping bags so users might find it restricting.

Overview

After reviewing the Backcountry Bed and comparing it with its closest rivals, it is clear that the Backcountry is the most comfortable and luxurious option. The integrated comforter is exceptional in keeping you warm during cold weather and it can be stuffed into the bag easily so it does not get in the way of warm weather camping.

The product also has other temperature control options like the vented foot box so that users can easily slip their foot in and out of the box depending on the cooling they need.

While the Backcountry is the most comfortable, it is also expensive and bulky. Backpackers and campers who want something more affordable and lightweight will find the KSB more to their liking. This product is also rated for 3-seasons and has almost the same fill-power.  However, this bed is not perfect:

Pros:

  • Very comfortable
  • Easy Temperature Control
  • Durable ripstop nylon fabric

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Bulky when packed
  • Not lightweight
The DriDown Backcountry is ideal for people who want comfort over bulk and weight. Are you one of these people? Tell us in your comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

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