When composing the camping gear or gear for a Camino like I did you have a lot of things to add to the list. The sleeping bag is a big part of any list. When you finished with your list and calculate the cost of all the gear then it could be a bit scary.
- Tent – 400 dollars
- Rucksack – 200 dollars
- Sleeping pad – Another 100 dollars
- Sleeping bag – 90 dollars?
In just a couple of items on your gear list you can rack up quite the bill, but with your sleeping bag things can get very expensive real quick. When looking for a sleeping bag you have basically two options in material. Go for a synthetic one or a down one.
Quick jump guide
- Upsides and downsides of Down and Synthetic
- Material and construction of the AegisMax
- My hikes with the sleeping bag
- Weight of the AegisMax UL sleeping bag
- Pack size of a water bottle
- My experience with the temperature rating
Upsides and downsides of Down and Synthetic sleeping bags
Sure there are mixes and you can just grab a wool blanket but those 2 are the ones you find most of the time. A synthetic sleeping bag has the great advantage that it can deal with wetter weather. If you get your down sleeping bag soaking wet then your in real trouble. The big downside of a synthetic sleeping bag is that you need more material for the same R value or insulation value.
Down sleeping bags can be incredibly compact and lightweight because the material puffs or lofts up. While a synthetic sleeping bag will be heavier and more bulky in your bag. I started my hiking career with a The North Face cats Meow sleeping bag. Which is a popular synthetic sleeping bag that also wont break the bank.
As a first bag and mainly for winter / fall camping this bag was alright, but as I got more into the ultralight backpacking side and wanted to lighten my load the bag got less appealing. One thing I always hated as well was how fragile and difficult it was to open up the zipper. Since I got the AegisMax Ultralight sleeping bag I never used the North face cats meow sleeping bag again.
If you want to read more about the difference between Down vs Synthetic Sleeping bags you can do so here.
Material and construction of the AegisMax
The material choice is nothing much to write home about. Because this is a sleeping bag with a budget in mind. The down choice inside the sleeping bag is a 95% fill, for those who do not know this means that at least 95% of the filling is the fluffy part of the down feather and 5% are the stems and the non insulating parts.
The material on the inside and outside of the AegisMax sleeping bag are 20D nylon which can take a bit a hit in my opinion. But with all ultralight gear, do not expect it to be able to be dragged across rocks without any damage.
Between the different bands in the sleeping bag there is only the 20D nylon material. This is a cost saving measure, you also see this by the zipper. In between there is no insulation from the down. This is the biggest downside of this bag. In my opinion I only notice this when it is below the 10 degree Celsius mark, and in that case I always take an extra sleeping bag liner.
My hikes with the sleeping bag
I have used this sleeping bag now for close to 1 and a half year. The first time in the US for a small section of the Appalachian trail. Second time in the United Kingdom for my Hadrian’s wall path walk. Third outing on the Netherlands for a big chunk of the Dutch Roman Limes along the river Rhine. And as last the Camino Portuguese Coastal, granted this was sleeping in Hostels.
But there where a few occasions where I was lucky that I brought the AegisMax Ultralight Sleeping bag. Or else I would be freezing my ass off like my fellow pelgrims that night. While I was nice and warm in only my boxers.
Weight of the AegisMax UL sleeping bag
Weight of everything in your backpack is important when hiking long distances. A sleeping bag can account for quite a bit of weight of your overall loadout, and for me in case of my previous sleeping bag. A lot of bulk. The AegisMax is tiny in comparison and a joy to stuff in your backpack. Total weight of the AegisMax according to my scale is:
590 grams or 1.3 pounds
This weight includes the stuff sack and is for the Large version.
Pack size of a water bottle
The pack size of the AegisMax sleeping bag is a huge advantage over other similarly prices sleeping bags. Mostly because in this price range you get a synthetic sleeping bag. With the included compression sack you can get it down to the size of your water bottle. There are a couple of rules you have to keep in mind when compressing your down sleeping bag from AegisMax.
Some steps I always use when stuffing
Compress the sleeping bag as much as possible before stuffing in the stuff sack. I always give it a big hug and move down, so I get as much as the air out. After this I begin stuffing but only when I have unzipped the zipper all the way, and turn the footbox of the sleeping bag inside out. That way you do not have the slippery exterior as the first bit to get in the stuff sack.
With practice that you get form stuffing your sleeping bag everyday you get quite good at it and it should only take you a couple of minutes to do. When on long distance hikes and moving everyday you get fast with packing and unpacking off all your gear.
My experience with the temperature rating
The temperature rating of a sleeping bag always has to be taken with a grain of salt. It differs from person to person and how fat you are. To be frank. This bag for me is a good option for whenever the temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius.
But whenever the mercury drops below that the sleeping bag is not a lost cause. I’ve been in temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius or just above freezing with a insert liner. Cover your head with a warm hat and your alright. The type of liner I always use is the Thermolite Reactor sleeping bag liner. This boosts it up with a couple of degrees which can really make a difference.
Great +10 C Sleeping bag for little investment
My overall experience with the AegisMax sleeping bag is positive, when you check other peoples experiences on for example Amazon or Aliexpress then there are for 90% positive. Only complaint is the smell when first coming out of shipping, but that is not an issue at all in my book. Just hang it up outside in the breeze. And besides, sleep in it once while hiking all day and your smell will overpower anything else.
Another point that comes up is that the sleeping bag does not loft enough or not filled properly. As this is not the case for mine I cant comment on that. If you get it via Amazon than you can use their return policy / customer service for this.
For the actual price I would recommend checking it out on Amazon, you have a few variants of this sleeping bag. Such as the color and size. I bought it via Amazon and I got the longer variant. Because I am 1.88 meters tall. For me the long version is very comfy. If your a bit shorter than you can go for the regular model.
Final verdict, go get it if your looking for a starter sleeping bag that does not break the bank. Got the same experience or a different outlook? Share it below!