'Wearable Sleeping Bag' Put to the Test

Invented in Chile, the Selk’bag Sleepwear System first came to our attention in 2008. This year, the company released an updated “wearable sleeping bag” line, and we put it to the test on two recent trips.

The Selk’bag 4G Lite line includes adult and kid models, both made with polyester insulation and fabric. The bags, rated to 45 degrees, fit loosely and are comfortable while sleeping if somewhat cumbersome when walking around.

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Selk’bag Sleepwear

But the hybrid product lets you sit up and read in a tent, cook, walk outside (the “feet” are reinforced), and even get up for a pee break in the middle of the night — all without ever removing your sleeping bag!

The company’s new bag line, called 4G, is lighter weight than the past products. A kids bag is about 2.5 pounds, and the adult models are 3.5 to 4 pounds, depending on size. They pack up as small as many comparable sleeping bags, fitting easily in a backpack.

In our tests, the bags worked pretty good. Our kid tester, my six-year-old daughter, loved her bag. She was thrilled with the fun design, and she said it was “super comfortable” for two nights of summertime car camping.

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Selk bag packed up

We put the adult Selk bag through the paces on a much more serious adventure — two nights in the Uinta Mountains of Utah. Temps got down to about 40 degrees, and one night our tester slept out under the stars. He was cold that night.

In our ultra-light tent and on an inflatable pad, camping at 10,900 feet near Kings Peak, our tester was warm enough in the bag, though somewhat unconvinced that the “arms and legs” added much advantage. “It’s like a mitten versus a glove,” he said. “The mitten is warmer.”

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Extreme use: Selk bag on a stroll near Arctic waters

Overall, the Selk line is worth a look. The price is right. At $79 and up, the Selk’bag line is affordable. They are sold via www.selkbagusa.com and on www.mountaingear.com.

I’d not recommend the Selk bags for anything too serious outside. They are a bit heavy for their warmth, and the bags’ built-in multi-functionality is probably further down on your list than packability and warmth. But for car campers, and especially for kids, the new Selk’bag 4G Lite line might be a perfect fit.

—Stephen Regenold is founder and editor of www.gearjunkie.com.

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