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Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Elite 850 Sleeping Bag Review

Backcountry Bed Elite Sleeping Bag review

When I first emerged from the “Backcountry Bed” I immediately turned to my wife.

“Did you hear that?” I asked. “No,” she replied, confused.

“Exactly!” I exclaimed.

Without a zipper, there’s no obnoxious noise. Plus, you can more comfortably sleep on your side and stomach because the shoulder room feels infinite. At 68 inches long, it also accommodates taller folks.

The attached “blanket” and the zipperless footbox allow for excellent temperature regulation and venting when camping in warmer climes. I tested the Backcountry Bed from 34 degrees up to 60 degrees and was able to sleep comfortably. Just tuck it in when it’s cold and throw it off when it’s warm.

What I Liked

Versatility. From camping to backpacking, the Backcountry Bed can be used in a variety of situations, temps, and positions.

Backcountry Bed Elite Sleeping Bag Hand PocketsMorning coffee is better because you can sit up and enjoy it without having to unzip and throw part of the bag over you. Just wrap it around you and stay cozy warm.

The little pockets in the top of the blanket for your hands are a great addition. If you sleep on your side with your arm under your head; your hand won’t get cold!

Sierra Designs used DriDown in this bag to guard it against water. To test this I dunked it completely in an icy stream for three minutes to see if the bag would retain its loft (and warmth) when wet. It passed with flying colors.

Before and After Dunk Test
Before dunk test (left) and after dunk test (right)

What I Didn’t Like

Backcountry Bed Elite Sleeping Bag Back
The back has no insulation in places and is just thin fabric

The back of the bed isn’t insulated from the waist to the neck, so if you roll to your side you could feel a little draft. There is a 20-inch wide sleeve you can tuck your pad into on the back so you don’t slip off in the night.

Sans zipper and back insulation I had hoped it would be lighter in weight. At 1 lb. 9 oz. it’s light, but for $450 it’d be nice if it were lighter.

Who Should Buy It?

The backcountry bed is best for someone who likes a lot of room to move while they sleep. It’s also great for warm sleepers who like to toss the covers off when hot, or air out their feet through the footbox. At $450, it’s a big investment, but if you value the versatility it could be the bed for you. (Pro-tip, find it for $337 on Amazon).

Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed Elite 850 Specs

  • Degree Rating: 39 degrees (30-degree lower limit)
  • Weight:1 pound 9 ounces (699g) on our scale
  • Stuffed Dimensions: 7 inches x 15 inches
  • Insulation Type: 850-fill duck DriDown
  • Length: 68 inches
  • Fill Weight: 11 ounces
  • Outer Fabric: 10D Nylon Ripstop
  • Inner Fabric: 15D Nylon Taffeta
  • Price: $450

More Info / Purchase On Amazon