Review: A Serious Sleeping Bag For Kid Backpackers

Serious hiking families: The Feathered Friends Flicker Nano sleeping bag gives kids a high-end option similar to top adult offerings (with a price to match).

Backpacking is a right of passage for the outdoor family. But the path for a child to carry their own gear is often long and arduous.

Consider a child’s typical sleeping bag, often a square Disney-printed taco with a fat zipper, bloated with stiff insulation that struggles to insulate to 40˚. The blocky bag barely stuffs into a 40L pack. And, while perfect for the slumber party or occasional car camping experience, it’s too much for even an adult to carry into the woods.

And while the Feathered Friends Flicker Nano is ultralight in your child’s pack, at $280-$300 it’s not lightweight on the wallet. But that’s because the design, materials, and labor costs are nearly identical to that of an adult bag.

At a Glance: Feathered Friends Flicker Nano

Available: Now

Best use: Backpacking

Who’s It For: Budding adventurers with backpacking pedigree

Insulation And Design: 900+ fill down; quilt / hoodless mummy bag

Price: 30° – $280 / 20° – $300

Feathered Friends Flicker Nano Review

The Seattle-based purveyor of high quality down bags and garments remained steadfast against making a kids bag for years. It knew the costs would be prohibitively high.

But after a long list of client requests, Feathered Friends finally launched a children’s bag, a kid’s version of the popular Flicker.

The Flicker is a semi-mummy-shaped quilt, enclosed with a full-length zipper. Unzipped, the Flicker works as a blanket. Zipped, the quilt converts to a down tube that silhouettes the body with an open foot box.

Feathered Friends Flicker Nano: Fit

A series of drawstrings cinch at incremental lengths to expand with your child. A drawstring at the each end cinches the foot box and snugs around the shoulders, fitting children up to five feet.

A second drawstring sits 12-inches off the bottom cuff and, when closed, shortens the bag to 44 inches, fitting the average six-to-eight-year-old. Invert the foot box inside the bag and cinch tight. The resulting insulated bag is just long enough for the small-fry.

We found the 20˚ bag to be sufficiently warm, but it’s important to note that while the length is adjustable, the girth remains steady. The Flicker has more belly than most mummy bags; toddlers will have extra space around their body.

Furthermore, it’s a semi-mummy-shaped bag with no hood. While the draft collar snaps and cinches around the neck, prohibiting heat from spilling out, you’ll need to bring the beanie to keep junior warm on cooler nights.

Feathered Friends Flicker Nano: Insulation

Under the hood, 900+ fill goose down fills the bag. On a scale of down quality, this sits at the tip top, overkill for most adult bags. But this quality down pays dividends on backpacking trips, where good times on the trail hinge on space and weight.

Feathered Friends doesn’t skimp on supplies, and its down is responsibly sourced.
The Flicker comes in both a 20˚ and 30˚ option. Kids radiate heat faster than adults, so the 20˚ is a solid choice for most little campers.

Shell Material

A water-resistant Schoeller shell, burly enough to repel the abuse of Ramen spills protects the bag. The material adds extra weight but gives the bag a durable trail-life that should last through several kids.

Flexibility

The Flicker, with its full zip, baffles, and sequential series of cinch cords, is an exceptionally versatile bag. Fully unzip the 20˚ bag and you’ve got a summer quilt that can cover two kids. Zip it up, cinch it down, and the bag will eek out the last of the fall season.

Pros

  • Superior down that will outlast your kids
  • Durable, water-resistant shell
  • Continuous baffles to shift down, improving temperature range
  • Bag grows with your child but doesn’t sacrifice warmth
  • Made in the USA
  • Compresses to five liters
  • Wide temperature ranges
  • Holds value

Cons

  • Price
  • Lacks hood
  • Extra space is harder to hear with small bodies
  • Gear shame for the bag you currently have
Building a confident backpacker. The Flicker mostly fills his pack.

As a parent and avid outdoorsman, I have huge incentive for my children to enjoy their outdoor experience. My goal is to hook them in so they come back hungry for more. This strategy includes weaning them onto a full pack (and removing the bulk from mine).

The Flicker squished into a 10.5L pack, still leaving enough room for a liter of water, jacket, and some bars. The weight was negligible, but the volume deficit in my pack paid dividends in s’mores.

Feathered Friends Flicker Nano

  • Fill: 900+ Goose Down
  • Draft collar
  • Continuous baffles
  • Weights: 23 oz
  • Fill Weight: 9.2 oz
  • Zipper side: middle
  • Shell: Schoeller Nanosphere
  • Liner: Pertex 30D nylon taffeta
  • Length: 58/44/35 inches
  • Rating: 20˚ F / 30˚ F
  • Manufactured in: USA
  • More Info/Buy now: $280 / $300

The Flicker’s price is clearly going to put off a lot of families. So it’s only for the purists who are chomping at the bit to take to the woods like they did as kids.

Whether you’re ready for the investment of a solid backpacking-ready sleeping bag for your kids, or considering splitting the cost with another backpacking family, the Feathered Friends Flicker Nano is a stand-out option.

tagged: #review

Share : Review: A Serious Sleeping Bag For Kid Backpackers

By

Contributing Editor (and Gear Junkie Idaho Bureau Chief) Steve Graepel is allegedly a crook and a thief, conning his friends to steal away time from their families in pursuit of premeditated leisure, which typically involves a bike, a pack-raft, skis, running shoes, climbing rack, or all of the above.

previous:
next: