Big Agnes Duster 15° Review

When it comes to our outdoor gear, we like to have the best products that we can. This of course applies to our sleeping gear as well, no one wants to have a bad night of sleep after they just spent the whole day hiking. Check out why we ultimately decided on the Big Agnes Duster below.

When it came time to get a sleeping bag for our 3.5 year old daughter before our first backpacking trip last fall, the research commenced.

The first thing I learned was that there was not a great selection of kids sleeping bags that could handle real camping. I was looking for something that was durable, sized right, could pack down a bit, and would keep her warm.

Are you curious if kid’s sleeping bags are really worth it? Check out this post from a few years back to learn why you might want to invest in a kids bag: Kids’ Sleeping Bags – Are they worth it?

I finally narrowed my selection down to two, the Big Agnes Duster 15° and the Nemo Punk. We ultimately decided on the Big Agnes Duster 15°. Continue reading for our full review!

Interested in learning more about the Nemo Punk and other kids sleeping bags? Click here to head over to our kids Sleeping Bag Round Up!

Specs:

The Duster 15° is a newer (2018 debut) sleeping bag that is mummy shaped with synthetic fill. It lists 15° in its name, but it doesn’t state if its a comfort rating or lower limit rating (however, temp test standards are not normally applied to kids bags so this could just be a manufacturer estimate). 

This bag is designed with the growing child in mind, pre-school to middle school and beyond depending on size. Its best used for camping, but can also be used for backpacking.

  • Bag Weight: 2lb 14oz
  • Fill Weight: 30oz
  • Insulation: Fireline Core Synthetic
  • Compressed Bag Size: 10in x 11in
  • Stuff Sack Size: 9in x 20in
  • Fits up to 5’6″
  • Requires any 20″ wide sleeping pad
  • Includes a nylon stuff sack for packing and a larger mesh sack for storage
Duster 15 in its included mesh storage sack.

What We LOVE about the Big Agnes Duster

I absolutely love how this bag can grow with your child.  This bag fits both our daughter who is 3’ tall and me at 5’2”.  One of my favorite features on this bag is that not only can you adjust the length with the hook and loops, you can adjust the width too! 

The Duster can adjust in both length and width.

To adjust the length, just roll tightly from the bottom to the desired length and attach the loop to the hook. Same for adjusting the width. You can adjust one side, both sides, or none for a custom fit width.

This adjustable system helps to keep insulation closer to the body. It also helps eliminate extra air space and potential cold spots.

The half pad sleeve allows you to use different length pads to suit your needs. This also means you lower half can move around a bit more freely.  Big Agnes used a nice and big #5 zipper for smooth zipping. They also have some extra stitching by the zipper to keep the liner from getting caught.

What We Don’t Love about the Big Agnes Duster

I am not loving that there is no padding or insulation on the back under the pad sleeve, so you will always need to use a sleeping pad with this bag to have insulation under your torso. Sleeping on a cot or other surface without a pad could leave their backside chilly if they roll over with the bag.

The patterned fabric is showing part of the area underneath the torso that has no insulation (the pad sleeve is covering the rest of the area.)

The Duster is also a little bulky for backpacking trips. The bag comes with a nylon stuff stack for packing, but a compression sack might help get the size down for backpacking trips.    

Bottom Line:

Overall this is a great bag that will grow with your child, no need to buy a new bag every few years!  The hook and loop system on the bag help dial in the right size for your child so there is just the right amount of space, making sure that little stays nice and cozy all night long. The integrated pad sleeve makes sure they won’t roll off their pad.

I’ve noticed this bag is sometimes hard to find. It was out of stock on bigagnes.com for a few months before I was able to purchase ours last August. Keep an eye out if this bag is on your radar! Currently it is out of stock on their website again, but is available here on Moosejaw.

A warm night of camping kept Kylie on top of her bag instead of in it.

© 2020, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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