Julie Schoenfeld is a founder at Outsoul, working to connect outdoor guides with new clients. She is also is a former professional climbing instructor and has worked as the Director of Digital Development of Rock and Ice Magazine. In her free time, Julie can be found crimping up her latest project, backpacking and mountain biking through the mossy forests of the Pacific Northwest, skiing backcountry powder, or paddling her local waterways.
A cozy update of a classic mummy bag:
When the Eleanor Plus first arrived on my doorstep it seemed to be nothing more than a standard 3-season 700-fill-power mummy bag. It packed down small, fluffed up nicely, and was stuffed with DriDown, but after my first night in the bag I realized the game-changing genius of the integrated quilt.
I tested the Eleanor Plus on a spring kayaking trip in the outer San Juan Islands. Over the course of the week-long adventure we had enough rain and spray to get things damp and soggy, and cool enough nights that I was glad for the 20 degree rating.
You know how a fluffy duvet drapes loosely over your neck and shoulders when you crawl under it? That’s what it was like when I opened the dual zippers on the Eleanor Plus and the quilt unfurled around my upper body. This feature let me regulate my temperature, side-sleep and stretch my arms without feeling like my entire right side was exposed to the elements. I was totally smitten with the quilt and slept soundly through rain and wind the entire trip.
The Pacific Northwest in the springtime is a wet place, storms are still blowing off the Pacific and thick moss covers everything. DriDown was an essential antidote to this dampness. Each morning I’d hang the Eleanor up to catch a few weak rays of sun before cramming her into a stuff sack and then into a clammy watertight drybag. Notwithstanding this abuse, the sleeping bag stayed dry and fluffy for the duration of our trip.
The Eleanor Plus felt spot-on with the 20 degree comfort limit. I’m a cold sleeper and wouldn’t want to push it down into the lower recommended limit of 11 degrees, but a warm sleeper with sufficient long underwear could make it work.
Weight and Size
The extra zipper, integrated quilt and 700-fill-power down bring the trail weight of the Eleanor Plus to 2lbs 13oz. She’s not going to win any ultralight showdowns, but it’s still a very respectable weight for a 3-season bag. Kayaking is more forgiving of weight than size, and I appreciated the small, 9in. X 15in. stuffed size that fit easily in a drybag and the hull.
Overall this is a well-designed 3-season sleeping bag, with a really cozy quilt feature. The bright purple color is cheerful, and the 700-fill-power DriDown stays warm and dry even when slightly damp. I look forward to using this bag backpacking, kayaking, and car camping for years to come.