Mike Thurk is a photographer and fully certified Gym Jones trainer at the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, CO. His photography is focused on outdoor pursuits portraiture, and training.
A recent trip to the South Platte for some crack climbing seemed like an ideal opportunity to test out the new Skeeter SL 20 sleeping bag from Big Agnes.
The Big Agnes Skeeter SL 20 is a versatile, ultra light 650 fill power DownTek bag. Right out of the box the first thing that got my attention was the weight – this thing was LIGHT. This was followed by confusion as I tried to figure out what was connected to the outside of the bag. Took me a second, but then I realized that Big Agnes has designed a sleeping pad sleeve to keep you from slipping out from your pad. They’ve thought ahead and made this detachable, which I appreciate for those trips when this is unnecessary.
The material Big Agnes has used for their bag makes for an extremely comfortable nights rest. Think Swiss duvet. The warm, vertically structured side walls, snug fit and lofty contoured hood only makes getting out in the morning a chore because I wanted to stay tucked in tight for one more hour. Instead of feeling claustrophobic or needing to stick a leg out for room in the middle of the night – as with many mummy bags I have had over the years – the vaulted foot box was surprisingly roomy and comfortable.
Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad
Big Agnes also included their Q-Core SLX sleeping pad and while I have consistently used another brand, those days are numbered. The Q-Core was easy to inflate/deflate with one-way valve for air in and air out, making inflation/deflation efficient and quick. No more post-inflation light-headedness for this guy. The pad provided ample support, and the pad was super packable and light on the hike into camp.
For those that are in the “a sleeping bag is a sleeping bag” mentality, this one offers a different perspective. The combo of the Q-Core SLX sleeping pad and Pin Ears SL 20 sleeping bag was just about as good as it gets for a spring or summer adventure. If this is any indication of the quality in which Big Agnes delivers, it’s well worth the price point.