Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20 | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20 | Review

Is this the ultimate car camping sleeping bag? It might just be

Why We Chose The Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20: A super comfortable, luxurious, night’s sleep

While Sierra Designs make some great technical and lightweight kit for backpackers (their packs in particular, go check out our review of their Flex Capacitor), they also have a few items that are aimed at all-out comfort and luxury. This, the Frontcountry Bed 20, is one such example.

Who Is The Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20 For?

As the name suggests, it’s a basecamp type of sleeping bag – one for the car campers of this world. In fact, it’s perfect for those Van-Life types out there. While it’s too heavy and bulky to be a realistic option for hiking miles with, it’s ideal as that thing you leave permanently in your car boot or the back of your van for guaranteed bed-like comfort when you’re out and about.

Design and Materials

As you can see from the pictures, this thing’s quirky. There are no zips here at all. Instead, on the torso you have this kind of tongue-like flap that you can wrap around you like you would a blanket. Then down at the feet another smaller, similar flap allows you to kick out for ventilation when you need it. The flap on the torso even has little sleeves on the edges that you can tuck your hands and forearms into.

What’s more, underneath the sleeping bag there’s also a sleeve that you can tuck a sleeping mat into if you wanted to, ultimately making for a complete sleep system.

It’s filled with 1,088g of synthetic fibres, offering a comfort level down to 0 degrees C with a limit of -6. Not bad for a ‘glamping’ style sleeping bag at all then and just right for any camping from mid spring to late autumn.

You can get very, very cosy in this. Photo: Mike Brindley
It's fairly heavy, but car campers won't mind that. Photo: Mike Brindley
Hands cold? The Frontcountry Bed 20 has you covered. Photo: Mike Brindley

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“Big fan of this. The first time I got into it, which was just for a moment to see what it was like, I very nearly fell asleep. It’s as comfortable a sleeping bag as you could ever want. Actually, I would go so far as saying it’s more comfortable than my bed. Sierra Designs are onto a winner with this zipperless thing they’ve got going on. It works and it works in a way that’s very, very comfortable.

“this is a sleeping bag that’s very good at what it’s supposed to do and one I can see myself using a lot.”

“I tested this out a few times in my garden during the early stages of lockdown back in March, in temperatures as low as 2 degrees, and it was always warm enough. I had kind of expected to feel cold spots where the fabric folds at the feet and also on the torso but actually there were no problems. I’d be happy in this at just below 0 I’d say. I’ll have to try and get out in some cold stuff further down the line and update this.

“While this is definitely best-suited to car camping, I’d say that I could still tolerate short-ish hikes with this. That’s in a few specific scenarios anyway; if I was, say, hiking a few miles to stay at a bothy for a night or two. It’s certainly not as heavy as some car camping sleeping bags can often be.

When things get too hot the bottom overlap means you can kick your feet out. Photo: Mike Brindley

“One thing I would’ve liked to see with this is a better stuff sack. The one it comes with is generous in its volume and doesn’t have any compression options, only a drawcord at the top. If I was using this for any car camping, I’d be tempted to use the stuff sack from one of my other sleeping bags, just to give me that little bit extra space in my boot.

“Despite that very minor grievance, this is a sleeping bag that’s very good at what it’s supposed to do and one I can see myself using a lot. I’m now very, very tempted to try and get hold of the Backcountry option which has the same zipperless construction but a much more trail-friendly weight. Hey, the two-person one looks interesting as well.”

Sierra Designs Frontcountry Bed 20

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