Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Two zippers gives mated bags ecellent ventilation.
Cons: Very heavy, very bulky, other general purpose bags offer better value.
Best Uses: Car camping, general use.
The Marmot Trestles 15 is the second warmest synthetic bag we've tested. It boasts two zippers: one full-length and another quarter-length. These provide unmatched ventilation options and make the bag very comfortable for extended stays in the tent. Unfortunately, the bags insulation is thick, heavy (35 ounces), and not very compressible. The bag feels like a heavy blanket, not a light and flexible sleeping bag. The hood design is also bulky and claustrophobic when fully cinched. In general, our testers find this type of bag to be too heavy for backpacking. Some rectangular sleeping bags offer a similar amount of warmth, are more comfortable, and cost significantly less than the Trestles.
Also see our Backpacking and Winter sleeping bag reviews.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Marmot Testles 15 is the second warmest and most featured synthetic mummy sleeping bag reviewed here. 35 ounces of insulation make the bag thick and heavy and provide ample protection between you and the elements. In warmer weather the Trestles provides unmatched ventilation; it has two zippers (one full length and another quarter length). This setup is better than a single zipper because its more versatile. By opening both sides part way you can sit up easily or poke your hands out while keeping your core covered. Although reading in a sleeping bag was never hard, its far easier with two zippers.
Marmot make this bag affordable ($100) by using a sewn through shingled wave construction. This design makes the manufacturing process easier and faster, while offset baffling keeps the bag warm.
Like most sleeping bags, the Trestles is equipped with a matable primary zipper. This means you can attach two bags together to make a doublewide compartment for you and your lover. The additional quarter length zipper makes mated nights better than in other bags because both people have their own zipper for ventilation.
The compression stuff sack included with the Trestles bag was our favorite of all the bags tested in this category. Its strong and durable; a fine bonus.
On the whole, the Trestles is an entry level sleeping bag. It weighs 58 ounces, making it the second heaviest bag in its class, and takes up a colossal amount of space even when packed in a compression sack. Down bags with the same rating are half the size and weight of the Trestles. The bag is unsuitable for multi-day backpacking.
The Trestles is also not the most successful in colder temperatures. The upper half of the bag feels larger than most others in the same class. This leaves plenty of room for layers, but may be a bit too spacious for slender folk. Similarly, the dual zipper design doesnt allow the hood pullcords (one for the top and one for the bottom) to wrap entirely around the hood. Tightening the two parts is difficult and uncomfortable: the end result is an accordion of synthetic bunches and folds. The dual cinch design also neglects to provide a storage space for the two pull cords. When cinched fully they dangle annoyingly in your face. Simply put, the hood design is repelling and for its weight we believe the bag should be much warmer.
On the whole, the bag is built to low standards. Its heavy weight and compression resistant package make it suitable for car camping and nothing more. Although there are more affordable bags that car camp as well or better, we recommend this bag only to couples who intend to buy two Trestles and zip them together. When mated together, two Trestles form a single incredibly comfortable and fun basecamp/ car camp sleeping system. Normally when two bags are mated together they become one giant zipperless and claustrophobic cocoon. The Trestles, is more comfortable becuase each person has control of his/her own quarter length zipper.
Car camping with mated sleeping bags.
Other bags are a better value unless you get two Trestles and zip them together.
The Trestles is also available in a zero degree model and a women's version. The women's cut is shorter and has a slightly smaller shoulder girth.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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Most recent review: November 7, 2012
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