Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Impressively warrm, widest and longest bag tested, most comfotable bag tested, room for two people, removable cotton sheet, zips to another bag for double width fun, very strong zipper, canvas shell fabric is less slippery than nylon or polyester, duffel
Cons: Heaviest sleeping bag tested, canvas shell material is less water resistant than polyester or nylon, rolls into a large duffel bag but can pack twice as small, no hood or neck drawcord, can get twisted in removable sheet.
Best Uses: Camping, around the house, as a queen sized blanket.
Slumberjack Country Squire sleeping bag is nearly as luxurious as a the Presidential Suite in Yosemite's Ahwahnee Hotel. With tons of space to sprawl about, enough insulation to keep you warm below freezing, a removable sheet, and the durability to last for a decade or more, the Country Squire takes the cake for being the best general use sleeping bag we've tested. Whether you're camping, touring the countryside in a '73 EuroVan, or crashing on a friend's floor, the Country Squire makes any night's sleep better.
If you're on a budget, the Wenzel Conquest can't be beaten. This bag isn't as warm or as comfortable as the Country Squire, but it costs as little as $50.
Also consider the Kelty Cosmic Down 20, our Best Buy Award winning backpacking sleeping bag.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Take the most luxurious bed you've ever slept in and fold it in half. That's how comfortable the Slumberjack Country Squire is. Three things make this the most homey sleeping bag we've ever tested: 1) Its gigantic size gives you plenty of space to spread out. The bag measures a rectangular 84" by 42", which is large enough for a big and tall person or two average size people. Many people will be able to snuggle up with their lover, curl up with their child, or relish the bag's opulent comfort alone. 2) More than four pounds of synthetic insulation give the Country Squire's bottom half extra cushion. Several of our testers found the bag to be so comfortable they used it on bare ground without a sleeping pad. 3) Of the 80 sleeping bags we've tested, this is the only one that includes a removable sheet. This feature, which our testers loved dearly, keeps the bag clean and makes warm summer nights much more enjoyable because you can lie under just the sheet. These factors make the bag exceptionally comfortable; you simply can't blame a bad night's sleep on the bag.
The Country Squire is the warmest rectangular sleeping bag we've tested. It has lots of insulation and is made with offset construction (the stitching that attaches the insulation to shell fabric on one side doesn't line up with the other side) so it's warmer than "sewn-through" bags, which constitute the majority of those tested in this review.
Sleeping bags that don't conform to the shape of your body, like tight fitting mummy bags do, are prone to have drafty dead air spaces. These are pockets of cold air that are separated from the warm air around your body. When you move about at night you leave the warm area and need to start over again by heating up a new area. Slimmer mummy bags are much more thermally efficient (because you never leave the warm area), but they're less comfortable than rectangular bags. Though still prone to dead air space, our testers found the Country Squire to be warmer than other rectangular bags, both through its design and because the insulation on top of you is heavy, which helps to prevent you from tossing and turning.
Rectangular sleeping bags also don't have hoods or drawcords around the neck area, so cold air can escape relatively easily. It's important, therefore, to either wear a hat or hood, or tuck your head inside the sleeping bag. Fortunately, the Country Squire is long enough that even our six-foot-tall testers can tuck into the bag. With a lightweight baselayer we were comfortable in the bag just below freezing. Despite their optimistic temperature ratings, we've found that most other rectangular bags are only warm into the low forties.
The removable sheet is undoubtedly the Country Squire's best feature. Next best in our opinion is its zipper, which is the strongest we've ever seen on a sleeping bag. It opens quickly and easily, rarely catches on the bag or sheet, and is of comparable size to those found on the burliest duffel bags. The Country Squire has a two-way zipper that allows you to vent your feet if they get hot, unzip the bag into a queen size blanket, or attach two Country Squires together for the ultimate in camp comfort. We also found that the County Squire was an excellent sleeping bag for house guests; the next best thing to a bed.
Weight and Packed Size
This bag's greatest drawback is its packed size, which is roughly equivalent to the size of three basketballs. The bag comes with a duffel bag style storage sack that zips to the bottom of the bag. We found this to be good for storage when the bag isn't in use, but inadequate for stuffing the bag down small. Any cheap stuff sack will pack the bag down smaller and save room in your car. The bag's weight, nearly 12 pounds, could be a potential drawback if you plan to carry it long distances. We don't recommend the bag for backpacking because we believe it's far too heavy and bulky. The photo below shows the bag in its duffel sack folded in half.
The Country Squire is more than just a sleeping bag. It's a complete bedding solution. Unzip it and remove the sheet and you have an excellent, and warm, setup for house guests.
The Country Squire is best suited to any and all applications except multi-day backpacking trips. In many ways, the Country Squire is the most versatile bag in its class. Use it in a tent, RV, your house, a friend's house, as a spare blanket or wrap yourself up in it for movie nights or campfire singalongs.
At $169 retail price the Country Squire is the most expensive rectangular bag we've tested. Our testers believe it's worth every penny, however, because it's also the warmest, most comfortable, most durable, and arguably the most versatile bag we've tested.
The Country Squire also comes in 0 and -20 degree versions.
— Max Neale
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Most recent review: November 26, 2012
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