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Big Agnes Husted 20 Review

A warm and affordable sleeping bag with exceptional comfort and an unfortunate weight problem
Big Agnes Husted 20
Credit: Big Agnes
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $130 List | $129.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Super warm, cozy liner fabric, clever hood design, great value
Cons:  Nearly too heavy for backpacking, bulky, awkward stuff sack shape
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Jack Cramer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 1, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Warmth - 20% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 3.0
  • Comfort - 20% 7.0
  • Packed Size - 15% 2.0
  • Versatility - 15% 7.0
  • Features & Design - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Big Agnes Husted 20 is named after James D. Husted, a Denver rancher noted for introducing novice investors to the wonders of the American West. With this sleeping bag, Big Agnes hopes to present the same wonders to novice backpackers. It's a bag that offers considerable warmth and notable comfort at a great price. Our testers particularly like the smart hood design that redirects the drawcord away from your face. The soft polyester taffeta lining is also one of our favorite linings among any sleeping bag. Like most budget models, however, there are a couple of problems. The Husted 20 is unfortunately bulky and heavy, so much so that we can't recommend it for extended backpacking trips. And if you are interested, we recommend you also purchase an aftermarket compression sack to make packing this bag less of a chore. If you can see past these flaws, we think this is one of the best budget sleeping bags for shorter overnights, particularly when temperatures are cold.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Big Agnes Husted 20
Awards Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $130 List
$129.95 at Amazon
$235 List
$235.00 at REI
$100 List
$69.93 at REI
$109 List
$75.93 at REI
$108.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Super warm, cozy liner fabric, clever hood design, great valueDecent weight, respectable warmth, awesome bargainGreat price, respectable weight, simple designSolid warmth, comfy lining, full-length zipper, spacious dimensionsLots of insulation, great venting options with the accessory zipper, durable construction
Cons Nearly too heavy for backpacking, bulky, awkward stuff sack shapeAverage materials, limited features, basic designSubpar warmth, annoying hood drawcords, no storage sack, mediocre versatilityToo heavy, bulky, aforementioned heft and bulk too much for backpackingReally heavy, not very compressible, stiff lining fabric, heavy stuff sack
Bottom Line A warm and affordable sleeping bag with exceptional comfort and an unfortunate weight problemAn exceptional deal for a capable and sturdy backpacking sleeping bag for those looking to get outside without breaking the bankAn acceptable sleeping bag at a rock bottom priceA warm and comfortable bag that's compromised by excessive weight and a bulky packed sizeThis bag's mediocre performance fails to justify its considerable weight
Rating Categories Big Agnes Husted 20 Mountain Hardwear B... REI Co-op Trailbrea... REI Co-op Trailbrea... Marmot Trestles 30
Warmth (20%)
7.0
5.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
3.0
7.0
4.0
1
2.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Packed Size (15%)
2.0
8.0
5.0
3.0
2.0
Versatility (15%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Features & Design (10%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Big Agnes Husted 20 Mountain Hardwear B... REI Co-op Trailbrea... REI Co-op Trailbrea... Marmot Trestles 30
Measured Weight (Size Long) 3.14 lbs 1.98 lbs 2.74 lbs 3.66 lbs 3.54 lbs
Manufacturer claimed weight (Size Regular) 2.75 lbs 1.79 lbs 2.50 lbs 3.44 lbs 3.06 lbs
Temperature Rating 20 F 30 F 30 F 20 F 30 F
EN lower limit (rating for men)/ EN Comfort Rating (rating for women) 19 F (lower) 30 F 29 F 18 F 26 / 36 F
Compression/Stuff sack weight 1.6 oz 1.6 oz 1.2 oz 1.6 oz 4.2 oz
Measured Compressed Volume (Size Long) 13.4 liters 7.5 liters 9.8 liters 12.2 liters 13.1 liters
Insulation Synthetic - Fireline Pro 650 FP Down, RDS-certified Synthetic - Polyester Synthetic Synthetic - Spirafil
Hydrophobic down? N/A No N/A No N/A
Fill weight (Size Regular) 30.5 oz 15 oz Not listed 37.1 oz 33.8 oz
Shell material Polyester taffeta 20D Nylon Ripstop Polyester w/ DWR Polyester 70D Polyester
Neck baffle Yes No No No No
Small organization pocket No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Zipper Full-length / Side 3/4-Length / Left Side 3/4-Length / Side Full-length/ Left Side Full-length / Side
Shoulder Girth (Size Regular) 60 in 62 in 62 in 62 in 62 in
Hip Girth (Size Regular) 54 in 53 in 56 in 56 in 57 in
Foot Girth (Size Regular) 36 in Not listed Not listed Not listed Not listed
Stuff or Compression Sack Included? Stuff Stuff Stuff Stuff Compression
Storage Sack Included? Yes Yes No Yes No
Water resistant shell? DWR Yes Yes DWR No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Although the Big Agnes Husted 20 is heavy and doesn't pack as small as we would like, there are still a lot of things that we love about it. Its comfort and warmth are notable just two reasons why our testers think it's one of the best budget backpacking sleeping bags. Big Agnes also offers the Husted 20 with the zipper on the right or left side which gives you the option of zipping two bags together for a shared outdoor evening.

Performance Comparison


Big Agnes Husted 20 budget backpacking sleeping bag - in terms of comfort and build quality, the husted is one of the best...
In terms of comfort and build quality, the Husted is one of the best budget sleeping bags we've tried. Getting it to camp, however, is an arduous task because it's bulky and heavy.
Credit: Jack Cramer

Warmth


This bag contains 30.5 ounces of Fireline Pro synthetic insulation. That's an awful lot of fill that equates to more than the total weight of some other backpacking sleeping bags. It's also one of few budget sleeping bags to include an anti-draft collar to prevent heat from escaping out the hood on cold nights. We think a collar like this is borderline essential for a cold-weather bag like the Husted 20.


With these features, it receives a 19°F EN lower limit temperature rating. Our testers believe this rating is accurate compared to other bags. This level of warmth might actually make it too warm for most summer backpacking applications. However, it's a cozy choice for high elevation adventures or the colder temps of spring and fall.

Big Agnes Husted 20 budget backpacking sleeping bag - the 4" wide piece of red fabric seen here serves as a anti-draft...
The 4" wide piece of red fabric seen here serves as a anti-draft collar. It nestles around your neck to seal heat inside the bag's main compartment and prevent it from escaping out the hood on cooler nights.
Credit: Jack Cramer

Weight


The considerable amount of insulation that the Big Agnes Husted 20 uses to achieve its impressive warmth also increases its overall weight. On our scale, a size long weighed a whopping 3.14 pounds. That makes it one of the heavier bags in the budget category and more than double the weight of the best premium down bags that provide similar warmth.


These premium bags, however, can cost almost four times as much. The comparison nonetheless highlights the Husted's rather disappointing warmth-to-weight ratio. The included stuff sack adds a meager 1.6 ounces to the actual packed weight. However, we recommend buyers also purchase an aftermarket compression sack to achieve a more convenient packed shape. One of these aftermarket compression sacks will likely weigh a similar amount.

Comfort


This sleeping bag is advertised with slightly narrower dimensions than many budget sleeping bags. Surprisingly, however, none of our testers mentioned this narrowness during our comfort testing. We suspect Big Agnes may choose to be more conservative with the advertised dimensions than other companies. It is a tapered mummy bag, however, if you know you like lots of legroom consider an hourglass-shaped competitor.


One aspect of comfort that our testers raved about is the softness of interior polyester taffeta fabric. This fabric feels supple and soft yet it doesn't attract dirt or plant debris like a similarly soft flannel lining. It's unusual to find such a comfy lining on a budget bag. We are also big fans of the clever hood drawcord. This drawcord is threaded beneath a clever strip of fabric that redirects the cord away from your face.

Big Agnes Husted 20 budget backpacking sleeping bag - the hood drawstring on most sleeping bags has a tendency to dangle...
The hood drawstring on most sleeping bags has a tendency to dangle near your face, occasionally poking you in the nose or eye. The drawstring on the Husted is threaded beneath a simple piece of fabric to direct it away from your face.
Credit: Jack Cramer

Packed Size


The Big Agnes Husted 20 comes with a simple nylon stuff sack that is a strangely narrow cylindrical shape. At 20 inches in length, this shape won't fit horizontally across the bottom of many backpacks, which is certain to frustrate some people and make packing your backpack more difficult.


Using an aftermarket compression sack, we were able to pack it down into a more convenient shape that measured 13.4 liters in volume. This figure makes it one of the bulkier budget sleeping bags we've tried but it could still be suitable for backpacking if you have a large backpack. If you are considering the Husted, recognize that an aftermarket compression sack would make packing this sleeping bag much more convenient.

Big Agnes Husted 20 budget backpacking sleeping bag - the stuff stack that this bag comes with is awkwardly and long. in...
The stuff stack that this bag comes with is awkwardly and long. In fact, it's so long that we couldn't pack it hot dog ways across the spacious bottom of this 75 L backpack.
Credit: Jack Cramer

Versatility


This bag's synthetic insulation can retain more warmth than down insulation if it gets wet. Try to avoid that, however, because sleeping in any bag is going to be miserable when it's wet regardless of whether the insulation still traps some heat.


The full-length zipper offers a clear advantage over shorter zippers in terms of versatility. It allows you to open the bag more to let excess heat escape on warmer nights. Our testers also appreciated the passive draft collar in colder temps because it effectively trapped their body heat and prevented it from escaping out the hood. When you combine these features together, you get a sleeping bag that's suitable for a wider temperature range.

Big Agnes Husted 20 budget backpacking sleeping bag - the big agnes husted 20 (blue/red) includes a full-length that vents...
The Big Agnes Husted 20 (blue/red) includes a full-length that vents heat better than the shorter "full-length" zipper on the Therm-a-Rest bag (green) but not as well as the longer than full-length zipper on the Klymit (light blue).
Credit: Jack Cramer

Features & Design


Although the Big Agnes Husted 20 is just a simple mummy bag, there are a couple of subtle design features that we like. The zipper has a great Y-shape anti-snag slide with convenient pull tabs on both the inside and outside of the bag. This largely prevented snags and made it easier to open the bag in the dark of night.


As we mentioned above, the hood drawstring is threaded beneath a piece of fabric to keep it out of your face and it adjusts with a low-profile spring clamp. The draft collar is also cleverly stitched on either side to keep it securely in place. One thing the Husted 20 is missing, however, is a stash pocket. We usually like these pockets for keeping a headlamp or smartphone handy and the batteries warm.

Big Agnes Husted 20 budget backpacking sleeping bag - the husted has convenient pull tabs on inside and outside of the...
The Husted has convenient pull tabs on inside and outside of the main zipper that make it easier to operate.
Credit: Jack Cramer

Value


The reason many people shop for a budget backpacking sleeping bag is so they can get a good deal. And the Big Agnes Husted 20 seems to present one of the best deals out there. It offers 20°F warmth and exceptional comfort at a bargain price. Our testers also believe the quality of its materials and construction feels noticeably higher than other similarly priced bags. Even though we have some concerns about its weight and packed size, we still think it's an awesome value. Just be aware that you will probably want to also purchase an aftermarket compression sack to make packing this bag more convenient.

Conclusion


There is a lot to like about the Big Agnes Husted 20. It's impressively warm and built well. We also think it's more comfortable than similarly priced bags. Unfortunately, though, these strengths are counteracted by its substantial weight and large packed size. This is one of our favorite budget sleeping bags for shorter backpacking trips and colder nights, but we suggest you try to find a lighter and smaller bag for any extended backcountry excursions.

Jack Cramer

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