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Big Agnes Husted 20 Review

A warm and affordable bag with an unfortunate weight problem.
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Price:  $120 List | $119.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Super warm, cozy liner fabric, clever hood design, great value
Cons:  Almost too heavy for backpacking, bulky, awkward stuff sack shape
Manufacturer:   Big Agnes
By Jack Cramer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 19, 2019
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Weight - 20% 2
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Packed Size - 15% 2
  • Versatility - 15% 7
  • Features & Design - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Husted 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 drawstring away from your face. Like most budget sleeping bags, however, there are a couple of problems. The Husted is unfortunately bulky and heavy, so much so that we can't recommend it for regular backpacking. Instead, it's best for car camping or short overnight hikes only a mile or two from the trailhead.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Although the Husted is heavy and doesn't pack as small as we would like, there are still a lot of things about it to love. Read on to learn why our testers still think it's one of the best budget backpacking sleeping bags.

Performance Comparison


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 so bulky and heavy.
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 so bulky and heavy.

Warmth


This bag contains 30.5 ounces of Fireline Pro synthetic insulation. It's also one of few budget sleeping bags that include a draft collar to better trap heat inside. Our testers believe its 19°F EN lower limit rating is accurate compared to other bags. This rating makes it fairly warm for a 3-season bag and warmer than all the award-winning budget bags.

The 4" wide piece of red fabric seen here serves as a passive 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.
The 4" wide piece of red fabric seen here serves as a passive 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.

Weight


The insulation that the Husted 20 uses to achieve its considerable warmth also increases its overall weight. On our scale, a size long weighed a whopping 3.14 pounds. This model is among the heaviest sleeping bags in the budget category and more than double the weight of the best premium bags filled with high-quality down. These premium bags, however, can cost almost four times as much. The comparison nonetheless highlights the Husted's subpar warmth-to-weight ratio.

Comfort


This sleeping bag features slightly narrower dimensions than many budget sleeping bags. The narrowness, however, doesn't greatly detract from its comfort. Our testers like the softness of its interior polyester taffeta fabric. We are also big fans of the cozy hood. The drawstring used to close this hood is threaded beneath a clever strip of fabric that redirects the drawstring away from your face.

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.
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.

Packed Size


The Husted 20 comes with a simple nylon stuff sack that is strangely narrow cylindrical shape. At 20 inches in length, it won't fit easily across the bottom of many backpacks, which is certain to frustrate some people. Using an after-market 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 bulkiest 3-season sleeping bags we've tried.

The stuff stack that this bag comes with is also unfortunately narrow 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.
The stuff stack that this bag comes with is also unfortunately narrow 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.

Versatility


This bag's synthetic insulation performs much better than down when wet. Its full-length zipper is effective at letting excess heat escape on warmer nights. Our testers also appreciated the passive draft collar in colder tempts because it effectively trapped their body heat inside.

Features and Design


Although the Husted 20 is just a simple mummy bag, there are a couple of subtle design features that we like. The zipper has a great anti-snag slide with convenient pull tabs on both the outside and inside of the bag. As we mentioned above, the hood drawstring is threaded beneath a piece of fabric to keep it out of your face and adjusts with a low-profile spring clamp. The draft collar also has clever stitches on either side to keep it securely in place.

The Husted has convenient pull tabs on inside and outside of the main zipper that make it easier to operate.
The Husted has convenient pull tabs on inside and outside of the main zipper that make it easier to operate.

Value


Considering the Husted's extremely affordable price, it provides outstanding comfort and warmth. The quality of its materials and construction are also noticeably higher than other similarly priced bags. For these reasons and more we think it's an awesome value.

Conclusion


There is a lot to like about the Husted 20. It's exceptionally warm and built incredibly 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. We still love the Husted 20, but we don't recommend it for actual backpacking far from the road.


Jack Cramer