Feathered Friends Snowbunting Review
Cons: Small hood, tight cut
Manufacturer: Feathered Friends
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This bag is a mountaineer's bag designed by mountaineers. It's one of the most weather resistant contenders in our review. While it's a few ounces heavier than many of the similarly rated bags, we feel that the Snowbunting's weather resistance and overall durability make up for the extra weight.
Rated to 0 degrees and scoring at 9 out of 10 in the warmth metric, the Snowbunting is the only bag containing certified 900 fill power down - 25.3oz of it to be exact. Combined with a relatively narrow 60" shoulder cut to eliminate uninsulated airspace, this makes for an extremely warm bag.
Weighing in at 2 lbs 13.6 oz, the Snowbunting is only a few ounces heavier than a few bags with similar ratings. The Snowbunting is impressively warm and weather-resistant for a bag under 3lbs.
This bag earns a lower score in this metric. For cold winter bivies, nestled among the rock and snow, when you're waiting for the sun to come out so you can get going, the Snowbunting is plenty comfortable. The hood and draft collar are extremely warm. When cinched tight, the hood hugs your head and ears like a snug down hat, but the hood is too shallow to cover your whole face, and some of our testers felt claustrophobic when they tried to sleep on their sides. The narrow foot box makes it possible to warm up fast in this bag, but leaves little room to cross your legs, move around, or stash your boots.
The Snowbunting measures 7" x 11" in its included bright yellow stuff sack. Using our mighty bag-compacting compression sack.
The shell fabric traps air so well that we found ourselves a little overworked from stuffing the bag into its sack. It takes a few minutes for the Snowbunting to achieve its fully lofted grandeur once it's unpacked.
This bag only has the features absolutely necessary for cold weather survival, so you can climb in, get warm fast, and stay warm. No stash pockets, no extra room, and no vents in this stripped-down, light and fast design. As mentioned before, the hood is warm and snug, but a touch shallow if you want to cover up your whole face. The draft collar, delightfully swollen with down, rests comfortably beneath the chin and is secured with a single plastic snap. The draft tube eliminates cold spots from the zipper and has an anti-snag strip. The zipper glides well, almost snag-free.
The Snowbunting is a real standout in weather resistance, just as bombproof as the heavier contenders The Pertex Shield fabric performed flawlessly in our precip tests. Our tester detected zero moisture inside the bag as rain pelted and puddled up on the outside. Water was unable to penetrate the shell when submerged. The inside of the bag is black, and the small amount of water that entered the bag during submersion evaporated quickly when we turned the bag inside out and laid it in the warm sun.
The Feathered Friends Snowbunting is competitively priced with similar bags. Feathered Friends offers a detailed explanation of their excellent warranty policy on their website.
Feathered Friends has been constructing handcrafted, high-quality down bags like the Snowbunting in Seattle, Washington since 1972. They've been gradually improving the materials of the tried-and-true design of the Snowbunting for years. This bag is an efficient alpine insulator, at home in the mountains, like an experienced alpinist.
— Matt Bento