Big Agnes Torchlight UL 20 - Women's Review
Cons: Heavy for a down bag, not very warm, expensive
Manufacturer: Big Agnes
Compare to Similar Products
Big Agnes Torchlight UL 20 - Women's
|Price||$419.95 at Amazon||$439.00 at Feathered Friends||$549 List||$330 List||$190 List|
Check Price at Backcountry
|Pros||Comfortable, high quality down fill||High-quality down, warm, lightweight||High-quality down, warm and lofty, light, a top tier product||Comfortable, lightweight, excellent materials, not constricting||Light and compressible synthetic, keeps you warm when wet|
|Cons||Heavy for a down bag, not very warm, expensive||Sizing not for everyone, fabric is a bit noisy||Expensive||Comforter sometimes does not stay tucked in||Bulkier packed size, heavier, small fit|
|Bottom Line||This uniquely featured down bag is a good choice for folks who need more room in their sleeping bag, but it's heavy and not particularly warm||This high-end bag will keep you warm and comfortable from Spring to Fall in all conditions||A high-tech, high-quality backpacking sleeping bag with more roomy dimensions than most||A great, high-quality choice at a relatively low price for those looking for a lightweight bag that doesn't sacrifice comfort||An inexpensive and versatile synthetic bag, this is an excellent choice for breaking into backpacking|
|Rating Categories||Big Agnes Torchligh...||Feathered Friends E...||Sea to Summit Flame 15||Sierra Designs Clou...||The North Face Cat'...|
|Packed Size (15%)|
|Specs||Big Agnes Torchligh...||Feathered Friends E...||Sea to Summit Flame 15||Sierra Designs Clou...||The North Face Cat'...|
|ISO/EN Comfort Rating (F)||24 F||20 F (not EN rated)||15 F||26 F||22 F|
|Fill Type||850-fill DownTek||Goose down||Goose down||PFC-Free DriDown||Heatseeker™ Guide synthetic insulation|
|Measured Weight (in lbs)||2.4 lb||1.7 lb||2.0 lb||1.7 lb||2.5 lb|
|Total Weight (oz)||38 oz||27.5 oz||31.2 oz||27.4 oz||40.2 oz|
|Women specific features||Expandable panel fits various body shapes||Extra fill in footbox and chest||Women's specific fit - more insulation in key areas||More insulation per square inch than men's version||Women's specific cut|
|Fill Weight (oz)||22 oz||17.3 oz (medium)||22.9 oz||14.8 oz||Unspecified|
|Material||Ultralight polyester ripstop||Pertex Endurance UL||Ultralight 10D Nylon Shell||15d nylon risptop||20D Nylon Ripstop/taffeta|
|Sleeping Pad Sleeve||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Zipper Length||59 in||62 in||56 in||N/A||59 in|
|Shoulder Girth||54/62 in||54 in||60 in||59 in||58 in|
|Hip Girth||56/72 in||56 in||58 in||58 in||58 in|
|Foot Girth||36/48 in||38 in||40 in||39 in||40 in|
|Stuff Sack included?||Stuff sack and storage bag included||Stuff sack and storage bag included||Compression stuff sack and storage bag included||Stuff sack and storage bag included||Compression sack and storage bag included|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The unique Torchlight UL 20 Women's has interesting features, like the expansion panels that increase roominess significantly. Unfortunately, they add unwanted weight and bulk to this good quality down sleeping bag. We aren't convinced this tradeoff is worth it for most folks, but backpackers consistently uncomfortable in narrow mummy sleeping bags may find some relief here.
Although the Torchlight has "20" in its name, this product is EN rated to 24 degrees. We don't think most people would be comfortable in this bag down to those temperatures and would not use it in lower than freezing temperatures. Because of the ability for this bag to get super wide, we think it is not very warm if it is fully expanded because of all the air that needs to be warmed up. In short, utilizing the expansion panels means decreasing the warmth of this bag. When the zippers are done up we believe that a lot of down is getting compressed and therefore is not as effective. We like that the Torchlight has 850 fill down, which will help contribute to its warmth, but only if it is not being compressed.
We were disappointed at how heavy this bag is considering it has the Ultra Light designation. The Torchlight weighs 2.4 ounces, which is much heavier than the other down bags at its price point and with a similar amount and fill power of down feathers.
This bag can definitely get very roomy. Folks with wider hips and/or shoulders will really like this fit. However, if the point of having the expansion zippers is to address the fact that some people feel claustrophobic in a mummy bag, they do not entirely succeed. By opening the expansion zippers up there's definitely a lot more room for your legs and torso, but it doesn't open the head/hood area up at all. When the bag is fully zipped up, it still feels claustrophobic and hard to get out of. This problem could be addressed by making the head/hood area wider and including a drawstring to cinch it down.
When the Torchlight's zippers are zipped up it's quite a tight fit, so you could undo one side and leave the other done up for a more custom fit. We also like how quiet and soft the shell material is. We tested the "Petite" size that is supposed to fit people up to 5' 5", and we found it fit our 5' 5" tester with room to spare, so if you're on the cusp of sizes we think this bag would fit up to 5' 6" or 5' 7".
The Torchlight comes with a lightweight stuff sack that is somewhat large. We think this bag could fit into a much smaller compression sack and would recommend purchasing one for this product. However, because of its extra zippers and material, the Torchlight is not as compressible as other similar down bags.
This model has quite a lot of features. We like the internal pocket to stash things like our headlamp or earplugs in the night. We also like the Torchlight's high-quality down and soft liner materials.
The expandable panel feature is the most prominent and we don't think that the extra weight and bulk of this feature is worth the added comfort, unless you plan to keep the bag expanded all the time to fit your body shape - in which case this could be a good "fit" for you. The small zippers used to open and close the panels are very delicate and often catch the shell materials.
The Torchlight UL is one of the more expensive products in our review. Unfortunately, we don't think that it is a very good value. It does have high-quality down fill and nice materials, but it is heavier and not as warm as its competitors at this price point.
Although its unique design was intriguing, the Torchlight fell short of our expectations. It would be best for a backpacker who needs the extra space and is looking for a good quality down bag. We don't think the ability to compress the bag to a smaller shape is particularly useful and would choose a different, high-end product instead.
— Jessica Haist