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Coleman Brazos Review

Warm, comfortable, and great for kids or adults, this bag's price tag makes camping outdoors an affordable affair
Coleman Brazos
Photo: http://www.coleman.com/
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $40 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Surprisingly warm, inexpensive, interior pocket, patented zipper system reduces zipper snags
Cons:  Small, catchy/scratchy interior lining
Manufacturer:   Coleman
By Jason Wanlass ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 8, 2019
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53
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Warmth - 35% 6
  • Comfort - 30% 4
  • Features - 25% 5
  • Packed Size - 10% 7

Our Verdict

If you have a young family and are looking to get all the kids sleeping bags on a budget, the Coleman Brazos is a good option for you. It's also a good buy for anyone on a tight budget, earning it one of our Best Buy Awards. The Brazos is perfect for someone looking for a simple bag that will just get the job done. For its price, the Brazos is durable and warmer than some of the more expensive bags we tested. Just keep one thing in mind: at 75 inches long and 33 inches wide, this bag can feel a bit constrictive to anyone over 5' 11" or who has a larger than average body type.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Coleman Brazos
This Product
Coleman Brazos
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $40 List$100.62 at Amazon$114.99 at Amazon$110 List$92.78 at Amazon
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Pros Surprisingly warm, inexpensive, interior pocket, patented zipper system reduces zipper snagsWarm, large, rugged, comfortable, built to lastVery warm, well-crafted, tons of features, soft and cozy, adjusts well to different temperature rangesVersatile layering system, extremely warm and comfortableLarge, warm, lots of extra features, catchy look
Cons Small, catchy/scratchy interior liningLarge packed size, heavier than many bags, not water-resistantGrabby liner, may be confining to larger body typesLess water-resistant, bulky, fabric is a little grabbySynthetic flannel liner, doesn't have a full-length zipper
Bottom Line If you are on a tight budget, this bag gets the job done and saves quite a bit of cash, with some drawbacksDesigned with cozy warmth and top quality in mind, this bag is best traditional camping bag on the marketThis feature-laden model is versatile, cozy, and adaptable to varying tempsAdept at adapting is a perfect description for this bagThis is a nice bag with a distinctive look, but it's not as rugged as the marketing photos make it look
Rating Categories Coleman Brazos ALPS OutdoorZ Redwood TETON Sports Polara 3-in-1 All-Weather Multi-Layer TETON Sports Deer Hunter
Warmth (35%)
6
9
8
8
8
Comfort (30%)
4
9
8
7
8
Features (25%)
5
7
8
8
7
Packed Size (10%)
7
3
5
4
3
Specs Coleman Brazos ALPS OutdoorZ... TETON Sports... All-Weather... TETON Sports Deer...
Temp Rating (F) 20 degrees -10 degrees 0 degrees 0 degrees 0 degrees
Measured Weight (lbs) 4.1 lbs 11.7 lbs 8.3 lbs 10.1 lbs 8.5 lbs
Style Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular Rectangular
Draft Tube Full length Full length Full length Full length Full length
Neck Baffle No No Yes No Yes
Shell Material Polyester Canvas Taffeta Brushed polyester Canvas
Lining Material Tricot knit 100% cotton Inner bag: 100% Brushed Poly Flannel
Outer bag: PolarLite Fleece
Brushed polyester 100% Brushed Poly Flannel
Insulation Polyester TechLoft SuperLoft Elite Hollow Fiber Polyester SuperLoft Elite Hollow Fiber
Measured Size L x W 75" X 33" 38" x 80" 82" X 36" 76" X 34" 90" x 39"
Warranty 5-Year Lifetime Lifetime 5-year Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Brazos is ideal for someone on a budget. It's warm and well-made, but it's small. We feel it would be great for kids or teens, both of which tend to be hard on shoes, clothes, cars, and just about everything else. This bag will stand up to their spills, mistakes, and overall mistreatment. And if it doesn't withstand it all, you're not out a ton of cash. This bag is also perfect for anyone on a budget or someone who doesn't want to worry about the care that is necessary for more expensive bags. We feel the Brazos is relatively durable, fairly warm, and quite inexpensive.

Performance Comparison


Although not the warmest or most comfortable bag, we were pleasantly...
Although not the warmest or most comfortable bag, we were pleasantly surprised at the overall warmth of the Brazos during our late night test.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Warmth


The Brazos, quite frankly, really surprised us. During a warmth test we conducted during a very chilly evening in Bryce Canyon National Park, we were shocked to find that the Brazos held its own when it came to insulating. It also outperformed more expensive bags during our ice test. In both tests, the Brazos placed in the middle of the pack. Not bad for the cheapest bag we purchased.


We don't suggest the Brazos for colder weather, however, for normal late Spring and Summer camping, this bag will hold its own when it comes to keeping you warm… as long as you can fit in it. It isn't exactly roomy.

Comfort


When it comes down to it, with a price tag of $40 or less, you're going to have to sacrifice something, and after our testing, the thing we found missing was comfort.


First, the bag is small. So if you're over 6 feet and don't have a marathon runner's body, you're going to feel a bit too snug. Second, after testing this bag extensively, we found the Tricot Knit interior lining to be very grabby, snaggy and uncomfortable. Everything seemed to stick to it: leaves, twigs, dry skin, hair stubble, clothing, etc.

The Brazos's interior lining grabbed onto the dry skin on our feet...
The Brazos's interior lining grabbed onto the dry skin on our feet and hands.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

In the end, the Brazos scored the lowest for comfort out of all the bags we tested. That being said, we feel they are still a great choice for young kids (who sleep through most anything) or teens (who don't sleep and will most likely be around the campfire all night).

The liner also grabs onto dried leaves, twigs, seeds and just about...
The liner also grabs onto dried leaves, twigs, seeds and just about anything else it comes into contact with.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Features


We gave the Brazos an overall moderate score for features. Keep in mind that, for us, five is average on a scale from 1 to 10. We liked the interior pocket, especially the fact that it had a Velcro closure.


We also found the No-Snag patented zipper plow does an excellent job at preventing snags. We also liked the density of the bag. We found that the manufacturer's Fiberlock Construction really did prevent insulation from shifting and moving after the bag had been extensively used.

We found the Brazos's zipper plow system to be very effective at...
We found the Brazos's zipper plow system to be very effective at preventing snags.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

A few other reasons for our lower score include a limited 5-year warranty and a very low resistance to water. Despite a synthetic outer shell, the Brazos soaked up water rather quickly during our water tests.

We were surprised that, despite its synthetic exterior liner, the...
We were surprised that, despite its synthetic exterior liner, the Brazos was nearly soaked through by the end of the 5 minutes during our water-resistance testing.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Packed Size


When it comes to packed size, the Brazos lands right in the middle out of all of the bags we tested. We didn't just look at packed size though. We also scored each bag on how easy it rolled up and fit into its storage bag. In this area, the Brazos did well. It rolls up easily and fits into its stuff sack with a little bit of effort. It's also quite a stretch, but it could double as a backpacking bag if you're in a pinch.


The packed size of the Brazos.
The packed size of the Brazos.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

The one negative we found with the stuff sack is the compression zipper. The sack has a zipper that runs its full length. The idea is that after you've stuffed your bag and cinched the top, then you zip the compression zipper to reduce the overall packed size. In our opinion, the zipper is not needed because the bag has an average packed size. More importantly, the zipper itself doesn't work anyway because we found the stuff sack to be too tight to begin with.

If you need your phone handy at all times, an interior storage...
If you need your phone handy at all times, an interior storage pocket is for you.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Value


The reason we picked the Brazos for our Best Buy on a Tight Budget is because it perfectly balances cost with basic necessities. For the price, it really holds its own against bags that are much more expensive, especially in the areas of warmth and durability. However, one sacrifice is size and comfort.

Conclusion


In the end, it all comes down to what you need and what you're willing to spend. We feel the Coleman Brazos is a great bang for your buck that allows infrequent campers to enjoy the pleasure of spending a night under the stars.

Perfect for kids or teens, the Brazos is a perfect bag for families...
Perfect for kids or teens, the Brazos is a perfect bag for families on a budget.
Photo: Jason Wanlass

Jason Wanlass