Exped MegaSleep Duo 25 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Very lightweight, simple, dual temperature ratings, could be used for backpacking
Cons: Thin, a little gimmicky, lacking overall warmth, almost too basic
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Touted as one of the lightest and most compressible double bags on the market, one thing is sure about the MegaSleep — it's certainly minimalistic. Comprised of fabric, zippers, and insulation, and not much else, this bag comes with virtually no frills. Its simplistic design is a common style for manufacturer Exped. At first glance, this bag doesn't seem like much. However, there are some key functional design features that makes this simple bag versatile and appealing. The MegaSleep is actually four bags in one, and it can adjust to temperature swings by simply being flipped over. Additionally, the bag employs a microfiber insulation, which is much thinner than standard synthetic fill used in most sleeping bags.
Generally speaking, the bottom side of sleeping bags do very little to keep you warm. It's the top quilt (above your body) that does most of the insulating, while a sleeping pad provides insulation from the cold earth. Exped took this knowledge to the next level by creating a bag with two distinct sides. Insulation in the bag's light blue side is thinner and should be side up on warmer nights. The bag's thicker, more insulated, dark blue side can be placed above for cooler nights. A thinner, more compact microfiber insulation (similar to a microfiber towel) is used in this bag, making it incredibly compressible and lightweight for its size. However, does it insulate as well as typical polyester fill? For us, it didn't.
Overall, we found the MegaSleep to perform as it was designed: Light blue side for warmer nights, the dark blue side for colder temps. The bag really does work as intended. However, we don't feel the bag performs up to either of its temperature ratings. We do feel the thinner, lighter microfiber insulation is effective when compared solely to its volume. Still, we never felt completely warm when temperatures inched closer to the bag's ratings. In short, when using the bag's warmer side, we survived through temps in the 30s, but never felt toasty warm enough to completely relax.
Additionally, we conducted warmth tests on the MegaSleep first with one person and then with two. We did find that we stayed warmer with two bodies, but still found our overall warmth to be lacking. Overall, this unique form of insulation is effective and, in fact, somewhat amazing when considering its volume. However, we feel the bag's performance is quite a bit shy of its 25-degree rating, even when wearing extra clothing.
In the end, we were very impressed with the MegaSleep's warmth when compared to its thickness and weight. However, we were not impressed with its listed temperature ratings. Simply put, users who seek minimalistic designs will love how simple and lightweight this double bag is, but they will most likely need to layer up or seek destinations with a little warmer nighttime temps.
Thick, heavy, and extra cozy? Nope. This bag is thin, no matter how you zip it. Using a sleeping pad with a higher R-value is recommended, except in truly warm summer nights. However, this bag's width and silky fabric create a very spacious, airy, and comfortable feel. The bag is easy to move around in, and its fabrics are nice to the touch. When compared to other double bags with the same dimensions, we found the MegaSleep to accommodate two sleepers more easily with less a tug-of-war for covers. We feel the thinner nature of the bag, combined with its silkier fabrics create this perception. If a traditional, overstuffed, flannel interior is what you desire, you won't find it here. But for space and weight conscious adventurists, this bag just may hit the mark.
The MegaSleep's two-sided design is its most stand-out feature. We were pleased to have our skepticism challenged when discovering the bag really does work. Both sides do provide different levels of insulation and warmth. However, as already noted, temperature ratings on both sides are a bit generous. The MegaSleep is incredibly lightweight for a double bag, and it's highly compressible. These key features give users the option of taking this bag just about anywhere, including the backcountry (as long as nighttime temps are 35-40 degrees or above). Of the double bags we've tested, this is the best one for traveling further afoot.
Another notable design feature is the bag's ability to be four bags in one. As a double bag, it offers two warmth ratings, but each half can also be unzipped and used as separate quilts or zipped into two separate bags. The only thing we didn't like is each separate quilt or bag also has a separate warmth rating, which could be a problem if both are being used in the same temperature range (flip a coin?). We also feel the individual bags are a little narrow and maybe confining for larger-framed sleepers.
An additional simple feature we liked was a snap at the bag's top opening, which allows sleepers to snap the middle of the bag together and reduce heat escape. It also comes with a generous, reinforced zipper baffle.
We've studied a lot of double bags, and we can securely say that this bag is one of the lightest and most compressible of any we've tested. The manufacturer ships the bag in an over-sized, mesh-sided stuff sack, which is perfect for storing; however, if needed, this sleeping bag can be easily smashed into a compression sack and reduced to more than a third of its normal packed size. Making it perfect for space-conscious campers or weekend backpackers who like the idea of sharing a sleeping bag.
The MegaSleep is the lightest, most compact double bag we've tested. Most of this is accomplished by using thinner microfiber insulation. We found this insulation to work well as long as temperatures stayed on the warmer side. Additionally, we initially thought the bag's two-sided, dual-temperature design was a gimmick, but later found it is quite effective. In the end, despite all of the pluses, we feel the bag is overpriced. It's a unique bag with some desirable features, but warmth is our most important metric, and we don't feel the MegaSleep measures up to its temperature ratings. Less is often more, but more money for less warmth just isn't good math, in our opinion.
As the lightest double bag we've ever seen, we are also very impressed with the MegaSleep's compressibility. It can easily make the switch between car-camping and backpacking. This bag performs well for its volume and weight. The microfiber insulation is an effective take on insulation. We simply feel the bag didn't keep us as warm as its temperature ratings stated.
— Jason Wanlass