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Brooks Range Elephant Foot Review

Brooks Range Elephant Foot
Photo: Brooks Range
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Price:  $249 List
Pros:  Suspenders keep bag in place, weighs 16 ounces.
Cons:  sewn-thru construction is not warm, does not use 900-fill down, only one size, other bags are warmer for their weight.
Manufacturer:   Brooks Range
By Chris McNamara and Max Neale  ⋅  Apr 23, 2015
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  • Warmth - 20% 1
  • Weight - 40% 10
  • Comfort - 5% 3
  • Packed Size - 15% 9
  • Features - 5% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 1

Our Verdict

The Brooks Range Elephant Foot is an 850-fill three-quarter length bag with sewn-through baffles and an elasticized suspension system that keeps the bag in place even in the most heinous seated bivouacs. Although we appreciate the security of the Elephant Foot's suspenders, we prefer the Feathered Friends Vireo because it has more loft, covers more of your body, has a more water resistant shell material, is more comfortable, more versatile, and weighs the same amount.

Half bags are best for seated bivis. Consider a quilt for a more versatile bag that can also be used in many fast and light climbing applications.

Our Analysis and Test Results

2015 Version of the Elephant Foot vs. The 2013 Version

The Elephant Foot has had a change in design. As you can see below, this 850-fill bag is rated to 15-degrees (with Downtek) and the baffles are now vertical instead of horizontal; this bag also now offers baffled construction and no more sewn through. This bag now costs $450. The latest version is pictured on the left, with the older version on the right.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Hands-On Review of the 2013 Elephant Foot


The Brooks Range Elephant Foot is a three-quarter length 850-fill zipperless half bag. It's 61" long and covers the vast majority of your body. A lightweight and comfortable elasticized suspender system keeps the bag in place and over a down jacket. This is main advantage of the Elephant Foot over the Feathered Friends Vireo: the combination of the waist cincher and suspenders do a better job at securing the bag than the Vireo's weak neck closure. This is very useful when perched in a sitting position on a tiny ledge.


Besides the suspenders, the Elephant Foot performs poorly compared to the Feathered Friends Vireo. It has down is 800-fill, not 900-fill; its shell material is an ultralight 15-Denier PErtex Quantum, but not the Vireo's more water resistant Pertex Endurance UL; its baffles are sewn-through, not boxed (sewn-through is less warm); and the Elephant Foot is available in one length, not the Vireo's three. The six-dollar price difference does not make up for these performance drawbacks. As for keeping the bag attached at night, we suggest the Vireo in the next size up.

Chris McNamara and Max Neale