A relative newcomer to the ultralight sleeping bag category, Hammock Gear offers options for both hammock campers and ground sleepers. The Hammock Gear Econ Burrow 20 is budget-minded, and we really appreciate that. While it's not a standout performer in most categories, it can get the job done in most conditions and is substantially less expensive than any other option in the review. For a very reasonable price, the Econ Burrow 20 is a well-featured warm-weather quilt worth consideration. Ultralight gear isn't cheap, and if you're getting into this category, this is a high-value introductory piece and our Best Buy on a Tight Budget.
Hammock Gear Burrow Econ 20 Review
Cons: Not as warm as similar quilts, doesn't seal at the bottom very well
Manufacturer: Hammock Gear
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hammock Gear products aren't commonly sold at major online retailers. Head over to their website to order directly from the manufacturer if you're adding this model to your gear closet. Make sure you have ordered ahead of any trip, as the lead time is currently listed at 5 weeks.
Unlike most other bags or quilts in this review, the Econ Burrow uses 800 FP duck down rather than goose down. While this keeps the price low, duck down is not as high quality as goose down when it comes to a warmth-to-weight ratio. It tested towards the bottom of the scale during the frozen water bottle test, but we still found it warm enough for nights just above freezing temps, as long as we layered appropriately. Attaching the quilt to our sleeping pad also really helped us stay warm on chillier nights.
Hammock Gear does offer up to 4 ounces extra of overstuffing (approximately $8 per extra ounce of stuffing requested), or you can order the Premium Burrow model, which can be stuffed with either 850 or 950 FP goose down. All of this will make a warmer bag, but the cost reflects this.
At 25.6 ounces with the included stuff sack (0.6 oz itself), this is one of the heavier options we reviewed, and almost 3 ounces heavier than what Hammock Gear lists on their website. Curiously, it is one of the more packable models with the included stuff sack. To make the bag lighter, you could opt for the model with a sewn foot box, but it would make it less versatile.
The warmth-to-weight ratio of this model isn't great, but then again, it's still impressive for the price. The Burrow has more down weight than any other bag we've tested in this category, but because it's lower quality down it doesn't have as good insulation. With goose down, the bag could be warmer for the same weight.
The Burrow Econ is adequately comfortable, but not a total showstopper. What we do like is the roominess of the quilt, even when fully buttoned up. The foot box was plenty wide, although it doesn't cinch up as tight as the other fully opening quilts, and can get drafty. On colder nights, it sealed well to a pad without feeling like we were strapped to a backboard, and our testers were able to roll without twisting the quilt off the pad. We enjoyed using this model as a blanket, too, which adds to its comfort on chilly evenings before we hunkered down for the night.
The quality of the shell material is noticeably different when side-by-side higher-quality (and higher-priced) bags, but we wouldn't say it's uncomfortable. Hammock Gear uses a 20 denier nylon taffeta on their Econ quilts, as opposed to the 10 and 15-Denier on the Premium version, which might be nicer. The ground pad attachment system is a little annoying to undo in the middle of the night, so we found it's easier just to crawl out the top (which can be awkward). That said, the Burrow works well as a quilt, either cinched up or fully opened to adjust to the temperature.
We loved the ability to fully open or strap down the Burrow, making it adjust well to a wide range of temperatures. We tested it as a ground quilt, but it also works as a top quilt for hammock camping (which is the area that Hammock Gear specializes in). Being designed for either sleep suspended in the air or on earth scored this bag an extra point here. Hammock Gear does recommend the wider version for ground sleepers, but either works in a pinch.
Fully open works great for summer temperatures, and as the mercury drops, the bag seals more fully around the sleeper and ground pad. We even opened up the bottom and wore it around camp as an extra layer during a cold morning. For greater versatility, get the goose down model which will let it be more packable or better for a larger temperature range. We could also see this being used as a "one and a half" person bag for ultralight alpine climbing trips, where climbers often use one sleeping bag for two people.
The Burrow Econ 20 has a short zipper on the foot box, cinch cords on either end, and two buttons to keep everything in place. It also has three grosgrain webbing loops for either hanging from a hammock or hooking the pad attachment system. The cinch on the top has a very long cord, but it tucks away nicely into the bag away from the face. The bottom cinch doesn't close quite as tightly as we'd like but wasn't noticeably drafty, except on the coldest nights.
We love that the Burrow can open all the way or strap down onto a pad for cooler nights. We didn't test it for hammock camping, but there are features set up for it, and that seems like an intriguing idea for more heavily wooded areas.
This is absolutely where the Econ Burrow shines. It is way less expensive than every other bag or quilt we tested. It doesn't have quite the warmth to weight ratio, or as nice of material, but it's hard to argue with savings that big. It's still a decently warm quilt that's reasonably light, at about half the price compared to most of the bags in this review. This is why it's our champion for tight budgets.
The Econ Burrow is a great choice if you're looking for an affordable, packable, full-featured quilt for hammock or ground sleeping on the warm side of three-season conditions. We were really impressed with how well it worked, especially given how much cheaper it is compared to very similar products. While it's not the full-on top of line quilt, it provides an opportunity for someone to enter the world of ultralight backpacking without having to spend an enormous amount of money on one of the "big four" items. We liked it, and the value, enough to give the Econ Burrow our Best Buy on a Tight Budget award.
Other Versions and Accessories
Hammock Gear also makes a premium version of the same quilt, with many customizable options, including burlier or lighter fabrics, 850 and 950 fill power down, a sewn or zippered foot box, different widths, and overfill, but all of these increase the cost.
— Ethan Newman