Published on February 1st, 2014 | by Greg0
Eddie Bauer Igniter Sleeping Bag: Enduringly Warm
Eddie Bauer is a name with history. Established in 1920, the founder of the company was from Washington state’s Orcas Island, and started an outdoors shop that eventually became the eponymous brand. After he passed away in 1986, the firm sort of lost a bit of sparkle, turning away from a major mountaineering supplier to a more casual outdoors apparel shop. In 2009 though they underwent a makeover, and five years later have released some gear that is winning some acclaim and competing in a tough marketplace.
The Eddie Bauer Igniter Sleeping Bag continues this trend of great features and sharp designs. Ours was the zero-degree version meant for freezing temperatures, with 20+ and 15+ models weighing and costing slightly less, available for those who don’t need the extra insulation. Traditionally mummy-shaped, the bag features a three-dimensional footbox, which sounds like a bit of an unusual addition, until you remember how your feet get a bit cramped and uncomfortable in most competitors. Here, the change added some ventilation around our feet, ideal especially when you’re dealing with wet boots and socks.
Unlike some of the recent bags we’ve been testing over the past couple of months, the Igniter is synthetic- and proud. Down feather fill can be warm and wonderful, but isn’t so great with water, meaning that rain and inclement conditions can pretty rapidly ruin your camping trip. And while there have been some major advances in down coatings to repel moisture and improve performance, synthetics have improved vastly as well and are often superior for expeditions. The Igniter features “Climashield Apex continuous filament insulation with durable, lightweight and packable Pertex ripstop 20-denier fabric”. Basically, this all means that you’ll stay warm and cozy even when wet. We found it to be one of the warmer bags we’ve tried, perfect for cold temperature hikes.
In most other aspects- zippers, the bag, the hood- the Igniter is pretty much normal. We weren’t thrilled by the color- a bright blue and orange- but it certainly stands out. And the downside of the heavy insulation (and excellent loft) is that it can take up quite a bit of space in your bag, and it’s certainly one of the more voluminous bags even when cinched tight! It also weighs quite a bit, almost four pounds all told, which might be a deal breaker for those who need to pack light.
Available now, online and in stores for around $279, the Eddier Bauer Igniter is certainly a great new set of gear from the manufacturer (part of their First Ascent collection), and the ideal addition to your collection if you’d like a little more footroom- and less water- in your sleeping bag.