You know that comforting feeling you get hugging a friend? Or that all-encompassing warmth in the room when sharing a meal with a loved one? That’s Feathered Friends. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
This past winter was my first in South Dakota, and it was a bit chilly, to say the least. The cold set me out on a path to find the perfect sleeping bag that would encourage me to keep adventuring through the snowy times. In my quest, I ran up against some very “bro”-y options, and plenty of questionable quality options. I wanted something I could rely on, something that would last. I wanted to support a company that felt welcoming, that stood for the right things. That’s when I found Feathered Friends.
Feathered Friends is an independently owned family business founded in Seattle in 1972 by Carol and Peter Hickner. Carol and Peter still own and oversee the operations of the business today, and, like them, many employees have stayed with the company for decades. There’s a welcoming feeling you get purchasing an item from a company like that, and the care of the employees can be felt in the end products.
Feathered Friends makes high-quality down products that range from helping you snug up in your bed to journeying with you on a summit of Everest. Everything is made in the USA, which gives the company optimal quality control and provides jobs within the community. The company also uses down that is Responsible Down Standard certified, guaranteeing it comes from ethical sources.
To top things off, Feathered Friends provides financial and in-kind support to local and national organizations working to protect public lands, such as the Washington Trails Association, Access Fund, and the American Alpine Club. I’m always looking for companies that give back, so at this point, I was sold, and got my hands on their Arctic Finch EX -10 Women’s Sleeping Bag.
Simply put: If you’re looking for the absolute best winter sleeping bag, this is it.
I took the sleeping bag out a few times during South Dakota’s winter (and early spring, which might as well have still been winter this year), and was joyously warm. Even though the windchill had been burning through any of my exposed skin before getting into the sleeping bag, I might as well have been back home in bed with the heater on once I snuggled in.
The Arctic Finch EX -10 Women’s Sleeping Bag includes:
- Mummy shape with two-way zipper and locking sliders
- Pertex Shield EX water-resistant/breathable laminate shell
- Pertex 30 denier taffeta lining
- Permanent collar designed to prevent breath condensation from entering the bag
- 3D contoured hood to wrap a layer of insulation around your head
- Generous draft tube to prevent cold air from seeping past the zipper
- Tuck-stitch construction that hides the baffle threads and prevents moisture from wicking through to the inside
- Storage bag & stuff sack
This -10-degree bag is a big, fluffy one. In its storage sack, it comes up to my waist. However, I personally use a Seal Line Blocker Compression Dry Sack to pack it when I’m heading into the backcountry. This takes it down to a height of about one and a half of my hands and makes it fit easily in my pack. It’s impressive just how much this sleeping bag can compress.
In addition, what’s particularly great about Feathered Friends’ women’s sleeping bags, in general, is that the company took female customer feedback seriously and designed the bags to address common concerns. For example, they found that a number of their testers liked to sleep with one knee up (I do this!), so they added extra volume through the lower taper. They also decreased the bags’ shoulder girths while increasing volume in the elbow and chest areas. At the same time they did this, they did not decide to suddenly turn all of their women’s bags pink. Mine is a fabulous, bright blue.
All in all, I’m happy to have made friends with Feathered Friends. It’s one of those companies that not only produces quality gear, but also supports public lands and local communities, follows positive business practices, and takes female adventurers seriously. I recommend Misadventurers look into their products for whichever season they’re looking to adventure in—or even if they’re just looking for the world’s coziest down comforter for movie night!