Absorbing bumps and rocks and keeping you off the cold ground, inflatable sleeping pads are the ticket to a good night sleep in the backcountry. Add a down sleeping bag and we’re rarely cozier. The only thing that could make the combo better is to make them one, which is exactly what Eddie Bauer did in the Airbender.
The air pad and sleeping bag are welded together with a thin sheet of Climashield synthetic insulation in between. The vertical running air chambers of the pad cover the entire bottom side of the bag and inflate quickly with the hand pump built into the stuff sack — an easy-on-the-lungs accessory that’s priceless after a day trekking uphill.
The sleeping bag portion is 850-fill water resistant goose down stuffed in baffles running horizontal over the legs and vertical for the upper body, optimizing warmth and weight. Together they come in with a 20-degree temperature rating, good enough for three-season use everywhere but the mountains. A contoured hood and neck baffles add warmth when sleeping near the bag’s temperature limit.
Though the three-pound Airbender does cut up to a pound off carrying a separate bag and pad and stuffs much smaller, it costs a lot more. But just how much would you pay to never fall off your sleeping pad again?
Days tested: 5
Area tested: coastal backpacking, car camping
Conditions encountered: mud, rain, freezing temps
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