Eddie Bauer Flying Squirrel 40° Sleeping Bag ReviewOctober 3, 2016
- Unique design
- Unique design
- Poor weight to warmth ratio
- Best for 50F+
The Flying Squirrel is a seriously unique bag (think flying squirrel) designed by Eddie Bauer as “packable emergency warmth” for guides, but suits mild weather camping in zipper-less fashion. It is great for emergency car kits, beach camping, concerts and other recreational activities but is not well suited as a dedicated backpacking sleeping bag.
The Flying Squirrel compresses with an average amount of effort into the silicone-coated nylon stuff sack it comes with to a cylinder shape and sized 14 inches long by about 6 inch diameter. Outside a camping scenario, the user may also choose to use the Flying Squirrel’s self-packing functionality (which packs to the size of a small briefcase). Because no compression sack was provided, I used a Cocoon compression sack to better compare the Flying Squirrel’s compressibility to other bags in this category. Using that compression sack, the Flying Squirrel packs down to about the size of a Nerf football.
This bag was designed for emergency warmth – and while that shouldn’t necessarily mean it isn’t appropriate for camping warmth, the no-zipper, wrap design does make it more suitable for warmer weather (and in fairness it is rated at 40 degrees). Since there is no zipper, the bag will often fall open during the evening since the traditional nylon finish is slippery and not intended to stick or hold in place. The StormdownÆ treated down is designed to improve loft and dry faster.
It’s difficult to rate this bag head to head against the other, more traditional bags in this category. But in terms of versatility and ingenuity, it really is a standout; its versatility has a purpose. The design provides excellent comfort by making it easy to adjust from wrap around sleeping bag style to blanket – particularly useful in higher temperatures (when it doesn’t really matter if the sleeping bag falls open).
The Flying Squirrel uses 20D Pertex Ripstop nylon shell and showed no signs of wear and tear during the testing phase and I have no reason to expect it would not do so with continued use.
Eddie Bauer’s Flying Squirrel disposes with a zippered bag to create a wrap-around style bag with a comfortable foot pocket to help keep the billowy down stay properly wrapped around your body. As explained above, moving around during the evening will often cause the bag to fall open owing to the 20D Pertex Ripstop nylon shell. There are two tabs toward the bottom part of the bag that, in addition to the foot pocket, will at least keep the lower portion of the bag firmly around your lower legs and feet.
The magic of this bag, however, really kicks in at the low 50s – when a user may want the refreshing versatility of a bag that can be used more like a traditional sleeping bag, which can be wrapped closely around the body, or more like a blanket to lay softly over the body. Since there is no zipper, there is no need for a noisy distraction while trying to get some air into the bag while in a sleepy daze; the wrap-style with no zipper makes it easier to open up and find that optimal temperature in warmer climate compared to a traditional sleeping bag.
The open design makes the bag easy to get in and out of. It’s unique design does also make the bag particularly useful for other purposes, including emergency car use, cold-weather sporting events or other recreational use like concerts or other evening outdoor activities where you might want greater flexibility in your insulation source.Continue Reading