With the "green" wave that's swept the outdoor industry, you can find an eco-friendly version of nearly every type of gear, including sleeping bags. Marmot's EcoPro bags are made with PET, a type of polyester derived from recycled plastic bottles. The synthetic insulation is 80-percent recycled, and the DWR polyester shell is 100-percent recycled. Eco-friendliness is always commendable, but do the bags perform?
The answer is a resounding yes: SNEWS® put the women's 15-degree EcoPro bag to the test, and we were stoked with the results. During fall nights of 15-degree weather, one tester, clad in several layers, slept soundly as could be. On a windy spring night that grazed the high 20s, another tester wore single base layers and felt plenty toasty. The bag also repelled water pretty darn well: Heavy condensation on the interior of a tent was turned back by the EcoPro.
The attractive blue bag weighs 2 pounds, 13 ounces and is unusually compact for a synthetic bag. When stuffed into a compression sack (not provided with the bag), it could be squashed down to the size of an oblong volleyball, which is comparable to Marmot's down bags.
Other smart design features include an exterior pocket on the shoulder for keeping small valuables, wave construction that keeps insulation from shifting, and a Velcro-free face muff. The bag is contoured to fit a woman's body, with more room in the hips and less in the shoulders. It's also built shorter so sleepers don't have to warm up dead air space. (The bag is ideal for women 5 feet, 6 inches and shorter.)
The women's EcoPro did have a few shortcomings. While the women's design promises extra insulation in the foot area, one tester complained of chilly trotters on a night in the 20s. It's not built with an interior shoulder muff or cinch, so we had to cinch the face muff quite tightly to trap heat on cool nights. Also, the zipper required some finesse and often snagged when it was bent at an angle.
Still, those are minor quibbles, and testers agreed that the women's EcoPro compared very favorably to synthetic and down models from other brands. For those in need of a good all-purpose, three-season sleeping bag that can withstand some moisture, the EcoPro is a well-advised purchase. Perhaps one tester summed it up best: "It packed down super small, is adorable in color, and was super comfy."
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $165