Big Agnes Hitchens UL 20 Down Mummy Sleeping Bag is a 3-season ultra-lightweight backpacking sleeping bag that weighs only 1.69 lb (765 g), and it is also very compressible. Read more below.
Key features & benefits
- Quality down fill.
- Three sizes to choose from.
- For 3-season camping.
- Very packable.
What type of sleeping bag is this
Here you have a mummy style technical and ultralight bag. They have used a quality fill so the weight from the insulation is almost minimal, and they have also reduced weight in several other ways. For example, you will notice that the side zipper is very short, only 40 inches (102 cm), so this is both good and bad.
The good is that this sheds ounces and increases the thermal value of the bag, but the bad is that it is less comfortable. The meaning of the word ultralight can best be understood only by comparison with other similar bags, so you have a couple of them in the comparison table below.
The weight is reduced also by using a very durable but incredibly thin fabric. Surprisingly, they do not give the usual info about the denier value, but the material is very thin and pleasant. So they have managed to build this bag which weighs only 1.69 lb (765 g). This explains the letters UL in the name of the bag.
Its packed size is perhaps even more impressive as it reduces to 7 x 6 in (18 x 15 cm). However, one comment here; this number is from the Big Agnes directly, but the bag is definitely not so small when packed and the stuff sack is without compression straps, so you cannot compress it more. I was not sure why and how they came with such numbers for the packed size, so after contacting them, I received this answer: “When you apply compression straps to the Hitchens it will pack down to 7″x6”. We have a few different compression options in our product line including the Superlight Girdle and the Tech Compression sack.
In other words, you need a different compression sack to have this bag compressed to such a size. For a bag that costs $530, they could have provided such an option in the package, couldn’t they? Instead, they provided a very thin and cheap sack.
The thermal efficiency is increased also due to an oversized 3D anti-snag draft tube that prevents heat loss along the zipper, and the hood is very contoured and with a baffle that cradles the head and prevents drafts.
The official temperature rating is 20 F (-7 C), if you are not familiar with the terminology please read more here. In the specifications below, you will see the Limit and Comfort values according to the EU EN rating system.
Who is it for
If you can afford it, and if you feel comfortable in a mummy-style bag, then this is for you. But here are a few more details:
Seasons-wise, as the name suggests the bag is for the temperature as low as 20 F (-7 C). Taking this as the limit, even if you add some 10 degrees or so, this is a true 3-season bag.
Weight-wise, the R size weighs 1 lb 11 oz (765 g), so this is in the category of ultra-lightweight sleeping bags, and it is light enough even for backpackers and hikers. If good for them, then it is suitable for any other use, so this is an incredibly versatile bag.
Size-wise, they build it in three sizes (see in the specifications below) so it is easy to choose your best fit to avoid carrying an unnecessary weight. The difference in the weight between the S and L sizes is 170 grams. I already mentioned its packed size, so I guess an item with such packed dimensions is a dream of every backpacker and hiker.
Unisex model – just to know that they declare it as a unisex bag.
Construction & materials
The shell fabric is a nylon rip-stop with a water repellent finish, and a similar nylon rip-stop is used also for the lining. The baffles on the bag are what they call the Insotect Flow construction, and this implies both vertical and contoured baffles. Apparently, this should maximize the warmth while keeping the weight at the minimum. The footbox is ergonomic, though quite limited as typical for such a type.
The insulation is what they call the DownTek water repellent 850 down which is treated and it repels water while maintaining insulating value even if it gets wet.
I already mentioned the minimal zipper, it is a two-way type YKK #5 so they used the best. You also have a low profile cord-lock which allows you to un-cinch the hood with one hand.
The bag comes with a mesh storage sack & nylon stuff sack. Please see more in this short video by Big Agnes:
Good and less good features
Here is my short summary:
- Great weight.
- Great packed size.
- Quality fill.
- Very expensive.
- No compression straps on the stuff sack.
The price & rating
The Amazon price for this bag as of the moment of writing this text is around $530, so this is not for those who are on a budget. See how I rate it for several parameters:
- Type: mummy style sleeping bag.
- Three sizes: Small (S), Regular (R), Long (L).
- EN lower limit: 13 F (-10 C).
- EN c0mfort: 25 F (-4 C).
- Temperature rating: 20 F (-7 C).
– S: 1 lb 9 oz (709 g).
– R: 1 lb 11 oz (765 g).
– L: 1 lb 15 oz (879 g).
- Fill weight:
– S: 16 oz (454 g).
– R: 18 oz (510 g).
– L: 20 oz (567 g).
- Packed size:
– S: 6 x 6 in (15 x 15 cm).
– R: 6 x 7 in (15 x 18 cm).
– L: 7 x 7 in (18 x 18 cm).
- Circumference (shoulders/hip/knee):
– S: 54/53/34 in (137/135/86 cm).
– R: 60/54/36 in (152/137/91 cm).
– L: 62/56/38 in (137/135/86 cm).
– S: up to 5′ 5″ (165 cm).
– R: up to 6′ (183 cm).
– L: up to 6′ 6″ (198 cm).
- YKK zipper.
Big Agnes Hitchens UL 20 vs Competitors
I mentioned above that this is an ultra-lightweight sleeping bag, but this remains vague unless you compare it with some other similar bags. So here I give two top-notch items from NEMO. They are for 15 F so the temperature differences is not so big, but the weight difference is huge. One reason for the weight difference is due to the fill, for example, the Ramsey 15 has 555 g of the fill as compared to 510 g in the Hitchens bag. The remaining difference is then due to the fabric and shape.
COMPARE PACKAGE FEATURES
Weight, lb (kg)
Packed size, in (cm)
Temperature, F (C)
Payable Every Month
7 x 6
(18 x 15)
Payable Every Year
18 x 9
(46 x 23)
Payable Every Year
13 x 8.5
(33 x 22)
In the summary of this Big Agnes Hitchens UL 20 Down Mummy Sleeping Bag review, I would stress again that this is a top-quality item. The best materials used in the construction, and a clever design, have resulted in such a great weight, so for ounce-counters who are ready to pay the price, this is a bag to consider. This is a snug and anatomical design, and all this is to reduce the weight. I stress again that the official packed size is only if you buy another stuff sack.
But if you feel claustrophobic in such bags or if this is above your budget, please check in my page with sleeping bags, there are many good options available, and many of them have stuff sacks with compression straps.
Thank you for reading. Please use the comment box below if you have anything to share about this bag, or if you have any question. Have a nice day.