Katabatic Gear is a small cottage industry set up 'to build the finest ultralight sleeping bags available,' and the Sawatch 15 is their middle offering (they are working on a quilt for even colder conditions). While rated to 15 F (-9 C), they only call it their 'three season workhorse.' This has got to be different from some other bag manufacturers who notoriously hype their offerings to temperature extremes. The Crestone hood is described as 'our warmest lightweight hood, ideal when extra head insulation is needed.'

Neither of these items feature any of the usual mass-market gimmicks, but the quilt does have an interesting method of stopping drafts from getting in at the sides: it has (patent pending) clips to hold the sides down onto strings tied around your air mat. Yes, they assume you will be using an air mat at the temperatures this quilt is designed for.

I field tested the Sawatch 15 and the Crestone Hood on a couple of trips in the Australian Alps during the winter and early spring. Unfortunately both trips had to be aborted part-way through, before I had done any serious photography, so many of the photos used in this review are derived from the Katabatic Gear website. Those photos have 'KG' in the corner. (The first ski trip was aborted as I needed stitches in my knee. The second trip was aborted as we could not cross the flooded rivers.)

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Technical Details - Sawatch Quilt
  • Technical Details - Crestone Hood
  • Field Assessment - Sawatch
  • Field Assessment - Crestone
  • Summary
  • Technical Details

# WORDS: 2550
# PHOTOS: 8

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