At less than 1.5 pounds for a 6 foot bag with 2.6 inches of loft on top, the Valandré Mirage delivers a lot of insulation for the weight. With its high-contour cut, shaped footbox and short 13-inch side zip, the Mirage is an extremely efficient mummy bag. It is beautifully constructed of high quality materials. However, its versatility is limited by a lack of certain options.
- High loft for the weight
- Lightweight, highly-breathable, downproof, water-resistant, and soft Asahi Kasei shell
- Shaped cut leaves room for a parka inside, gives extra space in the foot area, and maintains a trim fit from the hips to the ankles
- Short zipper allows for optimum distribution of down
- High-loft 850+ down
What’s Not So Good
- Short 13-inch side zipper offers very minimal ventilation
- Tapered cut is not for large or claustrophobic hikers
- Not cheap at $349
|2006 Valandré Mirage|
|Hooded, side zip mummy bag|
|12.3 oz (350 g) 850+ fill goose down|
|2.6 in (6.6 cm) single-layer; total loft 5.2 in (13.2 cm)|
Manufacturer Claimed Temperature Rating
|23 °F (- 5 °C) “extreme rating”|
|Measured weight 23.6 oz (669 g); manufacturer’s specification 22.0 oz (624 g)|
|Medium length (6 ft 0.5 in / 185 cm) tested; also available in short (5 ft 7 in / 170 cm) and long (6 ft 6 in / 200 cm)|
|Shell and lining are Asahi Kasei Impact 66 Ripstop 1.1 oz/yd2 (37 g/m2)|
|13 in (33 cm) left zip (no draft tube), 5 in (13 cm) baffles at the upper body tapering to 7 in (18 cm) baffles at the foot area, shaped footbox, hood drawcord, 2 hang loops, stuff sack, storage bag|
|$322 – small, $337 – medium, $354 – large|
The Valandré Mirage is a mummy bag that weighs a light 23.6 ounces in a size medium. 12.3 ounces of this weight is 850+ fill goose down, which provides 2.6 inches of loft on top of the hiker. It has differential cut baffles for improved lofting. The baffles are open on the sides, allowing some shifting of down from front to back if necessary.
Both the outer shell and lining of the bag are Asahi Kasei Impact 66 which is lightweight, highly breathable, downproof, soft, and surprisingly strong. Even on nights when I got into the bag wearing slightly damp clothing, I found that the bag was dry in the morning with no loft degradation due to the ability of the Asahi Kasei fabric to transport moisture. The fabric is treated with a DWR that gives it some water repellency and it sheds water quickly. However, it will soak through; it is important to keep the bag away from wet floors or tent walls with heavy condensation.
The bag comes with a nylon stuff sack and mesh storage bag. The stuff sack weighs only 0.8 ounces but is a very tight fit for the bag. I am not a fan of small stuff sacks or compression sacks with high loft insulation because of their effect on insulation longevity, so I used a larger stuff sack when field testing the Mirage.
The Valandré Mirage has a 13-inch zip on the left side.
The Mirage has a short 13-inch side zipper that allows for easy entrance and exit as well as limited ventilation. There are no other ventilation options on the bag. The zipper has no draft tube or flap which makes it more susceptible to losing warmth. However, the short length makes this not much of an issue in the field and cinching the hood drawcord creates some bunching and overlap of fabric in that area, blocking most of the zipper. As a result, I never noticed a cold spot in the field, even when sleeping under the stars.
The zipper has no flap or draft tube, as shown from this image taken inside the bag.
There is no neck collar on the Mirage but the hood closure provides an excellent seal from drafts. Tightening the hood drawcords results in a triangular opening that is perfect for the nose and mouth. The hood is nicely shaped for full insulation around the head and shoulders without excess space when the hood is cinched.
The shaped hood forms a perfect triangle-shaped breathing hole.
The cordlocks lock together for a good seal without the need for snaps or a Velcro flap. A hard press against the release button is required but it opens easily once you get the hang of it. Once open, exiting the bag is quick and easy.
Cordlocks that click together allow for a secure neck closure without external snaps or Velcro.
The Valandré bag has a very dramatic cut, with circumferences going from 62 to 53 to 38 inches (158 to 135 to 97 centimeters) at the shoulder, hip and foot. The taper provides adequate space in the upper body to wear a high loft jacket while providing a snug and highly efficient cut from the hips down. The foot area is shaped, providing enough room for down booties, a warm water bottle or just extra wiggle room. The fit is a good compromise of efficiency while still allowing extra insulation to push the bag into colder temperatures.
While the hip to lower leg area is very snug, the shaped footbox (seams shown with arrows) gives extra room for the feet.
At $349, the Valandré Mirage is not a value-priced down bag. However, it is beautifully constructed with high-quality fabric and high-loft down. When compared to similar bags from companies such as Western Mountaineering and Feathered Friends, the price is right in the ballpark and the Valandré offers similar excellent quality with a unique set of features. Despite extensive field testing in a variety of conditions, I never experienced any durability issues and didn’t lose more than a couple of feathers through seams. The Mirage is an excellent value.
Missing from this review (and for all sleeping bag reviews published here, for that matter) will be an assessment of whether or not the sleeping bag performs adequately at temperatures near its manufacturer-reported temperature rating. Click here for the complete Backpacking Light Position Statement on Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings.
The Mirage gives excellent loft for the weight. The contoured cut provides enough space to wear a parka inside while giving an efficient fit from the hips down.
Recommendations for Improvement
While the Valandré Mirage is a highly recommended bag, it doesn’t offer many ventilation options, limiting its versatility. While it would add some weight and complexity, an opening in the foot area would be a welcome change, allowing for extra ventilation when temperatures get warmer.