Review: Mountainsmith Kenosha 20 Degree -The Bag For The Big Guys

When you’re a big guy, searching for a sleeping bag that is lightweight, practical, and easy to pack that also fits around you can be an interesting (and often depressing) task.  Luckily, Mountainsmith has gotten back into the sleeping bag game and immediately have tried to solve this dilemma for those that are on the larger side of the scale.  With over 30 years of outdoor gear experience, dedication to making reliable equipment, and constantly developing new ways to lower their environmental impact, Mountainsmith makes equipment that you can put your trust in.

The Mountainsmith Kenosha 20 Degree bag was designed to be a low-weight, efficient, and stylish bag that can cater to the big-boned, oversized, big and tall, and just plain chubby folks among us.  It will fit someone that is up to 6‘4” and has a 65” shoulder girth.  Other than making it a bit bigger than most, they have also made the angle of the mummy effect less severe and increased the size of the footbox in order to provide extra wiggle room. Of course, Mountainsmith has included all of the features that you would expect from any high-quality sleeping bag: an adjustable hood, a neck baffle collar, a draft tube that runs the entire length of the zipper, hanging loops on the outside of the bag (for either hanging the Kenosha to dry or lashing to a sleeping pad), and a stuff-sack that has compression straps.  At 3 pounds and 9 ounces, the weight of this bag is very comparable to other mummy bags, despite the fact that it is designed to fit a more bulky outdoorsman.  One feature that is much less common is the included cotton storage bag, which is useful for when you’re not planning on using your sleeping bag for a while and have room to spare.

When opening up the Kenosha, the first thing we noticed was that it’s surprisingly light and has an attractive design.  Upon closer inspection, we also noticed that the stitching is done very well -there are no loose threads or scraggly ends sticking out -and the materials seem very durable, despite the fact that it weighs so little.  The real test for this bag, however, was always going to be on how a bigger guy will fit in it.  We are pleased to report that the bag is a comfortable fit, despite the fact that our tester is hovering on the borderline of the 65” shoulder girth recommendation (I‘m just big-boned).  One thing that we did notice after completing testing is that the stuff sack is about the same size as those belonging to smaller sleeping bags that we have tested in the past.  While this is a major positive when trying to fit everything into your backpack, it does also make it slightly more challenging to fit the Kenosha back into it when your adventure is complete.  The inclusion of the cotton sleeping bag does add a nice touch, especially in colder climates where a 20 degree sleeping bag won‘t cut it.  During the winter, the Kenosha will get to decompress and not have as many wrinkles when spring arrives.

Overall, this bag is an excellent choice for those that have struggled to find a good fit in the past, or if you like more breathing room.  And, with the very reasonable price tag of $109.95, you won‘t have to pay a fortune to get a good fit.

Check out the Mountainsmith website  to view their entire sleeping bag lineup.  They also make fantastic backpacks and tents.  From the peek we were able to get out the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market this January, the Conifer Five Person Plus tent looks like another great product from Mountainsmith to add to your wish list.

–          David

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