Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Gear Closet: Mountain Equipment Glacier 1000 Sleeping Bag Review

There has never been a better time for explorers and adventurers to embark on cold weather excursions. While I know a lot of people are immediately turned off by the idea of venturing out into the cold, the gear that we have at our disposal these days does an amazing job at keeping us warm and comfortable, even when the mercury drops well below freezing. Case in point, the new Glacier 1000 sleeping bag from Mountain Equipment, which delivers fantastic performance, at an extremely affordable price.

Rated for use in temperatures as low as -25ºC/-13ºF, the Glacier 1000 is warm and cozy thanks to its 700-fill power duck-down insulation, which is wrapped in Mountain Equipment's proprietary Drilite Loft II fabrics. This outer shell provides a measure of protection against moisture, keeping the down inside dry and helping it to retain the properties that make it a great insulator. That down itself is not hydrophobic – as most other manufacturers are using – but thanks to the protective fabrics it really doesn't have to be. The Drilite Loft materials do a great job of keeping the bag dry and comfortable, even in extremely cold and wet environments.

One of the biggest challenges that I typically face when crawling into a sleeping bag is getting comfortable due to my size. I'm fairly tall (6'2"+) and broad, which often leads to feeling a bit confined when I settle in for a night's sleep. But, that wasn't the case with the Glacier 1000, which has been designed to provide plenty of room in the interior. In fact, I found the bag to be quite spacious, which made it all the more comfortable. Mountain Equipment has even sculpted an anatomically shaped foot-box that provided plenty of room as well. That's not always easy, as I often find a lot of sleeping bags are very confining in that area.

Despite having plenty of room inside, the bag didn't disappoint in the level of performance it offers. Thanks to strategically placed baffles throughout the design of the Glacer, heat is retained quite nicely. So much so that you'll definitely only want to use this sleeping bag when the conditions call for it, otherwise you'll find yourself overheating. If anything, Mountain Equipment is probably being conservative with its temperature rating numbers, and depending on the situation I wouldn't hesitate to use the Glacier in even colder conditions.

Other nice features include a nicely shaped hood that once again provides warmth without being overly confining. That same hood can be sealed up using the company's Lode Lock closure, which makes it a breeze to wrap into place, and can be opened with one hand when it is time to crawl out of the bag. Mountain Equipment also ships the Glacier with a roll-top waterproof stuff sack for use in the field and a cloth storage cube for maintaining loft while at home.

Despite its fantastic performance in cold conditions, perhaps the most impressive thing about the Glacier 1000 is its price. A sleeping bag designed for use in extreme cold will typically set you back a considerable amount of money, but somehow Mountain Equipment has managed to deliver high level performance for just $380. I know for many people that will sound like quite an expensive sleeping bag, but when compared to similar bags from the competition, the Glacier 1000 delivers a lot of bang for the buck.

And if you happen to be one of those people who simply doesn't want to embark on an arctic adventure, Mountain Equipment makes versions of the Glacier for you too. The Glacier 700 and 450 offer many of the same features, but are suited for use in warmer conditions, although their temperature ratings offer solid comfort in cold conditions too.

With winter on the horizon here in northern hemisphere, it is time to start thinking about our cold weather outings to come. If you find yourself in need of a good sleeping bag to keep you warm on those excursions, the Mountain Equipment Glacier 1000 is an excellent option. Whether you're skiing through the backcountry, making alpine ascents, or simply going winter camping, this is a sleeping bag that you'll be glad to have in your own gear closet.

Find out more at mountain-equipment.com.


Enndery Ashwin said...


Nikhil Sinha said...

Thanks for reviewing the glacier 1000. I was thinking of upgrading to a winter bag which will serve me well on alpine winter camping in the indian himalayas as well as support me on spring and summer high himalayan pass crossing expeditions. Im considering the Glacier 1000 as its coming for USD 284 but considering the pricing at the moment I'm thinking of buying the glacier 700 instead, which is for USD 245. Ive really streched my budget here. Any comments on the glacier 700??

Kraig Becker said...

I haven't tested the Glacier 700, but based on my experience with the 1000, I can say that the quality of the bag is very nice. Provided the 700 meets your needs temperature wise, I'd say its a pretty safe purchase. The benefit of spending a little more money is that you bet a much warmer bag, which is great in cold contends, but could be too warm for other times of the year.

Nikhil Sinha said...

Thanks for replying quickly, Kraig. Went for the Glacier 1000. Unfortunately the backcountry sale ended so couldn't grab it for USD 284. Paid USD 350 for it instead. Maxxed my budget way beyond the line, but hopefully this will be the end of those freezing winter nights beyond 13k feet.

Kraig Becker said...

I think you'll find that its very warm and comfortable. I've found it to be warmer than the rating actually implies, but I tend to sleep warm anyway. Good luck!