The sleeping bag has come a long way since its origins as a glorified wool rug issued to the Russian Military in the 1870s. Wonder fabrics, insulation that magically puffs up one minute and packs down into a tiny sack the next, and weighing less than a few bananas, the bags we use today are quite the modern marvels.
Today’s outdoor adventurers run the gamut between ultra hardcore backpackers and casual car campers, which is exactly why Cotopaxi chose to enter the bag market with something different. The big noise with Sueño Sleeping Bag would have to be its 15-degree rating, 800-fill water-resistant duck down, slew of features, and sticker price that hits below the $350 mark—warm and light enough for backpacking during the spring, summer, and fall months, and creature-comfort-rich for those sleeping within eyeshot of the car. For more insight into the design of the Sueño, I sat down with the brains behind the bag, Cotopaxi’s Apparel Director, Cheri Sanguinetti.
“Isn’t it fun?” Sanguinetti holds up the festive-looking Sueño with both hands for me to examine. She says the secret to making such a versatile bag came from from having a fresh, outsider’s approach, with more of an apparel-designer’s eye. “I know insulation and fabrics,” she says, opening the bag and beginning the full breakdown of its features. It’s obvious that she also knows pockets, as her demonstration clearly illustrates more than a couple well-designed stash spots. There’s an integrated pocket cleverly placed in the hood that accommodates a travel pillow or soft layer, an insulated media pocket up top, and a built-in pouch at the feet to stash the bag’s stuff sack. There’s also a two-way right side zipper that continues all the way around the footbax—allowing the user to filet the thing open and use it as a blanket.
“She says the secret to making such a versatile bag came from from having a fresh, outsider’s approach, with more of an apparel-designer’s eye.”
Sanguinetti goes on and on, so much so that it’s hard to keep track of everything. That is, until you put your hands on the bag and feel the features she’s rattling off, such as the one-handed Eyelok toggles that keep the hood right where you want it, or the tactile zipper pulls that smoothly direct the zippers open and closed.
When asked about the rest of the bag, she says that using DWR-coated nylon and 800-fill down—giving it a 15-degree rating—was strictly done for versatility. “It’s the meat and potatoes,” she says, implying that the bag is ideal for a wide range of users—from backpackers (It weighs in at roughly 2lb 13oz) to family campers.
Finally, we need to talk about the vibrant colors. When I ask, she stops what she’s doing, stares at me, and launches into how she’s tired of seeing the same ho-hum color palette that defines the outdoor space. “You don’t see these colors, do you?” Her vision was to make something that you’d be proud to use and show off to others. “I’m excited to go camping now,” she says while clutching the bag. And that should be good enough, because, well, isn’t that what it’s really all about?