When we started backpacking I knew I was going to need a new sleeping bag once colder temperatures hit. The bags I had inherited were very warm, but very heavy cotton bags only suited to car camping. Since my Columbia pack is smaller, at 35L, I needed a bag that would compress down very small. This meant that my best choice would be a down bag. However, down bags made by American and European companies usually start at around $200 for winter bags. I didn’t want to spend that much on a sleeping bag so I looked around for other options. One brand of Chinese sleeping bags kept being mentioned on the web, the Aegismax. The talk about the bag was that it was surprisingly well made for a Chinese bag. I decided to try it out.
The Aegismax M2 is available on Amazon, Ebay, and through Aliexpress. Amazon has the convenience of Prime shipping, meaning you can order it and easily have it before your next weekend backpacking trip. The bag will cost you more on both Amazon and Ebay but with the tradeoff of reduced shipping time and better customer support and protection.
Buying it through Aliexpress means you will have to wait three to six weeks for it to arrive. Your patience is rewarded by a lower cost. The M2 is sold through several different stores on Aliexpress so take some time to scroll through and find the best deal. Ordering can be a little confusing because a lot of the information is in Chinese. Just be careful to make sure you are ordering the correct bag.
Since I had a few weeks before I would be sleeping in temps that needed a down bag I ordered through AliExpress. I paid $76.66 with shipping and my bag arrived in a little over two weeks.
Aegismax offers a regular length bag and a lengthened one. My standard size bag is 185cm by 78cm (73in x 31in). Recently, they seem to have shortened the length of their standard to 180cm(71in). As of the time I am writing this article the longer standard is still available on some Aliexpress stores.
- Splicing Single Sleeping Bag (you need to order one black and one blue to splice them)
- Filling: Goose Down
- Fabric: Nylon
- Size: 180*78cm(71in x 31in)/200*86cm(79in x 34in)
- Style: Non-hooded mummy
- Category: Down Sleeping Bag
- Comfortable Temperature Scale: 2℃-0℃ (32-35℉)
- Maximum compression package dimension:14x12cm (6x5in)
- Outer side Fabric:iFlEX 20D 400T Ultralight Nylon
- inner side Fabric:iFlEX 20D 400T Ultralight Nylon
- Filling Material: 95% White Goose Down 380 grams
- Filling Power: 800
- weight: 600g/754g (21oz/26.5oz)
- Pacakge bag: 21x14cm/25x18cm (8×5.5in)
- Colors available: Blue, Black
- Technical: Sewn through seams
Out of the Box:
When the bag arrived my mail carrier easily fit it into my standard size mailbox. It definitely packs very small and was incredibly light. While it does pack small a more realistic compression size is probably the listed package size of 8 by 5.5 inches. The compression bag works well but compressing it down that much might affect the loft of the down once at your campsite. The bag also comes with a storage dust bag for protecting the bag when storing it uncompressed. I prefer to hang mine but it is nice that the bag is included.
The material is awesome, super soft and very comfortable to sleep in. The seams were all well sewn, although unfortunately, they are sewn straight through. If the bag was made with boxed baffles it would be warm to even colder temperatures. The zipper is a YKK zipper and as long as the material isn’t jammed in it, operates smoothly. Unfortunately, the material does get jammed quite frequently, making opening and closing the bag a hassle.
After uncompressing the bag it seemed to fluff up nicely. I had read that some people’s M2s arrived with a bad odor but mine smelled pretty neutral. If you really sniffed hard you could detect a very faint animal odor kind of like wet wool. With it’s 800 fill power goose down it has every bit as much filling as more expensive yet similarly rated bags.
Trying it Out:
One caveat before I tell you how the bag performed, is to let you know that I sleep very cold. In the winter my house goes down to 65℉ at night and I sleep in fleece pajamas under a heavy down blanket. Even with all that it will take me about a half hour to warm up if I am sleeping alone. So, unless you are like me, you will probably be warm down to colder temperatures.
The first night I slept in the bag the lows were only 55℉. I slept in running tights, a long sleeve shirt and wool socks and I was toasty warm. The following weekend lows were 36℉. I slept in running tights, a long sleeve shirt, a fleece, a sweater, a scarf over my head, and wool socks. That night I spent a miserable time shivering in between bouts of restless sleep. I was very disappointed as I hadn’t even reached the bags comfort rating of 32-35℉ and I was bundled up in my bag.
The following weekend we were planning another backpacking trip and lows were set to be below freezing. I decided to try washing the bag in the hopes that it would increase it’s loft. I ordered some Nikwax down wash and washed the bag in my front-loading washer on the hand-wash cycle. I dried the bag on low heat in the dryer with some dryer balls. When I took the bag out I couldn’t believe the difference. The material between the seams was tight from the loft of the feathers.
The next weekend I packed my M2 and a down throw to put over me if my bag didn’t perform better. That night I slept in my running tights, wool socks, a long-sleeve shirt, and a light sweater, with a beanie on my head. To warm up when I first went to sleep I put the down throw on top of me. However, in the night the throw slid off to the side and I slept warm all night. The temperature the next morning was 31℉. So once washed the bag performed better than rated.
If you want to get the most of of your bag you definitely need to wash it. Nikwax and some other brands of down wash also add waterproofing qualities to your bag so that it will stay warm even if it gets damp.
I am 5’8″ and about 120 pounds and the bag fit me great. On the first cold night I even had room to pull in my head. Patrick who is 6′ and 180 pounds, with wider than average shoulders, was also able to fit in the bag fine but with no room to spare. He definitely could not pull in his head. While the standard bag fit him, he would probably be better off going with the lengthened bag.
For the price I think the Aegismax M2 is an excellent buy. For double the money you can undoubtedly get a better bag. The more expensive bags probably function as rated straight from the box. Their zippers probably operate smoothly and don’t catch. For $100 savings I will deal with a little inconvenience.
Aegismax has a new bag the M3, which has a lower comfort rating, better zippers, and the two sizes it comes in pair together. It’s cons are that it is slightly bulkier and heavier. You can read a full review of the M3 here.