The Feathered Friends Murre EX 0 Sleeping Bag is a mummy-style down bag specifically designed for women. Weighing 2 lbs 13 oz, it has 25.5 oz of 900+ fill power goose down with cold-weather features that include a draft collar, continuous baffles, hood, zipper draft tube, and a stiff zipper guard. The “EX” in the product name stands for Winter and Expedition.
Specs at a Glance
- Weight: small 2 lbs 10 oz, medium 2 lbs 13 oz
- Fill weight: small 23.4 oz, medium 25.5 oz
- Down Fill Power: 900 Goose Down
- RDS-certified and Trackable: Yes
- Type: Hooded mummy sleeping bag
- Baffles: Continuous
- Zipper: right, full
- Length: small fits 5’3”, medium fits 5’9”
- Girth: 54”/56”/38”
- Shell: Pertex Shield EX water-resistent/breathable
- Lining: Pertex 30 denier nylon taffeta
- Packed size: 17L
I got this bag after searching for a women’s specific bag to carry me further into the shoulder seasons (late autumn, early spring) of New England when my 20-degree quilt doesn’t cut it. I also wanted something warm to take on winter trips to unheated huts in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. This bag appealed to me because Feathered Friends sized and designed this bag specifically for women and the company has a reputation for quality products.
If you’ve shopped for women’s cold weather bags, you know that there are few options that are designed specifically for women. There is still a debate on whether women really need bags made specifically for them although the science clearly shows that women sleep colder because they have lower body mass and generate less warmth.
However, the Feathered Friends Murre EX 0 is designed specifically for women with increased volume through the elbow and chest area and extra volume in the lower taper for those who like to pull a knee up to sleep, in addition to extra insulation in the foot box and the chest area. Feathered Friends bases their sleeping bag temperature ratings on the use of the hood, long underwear, socks, and a sleeping pad with a minimum R-value of 3. For winter use, SectionHiker recommends a sleeping pad R-value of 5 or higher. This can be achieved by stacking pads since R values are additive.
Construction and Sizing
The Feathered Friends Murre EX 0 comes in 2 sizes. The small is designed to fit women up to 5’3” and the medium to 5’9”. I’m 5’3”, and I sized up to the longer length to allow space in the foot box to store the next day’s clothing and extra clothing items that I might want to access during the night if I get cold. There’s a risk when doing this that you’ll sleep colder than the bag is rated for since your body has to heat up more volume in a larger bag. Be advised. If you are a tall woman, you may need to look at Feathered Friends men’s sleeping bags which are available in 6’ and 6’6” lengths.
A draft collar is a down-filled tube that wraps around your back and chest and prevents warm air inside the sleeping bag from escaping when you move around at night. Many people consider them as a must-have for all cold-weather sleep insulation including sleeping bags and quilts. The Murre EX 0 has one with water-resistant fabric facing to prevent condensation from your breathing from entering the bag. The draft collar has a stretchy drawcord to cinch it up tight around your neck, although it has a tendency to loosen up a bit during the night. It also has a snap to lock it closed at night, which does help minimize drafts around the neck.
Zipper and Zipper Draft Tube
The Murre EX 0 has a two-way, full-length zipper. The fabric facing the zipper on the top side of the bag is stiff in order to keep the zipper from snagging and potentially ripping the bag’s shell fabric. This is also a feature found on superior quality cold-weather sleeping bags, where a tear would lose valuable insulation. The zipper locks in place with a top snap and won’t slip at night. There is also a nice sized, down-filled draft tube on the top side to keep cold air from seeping in through the zipper teeth. It folds down and covers the interior of the zipper when you zip the bag closed, sealing out drafts and protecting your legs from touching a cold zipper.
The baffles on the Murre EX 0 are horizontal and continuous. This means that you can shake the goose down in the bottom of the bag so that it moves to the top of the bag, over your torso, where it will keep you warmer. There are very few sleeping bags that have continuous baffles anymore because people never understood them and you only find them on higher-end technical bags from companies like Feathered Friends or Western Mountaineering. While they can be quite useful, it’s hard to measure their benefit in any concrete way except anecdotally.
Mummy Style Hood
The contoured hood is comfortable and can be cinched closed with a cordlock. It’s not that deep, however, so you need to scrunch down in the bag if you want to have it cover more of your head and the sides of your face. I also found that the cordlocks loosened at night because they’re too big, but this is easily fixed by replacing them with smaller cordlocks that hold more firmly.
Water Resistant Shell Fabric
The Pertex Shield EX fabric on the outer shell is water-resistant, breathable and seems very sturdy. I consider this a nice-to-have feature, especially around the top where it protects the down from my frosty breath. I’ve also had sleeping bags get wet foot boxes from condensation on tent walls, so I felt that a more water-resistant shell was a plus for those reasons.
I purchased this sleeping bag with the intention of primarily using it in the teens and low 20’s*F, although I have taken it down to 4*F with a liner, down booties, and a lightweight down jacket. At 4 degrees, I was a little bit chilly by morning, but that could be due to a number of factors including the fact that I am using an oversized bag that has more interior room for my body to heat up or the unnecessary heat loss around my neck and head due to the draft collar and hood cinch cords loosening up over time.
In general, SectionHiker considers Feathered Friends to be accurate with their temperature ratings. The international sleeping bag temperature rating standard does not cover 0 degree bags, so you need to rely on the manufacturers’ ratings and customer reviews when comparing different models. If you decide to look for a unisex sleeping bag instead of a women’s specific bag, you should look for a bag that’s 10 to 15 degrees colder than the equivalent women’s bag to account for the physical heat-producing differences between men and women. For example, if you want a men’s bag that will keep a woman warm down to 0*F degrees, we’d recommend buying one rated for -10 or -15 degrees*F.
Comparable Women’s 0-Degree Sleeping Bags
There are very few 0-degree sleeping bags designed for women and while the Murre EX 0 is more expensive, it is really in a different league than the other women’s sleeping bags available today.
|Make / Model||Insulation||Weight||Price|
|Marmot Ouray 0||650 FP Down||58 oz||$336|
|Big Agnes Daisy Mae 0||650 FP Down||46 oz||$320|
|Mountain Hardwear Bishop Pass 0||650 FP Down||50.8 oz||$290|
|Mountain Hardware Rook 0||650 FP Down||50.9 oz||$309|
|Sierra Designs Nitro 0 UL||800 FP Down||39 oz||$419|
|Feathered Friends Murre EX 0||900 FP Down||42 oz||$579|
The Feathered Friends Murre EX 0 Women’s sleeping bag is a hooded, fully-featured, cold weather women’s down sleeping bag. Is the Murre the lightest 0-degree women’s down bag out there? No, but the weight is reasonable and not the heaviest on the market. Given its overall dimensions, warmth, fill power and features, it compares favorably in this regard to several competitors. It’s also handmade in the United States and not imported. If you are shopping for a forever bag, and properly taken care of the Murre EX 0 sure seems like it will last forever, it should definitely be on your shortlist.
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