Crankshaft Culture Gear Garage: Big Agnes Double-Wide Sleeping Set-up

Big Agnes double-wide sleeping bag and pad

Getting a solid night sleep when adventuring in the backcountry is key. Having the chance to snuggle up to your partner while doing so is even better. Over the last few months and a couple of multi-day adventures, we can honestly say we’re hooked on the Big Agnes’ double-wide sleeping setup. Not only does this setup for two keep you warm while allowing you to move within the sleeping bag freely, the quilted three-season sleeping pad keeps us quite comfortable—no matter if on hard-packed dirt, uneven grass, or even via plywood in our Mitsubishi Delica van.

Cabin Creek 15˚ Double Wide Sleeping Bag

We’re not new to Big Agnes’ products, we purchased their Cabin Creek predecessor a few years ago and like it so much we thought we’d try their latest iteration. Whereas the older Cabin Creek bag has dedicated sleeves for various-sized individual sleeping pads, the new version allows for either single pads (when placed side by side) or doublewide sleeping pads with its unique Flex Pad Sleeve system. Think of a fitted sheet with elastic banding all the way around—this system stretches around your pad to keep it secure and in one place. It accommodates several pad widths.

Big Agnes double-wide sleeping bag and pad
The Flex Pad Sleep System keeps the double-wide pad in place.

The Cabin Creek 15 is a 15 degree sleeping bag that’s insulated with FireLine ECO synthetic fibers made from 100% post-consumer recycled insulation. This double-wide cocoon eliminates the need to zip two individual bags together. This fully thought-out design offers up many cool features like a pillow barn, double zippers on both sides of the bag, top corner hand pockets (we haven’t used these yet), and interior fabric loops for sleeping bag liners. This oversized bag boasts a rectangular footprint, with a “free range footbox” allowing your feet to freely move around. No mummy confines here.

Big Agnes Cabin Creek 15 bag in van
The Big Agnes Cabin Creek 15 sleeping bag fits perfectly in our Mitsubishi Delica van.

Also on board are anti-snag, locking YKK zippers. Big Agnes states these are anti-snag for a smooth, quick zip. I’m not sure if we aren’t great at zipping these or what, but neither Andy nor I can easily slide these zippers up or down. We can pull them for a few inches and then they snag. Thankfully, Big Agnes’ Cabin Creek 15 bag is made with a nylon rip-stop shell fabric—we haven’t had any tears yet.

Big Agnes Cabin Creek 15 bag zipper
The Big Agnes Cabin Creek 15 bag zipper has a tendency to get stuck during use.

The Cabin Creek sleeping bag comes with a compression bag and a mesh storage sack. After several uses, we’ve realized it’s easiest to roll up the entire setup as-is in a giant roll and stuff it into the oversized mesh storage sack. It’s quicker to unroll and go vs taking everything apart and stuffing them all into their separate compression sacks.

While the bag, pad, and sleeping pad cover does fit in the storage sack, the quality of it isn’t up to other manufacturers’ designs. This storage sack is thin with a small drawstring clasp at the top. It doesn’t have a carrying handle and its material already snagged in a few places.

Big Agnes double-wide sleeping bag in sack
The Big Agnes double-wide storage sack could be better designed with higher quality materials.

I’d like to see a better quality mesh storage bag offered up, one that has a carry handle for easy transport (as evidenced by my Mountain Hardware storage bag) and a thicker material that won’t snag.

Mountain Hardware stuff sack
This Mountain Hardware mesh storage sack is durable, has a handle, and a solid fabric strip to stop snagging if zipped in a large duffle.

While a sleeping pad is needed to cushion the underneath side of the Cabin Creek, overall fabric and loft is super comfortable, warm, and puts you to sleep quickly. Although our review period has been over the summer, we’ve slept in this bag during several cold desert overnights. The large double-wide hood and no-draft collar makes it easy to slink into a sleep-happy position for overnight REM sleep success. Price: $289.95

Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad

The perfect companion to Big Agnes’ Cabin Creek sleeping bag is the Q-Core SLX sleeping pad. This brightly-colored lime green inflatable pad is rated to 32 degrees, is 4.25″ thick, and is rated a three-season pad. The quilted Q-Core SLX pad has built-in heat reflective technology and is quilted in fashion. First impressions was that the quilting would be odd in feel, but upon laying on it, wasn’t the case. The patterned design allows for a lofty and pillow-top experience. It was heavenly!

Big Agnes Q-Core SLX pad
The Big Agnes Q-Core SLX pad is quilted and extremely comfortable to sleep on.

Big Agnes added an antimicrobial treatment inside the pad to prevent microorganism growth and comes with a patch kit (thank you!). Also incorporated is WRM HL high-loft synthetic insulation that affords warmth with little bulk.

Although the sleeping pad is made from thin material, it seems super durable—it’s rip-stop nylon. Big Agnes states that this material is a new double rip-stop nylon that improves tear strength and durability by 25%. Add to that aviation grade TPU lamination technology, the 40″ x 72″ Q-Core SLX pad should offer up several years of sleeping comfort. Price: $249.95

Pumphouse Ultra

You can huff and puff your Q-Core SLX pad to sleeping pad readiness via your lungs or via a battery-powered inflator or Big Agnes’ Pumphouse Ultra sleeping pad inflation pump. We opted to test out the Big Agnes pump. This pump literally packs down to nothing, and in addition to being a hand pump, it can be used as an extra stuff sack or pillow. Big Agnes also states that it can be used as a “water hauler” although I’d be a bit leery of mold opportunities in my sleeping pad if you don’t dry it out correctly and use it to blow it up.  

Big Agnes Q-Core SLX pad and pump
Big Agnes Q-Core SLX pad and Pumphouse Ultra openings

Made from an ultralight aviation grade fabric, this pump easily snaps onto the Q-Core SLX pad opening (the larger of the two openings), and inflates the sleeping pad quicker than you think. The trick is to snap it into place, open up the bag, swirl it around to capture air, and then quickly close the opening by rolling the bag or pushing it down towards the sleeping pad to funnel air into the pad. It can be a bit awkward to push the air into the pad until you get the hang of it. After a few minutes of an arm work-out (it took us around 20–25 “pumps”), your pad is filled and ready to sleep on.  Pump size is 38″ x 16″ x 8″. Stuff sack size is 19.5″ x 13.5″ x 8″. Price: $34.95

Sleeping Giant Pad Cover

If you’re looking to make your Cabin Creek and Q-Core SLX sleeping pad combo warmer, or even more luxurious, you’ll want to consider the Sleeping Giant pad cover. This three-quarter-inch memory foam pad cover curves to your body, has a micro brushed polyester top, and adds another layer or comfort.  This 40″ x 72″ pad works with just about any sleeping pad—the Sleeping Giant completely covers them by fully wrapping around them. Price: $199.95

Big Agnes 40x72 Sleeping Giant pad cover
The Big Agnes Sleeping Giant pad cover adds another level of comfort.

No matter if you van camp, ground tent camp or sleep on any other hard surface, the Big Agnes double-wide sleeping setup is definitely worth considering. We’ve camped many ways over the last decade and can wholeheartedly say that we’ve never slept better with any other non-cot setup. We’ve counted millions of sheep during our review with it.

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