Text: Tony Pisarra
Feathered Friends™ Swallow™
Lightweight, high-performance backpacking sleeping bag w/ down fill and optional water resistant shell.
Material: Down Fill, Nylon Shell (options: Epic, Event and Quantuum fabrics)
Price: 270.00 (regular) 295.00 (long)
The Swallow is made by Feathered Friends™ a small Boulder CO company specializing in the manufacture of high-performance down bags for trail and camp.
All Feathered Friends bags are hand sewn to specification and include first rate materials and workmanship.
The Swallow is Feathered Friends' most popular bag and, at 32 ounces, the second lightest in their line.
The Swallow has a slightly more generous cut in the shoulders and hips than standard mummy shapes but is still narrower than most modified or hybrid bags which tend to be slightly heavier and colder (particularly at the foot).
The Swallow ships with a half zipper and no shoulder yoke.
As with all down bags, the Swallow's fill is hydophyilic in the extreme and near useless when wet. Optional speciality shell fabrics add weight and cost ($50-$100) but credible water resistance to your bag as well.
How It Stacks Up
The Swallow's most immediate competition in terms of performance, weight and quality of workmanship is Western Mountaineering's line of high-perormance mountaineering bags which serve a similarly extreme end user.
However, while Western Mountaineering offers a number of weight competitive bags (and superior packability) a similarly featured Western Mountaineering bag would cost $100-$200 more and sacrifice many of its advantages if covered in a speciality shell.
REI and other non-speciality manufacturers/suppliers are begining to provide similarly featured bags at competitive prices with a comensurate loss of workmanship and detail.
The Swallow On the AT
I slept a Swallow for approximately 100 of 150 nights on the Appalachian Trail in 2002.