The Coleman brand has been around for a good while. For decades, they’ve made some truly great outdoor gear, from lanterns and stoves to tents and sleeping bags. Their goal, as a brand, is to accompany you on just about any outdoor adventure you head out to. Whether you’re going fishing, boating, swimming or camping, chances are they’ve got something for you. The Coleman sleeping bag is just that!
Now, even though they’ve got a host of products, their bread and butter are certainly their sleeping bags. They’ve got a lot of them, and all are great in one way or another. However, when it comes to sleeping in cold environments, where the temperatures can easily dip below zero, there’s one bag that people resort to – the Coleman Big Basin 15. It was made with one goal in mind – keep you warm and keep you comfortable in the coldest winter nights. But with all those claims, is it worth getting? Let’s take a look and find out.
Design, size, and shape
Most sleeping bags are designed for the average Joe. However, this leaves out the taller folks out there struggling, as they sometimes don’t fit in such a bag. The Big Basin 15 comes in a “big and tall” design, which means that you’ll be able to fit inside, provided you aren’t taller than 6 feet 6 inches. This does give you quite a bit of room. The bag is also wide enough to fit you comfortably, yet still, keep you warm. Oh, and it’s especially wide at the bottom, so you have ample room to move your legs and feet as you sleep.
Another interesting design feature is the semi-sculpted hood. It comes with a drawstring cord and is made to keep heat in as you sleep. You will have both your ears and face warm throughout the night, regardless of how cold it is outside. On the inside of the bag, right near the hood’s opening, you will also find a small pocket which you can use to store a thing or two. Note, though, that it’s a really small pocket, so not a lot will fit inside.
The last thing we’d like to mention in terms of the design is the zipper. There’s a two-way zipper that has an anti-snag design and will prevent any fabric from snagging in the zipper. You’ve very likely had issues with this previously, and it’s a lovely thing to know it won’t happen again. The bottom of the bag can be unzipped, too, which gives you a bit of ventilation. If you’re using this during the spring or summer nights, this will certainly come in handy. Now, one complaint about it is that the zipper’s design doesn’t allow you to zip up two of them together in order to accommodate two people. While for some this may not be an issue at all, it’s still something worth mentioning.
The Big Basin 15 doesn’t cost too much. Therefore, we wouldn’t be surprised if you think that Coleman has been cutting costs when it comes to the construction or the performance. However, we’re happy to report that neither of them has been compromised. Instead, the bag performs admirably, and it appears to be pretty durable as well.
The material of choice for the cover is diamond ripstop polyester. The cover is durable and strong, and we don’t see it falling apart or starting to lose its performance over time. You will also find a polyester liner as well, which does help quite a bit in colder nights. We noticed no issues with how the bag is made, which is very nice, especially when you consider the price at which it comes. It is also a great thing that Coleman has included a storage sack with the bag. You can easily fit the Coleman sleeping bag inside the nifty sack when you are done. Now, one thing to note here. The bag is machine washable, but this is a very large bag. Therefore, it may not fit in a conventional washing machine. You might need a laundromat and a large one. Also, we wouldn’t recommend doing this very often, as machine washing can be stressful. Unless you get it really dirty, washing it once after every five to six uses should be enough.
Let’s discuss the most important thing for a sleeping bag – performance. Coleman claims the Big Basin 15 was made for temperatures from 0 to 20 Fahrenheit, and we’ve had no issues with that. This lets you use the bag even when it’s freezing cold, and you won’t be shivering throughout the night. The bag comes with Coletherm insulation and 72 ounces of it. Add to this the insulated chest baffle, and you’ll find that the bag does a really good job at keeping your body heat contained inside the bag. Another thing worth mentioning is the quilting construction. It makes sure all cold spots in the bag are eliminated, which in turn keeps your entire body warm, not just parts of it. The full-length Thermolock draft tube will prevent heat from escaping through the zipper, and the feet area has a fleece lining, for a bit more warmth.
Wrapping things up – is the Big Basin 15 worth it?
When you first take a look at the Big Basin 15, you’ll think that at that price, this couldn’t possibly be a serious outdoor sleeping bag. And that’s where you would be terribly wrong. The Big Basin 15 covers all the elements of a great sleeping bag. The design accommodates taller people and the materials that are obviously made to be durable. The temperature claims are very realistic, and yes, you won’t be freezing even in temperatures that are at or around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want a great bag but don’t want to overpay for the brand name, or features you won’t be using, this is a great option. If you’re looking for more options, have a look at our Best List here.