De Soto National Forest, just thirty minutes north of Biloxi, Mississippi, is one of my favorite spots to camp in the Gulf South. The area is home to over 518,000 acres of national forest and peppered with primitive and managed campsites.
Last weekend I trekked to one of my favorites, POW lake, to take a brief respite from Mardi Gras. The area formerly housed German prisoners of war during World War II. Today, it features a small bass-filled lake, a primitive camping site, and a couple of gorgeous camping trails.
While there, I debuted my new sleeping bag, the Casper from Eureka. I’ve never had a mummy bag before, so I was excited to see how the Casper stacked up against other sleeping bags I’d used in the past.
The Casper is one of three models in Eureka’s high-performance mummy series. With a temperature rating of 15 degrees Fahrenheit, it is positioned between the Kayce (0 F) and the Silver City (30 F). Since I live in Louisiana, I’m rarely camping in weather under 30 degrees. However, I still opted for the Casper over the Silver City, as I’d rather be too warm then too cold when it comes to sleeping in the outdoors.
On the evening that I used the Casper, the temperature was in the high 40s with a light rain. I was sleeping in a one-man tent, the Eureka Solitaire (see my earlier review). For the weather, the Casper was perfectly snug. Though I started the night with my sweatshirt on, the sleeping bag kept me warm enough that I took it off during the evening.
The Casper features Eureka’s Rteq insulation, which is a proprietary blend of 4 unique polyester fibers. The interior is soft and cushy. I was sleeping without a air mattress and felt that the bag gave me an extra cushion from the ground.
Though I didn’t use the hood for more than a few minutes, as it wasn’t cold enough, it warmed my head sufficiently. More importantly, at least for me, the trapezoidal foot box was ergonomically suited for snuggling up in a tight space. One of my biggest beefs with sleeping bags is the awkward position they often orient your feet toward, but the Casper didn’t fall victim to this flaw. My one-man tent gives me limited room to maneuver, but I didn’t have any problems slipping in and out of the Casper, even in the dark.
In my opinion, the core functionality of a sleeping bag is for sleeping, not for a repository of bling, bells and whistles. The Casper’s only flair is a sole internal pocket, where I stored my phone for the night. It worked well and also features a hook and loop closure that ensures items stay in place during slumber.
The Anti-Snag Zip Guard
I’m terrible with zippers, literally a mess. I still have painful childhood memories of snagging my sleeping bags to the point of no return. So, I was stoked to give the anti-snag guard a solid test. I zipped the Casper up and down with reckless abandon and the experience was a snag-free one.
Transport and Stuff Sack
The Casper bills itself as a sleeping bag that’s lightweight and easy to transport. The bag weighs in at a svelte carrying weight of 3 pounds and has an easy to use stuff sack that tightens with a pair of straps to further economize space. I had no problem getting the Casper in and out of its sack and it also easily fit into my camping back.
Sleeping bags can be tough to review, because if they work, there’s not a ton to say about them except just that. The Casper works. It’s a good mid-priced bag ($129) that will keep you warm enough for most climates and is easy enough to lug around. Additionally, it’s pretty comfy inside.
Did I enjoy a great night’s sleep at the POW camp? No, I can’t say I did, there were visions of Nazi soldiers plundering the landscape dancing through my head. However, when I awoke from the terror, I was snug and comfy in the confines of my sleeping bag. For that, I give the Casper from Eureka a big thumbs up.