The North Face Tigger Sleeping Bags
By Raymond Estrella
August 12, 2008
Orange County, California, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
Assistant Reviewers Data
Emma Estrella, female 9 years of age, 72 lb (32 kg), 53 in (132 cm) tall.
Raymond Estrella, male, 9 years of age, 63 lb (29 kg), 53 in (132 cm) tall.
Manufacturer: The North Face (TNF)
Web site: www.thenorthface.com
Product: Tigger(s). (We have two of them)
Size: Regular (only size offered)
Year manufactured: 2005
MSRP: (US) $79.00
Weight listed: 2 lbs 1 oz (0.94 g)
Actual weight 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 g)
Length listed: 68 in (173 cm)
Shoulder girth listed: 52 in (132 cm)
Insulation type: PolarGuard synthetic insulation (Climashield HL in this year's version)
Fill weight: 1 lb 2 oz (500 g)
Compressed size listed: 7.5 x 13.5 in (19 cm x 34 cm)
Actual compressed size: 7.5 x 12.5 in (19 cm x 32 cm)
The North Face Tigger (hereafter called the Tigger or the bag) is a sleeping bag aimed at children, not only for their size, but with their safety in mind.
I do not know whether to describe it as a loose-fitting mummy or a hooded semi-rectangular shaped bag. As can be seen above, this model is dark blue in color. The liner is charcoal colored. Please note that the current version is red and grey, and can be viewed at the website listed above.
According to the tags on the foot of the Tigger the entire bag, shell and liner is made of 100% nylon. From the look of the weave it seems to be the same material with the exception of color. I could find no more information than that. It seems to have a DWR coating of some sort as water beads up and rolls off it instead of immediately soaking in.
The Tigger is made with overlapping shingle construction running horizontally to help eliminate cold spots.
A fat 3 in (7.5 cm) wide, yellow draft stop protects the zipper from letting cold air in. This draft stop continues past the top of the zipper cutting across the lower opening in the hood to make a "chest-level heat-trap baffle" in the words of the manufacturer.
A loose-fitting hood tops it all off. There is no way of adjusting the hood or chest section to close it off more. This is the safety feature TNF speaks of. There are no cords to get tangled around little sleepers in the night. At the top center of the hood The North Face logo is embroidered on. There are no other markings on the bag.
A single-direction, black nylon YKK zipper runs 3/5 of the way down the right side of the bag. (This is the only side offered.) TNF says that the reduced length is a safety feature also, but I have not figured out how. (I only hurt myself with a zipper once…) The zipper end has a very large, easy-to-grab nylon pull attached to it. There is a hook-and-loop zipper stay at the head end of the zipper.
The bags come with a large mesh storage sack, and a 2 oz (57 g) nylon stuff sack for field use. Here are the Tiggers in their storage sacks.
The Tiggers have been carried backpacking at the following locations.
We started by carrying them around Buffalo River State Park, Minnesota for a practice hike. (In the summer we can only hike on the trails, all camping must be done in the "campground".) After a couple miles of "packing" along three of the hiking trails we took the packs (with Tiggers inside) back to our camp spot. (Yes, Dad had to carry a way-full pack also to set a good example.)
I took my twins Emma and Ray to Itasca State Park , the birthplace of the Mississippi River where we got a permit for one of three sites at Myrtle Lake.(The backpacking sites themselves are issued, a new one for me.) Temps were from 64 to 80 F (18 to 27 C) at an elevation of 1500 ft (460 m).
We went with Uncle Dave and their cousin Kendall to Round Valley in San Jacinto State Park (California) for an over-night trip with lots of boulder climbing. The temperatures ranged from a low of 55 F to a high of 80 F (13 to 27 C).
And last we went on a three-day backpacking trip to Maplewood State Park in Minnesota. We stayed at the Beers Lake Backpacker site the first day and at the Grass Backpacker site the second. The weather was great for two days then rained the last. The temperatures were from 79 down to 61 F (29 to 16 C). The elevation was 1340 ft (408 m) above sea level.
We have also used them on many camping trips since 2006 in Minnesota and California. Memorable trips in California include a four-day trip to Sequoia National Forest (the kids' favorite ever) and a three-day trip to Doheny State Beach. The trips in Minnesota were mostly quite forgettable with the abundance of mosquitoes and humid stormy weather. (I guess the Board of Tourism won't be calling on my services…)
Well Tiggers are wonderful animals,
And Tiggers are wonderful bags.
Their tops are made out of nylon,
And the bottom fill never sags.
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy,
Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!
But the most 'spencive thing about Tiggers is,
I've got to buy two, not only one!
Oh, the wonderful thing about Tiggers is,
Tiggers are nice and soft.
They're loaded with polyester,
And when sleeping they keep their loft.
They're cushy, plushy, fluffy, smushy,
Yippie! Yi! Woo Hoo!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is ...
Since we're twins we got to get two!
(My apologies to Walt Disney. His head just turned over in its cryo-storage unit…)
A-hem… I bought The North Face Tigger bags for my children for Christmas of 2005. They must have been hot off the press as the tag on the bottom says, "Date of delivery: December 2005".
I bought them to replace some kid's bags from a very large consumer brand for two reasons. I liked the construction and safety features of the Tiggers with their lack of cords, and I really liked the fact that they were rated at 20 F (-7 C), compared to the bags they replaced that were rated at 30 F (-1 C). Yet the Tiggers are a full pound (0.45 kg) lighter, and pack down a third smaller.
When they opened them they exclaimed that they got, "a real sleeping bag, just like Dad's." While they are not the quality of my bags, they are much better than what they had. (I have bags rated the same that weigh the same, with me being 6' 3" (1.91 m) and pack to less than half the size. More on that later.)
At this point in the kids' backpacking careers I don't care that the Tiggers do not compress extremely small. I do not want them carrying too much weight yet as I want the trips to enforce the idea of how fun it is to get out to nature and sleep in new places each night. So I do not even use the stuff sack right now. I just put the bag into their Osprey Imp packs first and push down on it as needed to put their extra clothes and pillow in. If they want something extra to bring I just compress it a bit more. (If it is something we all will use it goes in Dad's Osprey Argon 110, the bottomless pit, see test report.)
The temp rating is probably very good based on what adults can verify with that ratio of fill, but from what I have seen in my 30+ years of hiking and being a side-sleeper, ratings do not measure up for me. And my 9+ years of being a dad tells me that kids throw ratings out the window. After a day of hiking and playing in freezing creek water or even a warmish lake they are going to sleep cold in my experience.
Case in point. As I write this we just got back from Maplewood State Park. The first day we walked over four miles (6 km) along with numerous frog hunting trips that added I have no idea how much distance. (My daughter decided that as we had seen so many wood frogs on the trails, we should keep going back down them to find more.) Add to this the three times they went into Beers Lake (alas, Dad could find no sign of any Beers…) to play and try to catch fish and the water variety of amphibians, they burned some major calories. After dinner we retired to the tent to play cards until Dad shut it down at 8:20. Emma went right to sleep. My son said that he was going to stay up until midnight and he needed his shirt off like Dad because he is too hot.
By 8:40 he is out and by 11:00 both of them were bundled up in their Tiggers. Emma is in the picture above. Raymond was buried in his bag, as seen below. The low temp that night? 61 F (16 C). I did not even bring a bag, but used a cotton sheet.
On the Mt San Jacinto trip I used a 35 F (2 C) rated bag as a quilt. I never got inside of it. (I haven't yet on any trip this summer. It has been warm.) Yet the kids were inside the Tiggers most of the night. So in my opinion the temperature rating should not be taken as gospel. (Your kid's mileage may vary…)
They have held up very well. We take good care of our gear and do not misuse it. But they have been stuffed for long periods of time while we travel, with no apparent damage. To date there is nothing wrong with the Tiggers. No loose or pulling threads or seams. The zippers still work great. The bags still loft up just fine.
And in the eyes of a child they got the ultimate compliment. Their school was doing an exhibit of outdoors activities. Camping, fishing and hunting were very well covered but the teachers were not happy with backpacking. Emma said that she had a "real" backpack and sleeping bag at Dad's so the next time I got into Minnesota the school asked me if I would lend them the gear for a display for a couple months. Em and Ray were so proud of their gear. (Dad is just proud of Em and Ray.)
I have no complaints about the Tiggers. I would love to see a down version, I could see a cantaloupe-sized compressed bag if the quality was like my bags. But I understand that it may not be in the best interest of the camping and hiking public. Until we decide to try something different we will be bouncing the Tiggers around for a while longer.
And that is just a super-stendously great idea, if I expounds it myselfsome. Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hooooo…
(Can somebody get me down from this tree?)
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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