Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad and PitchPine SL down bag

Now this rather organic looking thing is the new Clearview Air Pad. It’s dimensions are rather handily printed on it in Imperial (a man’s measurement as you know). the mummy shape slips into a regular sized Big Agnes but also fits under other folks bags rather neatly. This is a good point here, a lot of folk don’t take to the top bag system but the Big Agnes sleep pads are good stand alone kit. I’ve been using them with other bags and they’re great. The pronouced mummy shape is a packed bulk saver as well.

It’s lighter than listed at 360g and is made of Polyurethane. It’s soft and a little rubbery to the touch, but thankfully doesn’t smell like a ballon like I was expecting. It packs down to nothing which is where it’s the big winner. It’s not an expedition pad this one, it is too fragile. This is a fastpacking, weekend dash, proper fast and light bit of kit.

Plus you can see through it. That’s worth the price of admission on it’s own.

The collection of green squares below is the new Pitchpine SL top bag. This is defintely the whackiest bit of kit I’ve seen for a while. It’s a good match for the Clearview pad above as it’s as light as they can make it, and again ideal for dashes into the mountains for a couple of nights.

It’s got a ¾ length zip, no hood and an intergral pillow pocket. The construction is quilted, and properly so as well. No baffles, it’s stitched through into squares. This made me think of cold spots, but the down is very evenly distributed with this construction, so I don’t think it will be an issue.

The bugger is I’m too tall for the regular, so there will be an update coming later from Craig who is regular apparently. I would dispute than on many levels. It’s again lighter than listed at 485g, and pack size is small. I’ve noticed that the construction of Big Agnes bags is similar to Marmot bags, same factory maybe. This is a good thing though as it’s another quality range.

One more thing I have is a set of Blowdown Tent Anchors. They’ll let me pitch the tent on places where I shouldn’t be able to pitch, flat rocky plateaux and the like. There’s a few places immediately sprang to mind, so there should be something to report soon enough.


The period of money making exile from the hills will be over next week. It’ll all be happening then.

Also, our Big Agnes Competition winner has some experiences to share. It didn’t go well, looks like he needs a Pitchpine…

26 thoughts on “Big Agnes Clearview Air Pad and PitchPine SL down bag”

  1. Interesting review of the pad, especially the comment on its packsize.. How does it compare to a Prolite 3 and your Exped mat, from biggest to wee-est? I find myself being a bit choosy in the packsize of things I buy now, as I want to carry smaller size sacks. 35L is my target for this winter’s overnighters. Okay, some bits of tat will be lashed to the ootside, like bad weather gear and such, which is probably where it should be anyway.

  2. Hmm… The Prolite 3 would a family bucket of chicken from KFC, the Exped SynMat would be a Zinger Tower meal with some sides of beans and gravy, the Exped Airmat woud be 3 Crispy Strips with fries and the Clearview would be the 3 Crispy Strips on their own.

    I’ve been using 35L for a while and it’s very doable. Might take a few goes at finding the optimum packing regime, but it feels damn good out there overnight with a pack that small.

    PTC* is not affiliated with KFC and has received no payment for this feature.

  3. ROFL, Zingers with gravy AND all those pointy hills, you don’t know how good you’ve got it up there ;-)

    How’re you getting on with these top bags PTC? Like the idea and already have an Insulmat, which should fit the BA bags, but 200 notes is a fair bit to shell out for an experiment…

  4. I really like the top bags, it feels like being at home in bed.
    The’re probably not as warm as other bags because the bag doesn’t mold to your shape quite as well as a regular bag so there’s a bit more air to heat up.
    But the comfort is great, and I’ve never been cold yet.

    But aye, it’s an experiment like you say. I hadn’t tried one until the first one came in from Big Agnes andmy preconceptions of it being restrictive were all wrong. Try one in a shop with a mat in it, it’s the only way to really get a feel for it.

  5. Hey ptc*, maybe you could start a ‘gear-try-out lending library’ where, for the cost of postage, folk get a chance to fondle and try out some of your Aladdin’s Cave of desirable new kit?

    Perhaps I could donate the BA Lost Dog 50 to it! ;O)

  6. Mmmmm, sounds guid , but we’ve nae KFC in oor toon, so a widna ken whit it means. But weer hoochin wi Bigmacs so a’ll dae a quick trip oan tae convert KFC’s tae McD’s. Noo ther’s rer ter fur ye. Boabs yer uncle.

  7. Here’s a shout Big Yin, tell yer man tae send it tae me. Top bags are ok. Ma standard bag is a Macpac Pinnacle topbag, but, it’s no quite up tae it fur the cauld stuff, so tell yer man tae send it tae me. When the results come back frae a micht jist go and buy a Clearview.

  8. I’ve given this idea some thought before, and I think it would good for some kit.

    I’ve nearly suggested this a couple of times but was worried it might be construed as cheek :o)

    So, as you’ve brought it up, if you’re a bit swamped & there’s anything that you need a hand with, just let me know.

  9. Those Blowdown tent anchors seem to be about twice the weight of the Exped Snow and Sand anchors I’ve just got hold of even though they look to be about the same.

    I have to assume the BA ones are actually larger. Hard to tell from the photies – I reckon the Exped ones are about 7.5 inches square from memory – how does that tally?

    But the Exped anchors come with monster-sized gear-cord threaded through them. Swapping that out for some Dyneema from knocks almost have the weight off.

    Might come in handy in Iceland…

    I’d be very interested to hear how you get on with them. Especially if I heard within the next week… ;)

  10. I shall measure and return later!

    I’m going down to Kendal to see Exped and others on Wednesday, I’ll have a look at their anchors if they’ve got them, thanks for the heads-up.

  11. I’ve still got a set of 6 Saunders Stormriders, bought in 1980 with my first real tent (a Sauders Backpacker II btw, a tapering ridge tent – 2 man, 2 skin, 2kg). Anyway, a Stormrider is basically a PVC triangle about 8″ along each side, with a reinforced grommet-hole at each corner, and a small metal hook at one corner. The idea was to hook or tie them to your pegging points, then stand a bloody great rock on them, or bury them in the snow like a partial valance etc. The only time I ever really used them was on Corsica when a couple of them anchored my otherwise-free-standing Quasar on the rocky pitches there. A neat idea but no longer in the Saunders product range. I’ll have to check what they weigh…..

  12. Well the Exped anchors were toted all over – but the needle-like titanium TN pegs did me proud all the way and so the anchors stayed in their little bag.

    The Alpkit titanium V stakes saw some use in Sweden in damp sand at the edge of a gorgeous lake when out in the canoe for a couple of days and they were fine as long as you scraped away the dry sand sown to the firm stuff.

    Shame not to get to use the anchors. I was looking forward to using trying them.

    It’s a bugger to carry non-emergency kit and not have to use it too. :(

    Have you found a chance to use the Blowdowns?

  13. Aye, they daft wee pegs are fine. I still use an extra couple of Alpkit stakes at either end of the comp for easy pitching, but I’ve never had one of the wee pegs come out or bend yet.

    I’ve only used the Blowdowns locally, nothing photogenic yet. Maybe a wee bit faffy, but pitching in daylight where you’ve got plenty of rocks to chose from and it’ll be fine.
    I don’t think I would try it high on a hill, but I pitched the Lightwave t0 with just the Blowdowns and it kept its shape.

  14. Pete,

    Has Craig played with the Pitchpine SL and Clearview Pad? Wondering about warmth and how low you could take this bag with a different pad and additional insulated clothing.
    Any info would be helpful.

  15. I’m not sure if Craig’s been out with his much, but Bobinson who posts on here (and his blog is fat & sh1te on the list) has been using his and he says it’s really warm. Give him a shout.
    I think at this time of year I’d be using it with an insulated pad. A warmer pad really extends a bags window of use and I’m always messing with that. I mostly factor in my clothes as well.
    I can’t remember the last time I was in a sleeping bag unclothed in fact. There’s another thing I’ll need to try again.
    I’ve got a lot of overnighters coming up for some stuff for the magazine, so there’ll be plenty of camping banter on here in November. Hopefully I won’t be saying “I was cold last night…”.

  16. Lightingboy
    I will tell you after this weekend !
    I am on the West Highland Way and taking the pitch pine and clearview !
    I used the bag a couple of weekends ago and slept happily in a pair of shorts.
    I am a warm sleeper (or roaster !)
    I have a Montane Prism which folds into its own pocket, in this form it also fits perfectly into the pocket on the pitchpine as a pillow !
    Stay tuned next week to see if I am a frozen snotter !

  17. Hood up, keep moving, and all will be well.

    Saturday will be a test, but Sunday will be blue sky, doves flying overhead and lollipops hanging from trees.


  18. I’ll do my best. Tiso is a quick jaunt down the road from the site I’m on.
    I really need to see look in your eyes before you go, I’ll know if that nonchalence is fake!

  19. Best of luck bobinson – if it is “100mph”, here’s hoping it’s at your back and it’s pushing you down the road, and if you do see any “lollipops hanging from trees”, don’t eat any more of them mushrooms.
    Just remember, it took that lightweight Petesy two goes before he managed it, and if he can …

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