We’re going to take a look at Sierra Designs Zissou series of sleeping bags. These are men’s 600 down filled sleeping bags but the down in these bags is unlike any other down at the moment. It performs with the lightweight compressibility of high performance down but it weather and water resistance to it that you usually only find in synthetic fill which really makes this a stand out for backpackers. Traditionally, down bags have not been the best option if you know you have the potential for moisture like rain or might be in any instance where the bag could become wet. Down is very compressible, extremely lightweight and its warmth to weight ration still beats any synthetics that are currently available. However, once it becomes wet it loses that ability to retain its loft and warmth basically stops being the bag you need it to be. DriDown performs differently. DriDown uses a molecular level of application and that application is actually applied to each individual plume of down. That’s what gives it a hydrophobic finish. Again, basically drives away or resist entirely, water. That end result is retention of loft, faster drying times and resists water entirely, again, resulting in a significantly warmer bag that you can use more confidently in a variety of conditions. I’ve got a couple of bottles here filled with different types of down. Regular down in my left hand and Sierra Designs DriDown in my right hand. Same amount of water in both, same amount of fill in both and you can see how these are reacting very differently. I’m going to shake these up a bit too just to show you that we are subjecting both of these fills to water. As you can see in the regular down it is clumping and it’s fully saturated and it has lost its loft. Now, the DriDown insulation is still lofty and it’s sitting up on top of the water. We filled these earlier in the day and we’ve shaken them throughout the day and you can see that the DriDown remains resistant and the loft is still there. You can expect that same kind of performance inside the bag and because of that can expect it to remain significantly warmer than a regular untreated down bag would be when subjected to wet conditions. So the bag I have here in front of me is the Zissou 15 which is perfect for 3-season backpacking. It does come in different temperature variations other than this one, so a 30 degree for summer or warmer weather backpacking and a 0 degree which is obviously better for cold weather of 4-season ,year round backpacking usage. There is a shared feature set on these bags. You can see the 60” zipper with a 2-way zipper slider which allows you to vent the bag in warmer weather. An ergonomic hood with a great fit. Sierra Designs always has a great fit on the hoods of these bags and I’m very fond of that. A nice, zippered security pocket here for keys and other essentials, to keep them close at hand, and a couple of drawcords here that let you cinch down the hood. Polyester top layer and shell fabric underneath as well which also offers some weather resistance. It’s not water proof though. Also A nice polyester lining as well. An ergonomic footbox which allows you to have your feet in a comfortable, natural position throughout the night. So, a really great feature set on this bag along with the down performance of a synthetic like resistance to weather makes this a real stand out bag. Sierra Designs does include a stuff sack and a storage sack so you’ve get everything you need.
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