Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Outdoor Gear Review - Kelty Coromell Sleeping Bag & Sea To Summit Dry Bag

All of my gear reviews are done through the prism of a guy who is into back country canoeing. With respect to gear this use case is similar to backpacking in that weight is of some concern, but because I'm placing my gear in portage bags in excess of 100 liters and transporting by canoe not backpack I can afford a bit more weight and a bit more bulk. This affords the luxury of a few niceties not available to the backpacker and a bit more comfort as well.

Many of the places I enjoy going on my solo trips are high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and I enjoy trips in the spring and fall when there are fewer folks around than in the middle of the Summer. As such I regularly experience night time temperatures that are beyond chilly and approaching downright cold and because the weather can change rapidly at high elevations it's always a good idea to be prepared for more weather than the bimbo on the 7-o-clock news has predicted.

I stumbled on a bag that suits my use case perfectly. The Kelty Coromell is a down bag that comes in a slightly roomier shape than the standard "mummy" type bags that are usually found for this temperature range. It's a +0deg down bag which is, quite frankly, warm enough for anything I'll be doing with a little extra warmth for unexpected weather, but the best part is the "semi-rectangular" shape. It provides the warmth and pack-ability of a down bag and a little extra wiggle room in case I want to...wiggle. The hood is removable if need be and has drawstrings to tighten the hood. There are two neck baffles with drawstrings (top/bottom), a full-length zipper and a chest pocket to stash your watch or flashlight for easy retrieval in a dark tent.


With this bag I've comfortably slept in temps as low as +28 degrees wearing nothing but my BVD's and a smile. I'm confident that it would remain comfortable down to it's +0deg rating although at that temperature I may need some polypropylene long underwear. I'm a fairly warm-blooded sleeper though and I do use a substantial inflatable pad so that may not be required. By using the adjustment drawstrings in the neck baffles and the hood I was able to easily modulate ventilation/insulation to a comfortable level. The footbox was perfectly toasty as well. Plenty of room to roll over on my side or position my arms and legs any way I liked. The bag didn't feel restrictive in the least.

The external material has, thus far, been quite durable and the inner material is comfortable on bare skin (some bags just aren't). The zippers are robust, snag-free and have generous pull tabs. I haven't experienced any "feather shedding" as can sometimes happen with down bags and because I store it uncompressed, the loft is just as good as new after two years.

The only gripe I have with the bag has nothing to do with the bag at all but with the compression sack that came with it. Throw it away. It's flippin useless.

I replaced the crap-tastic compression sack with a Sea To Summit 15 liter Compression Dry Sack (purchased at REI). It's a tight fit, but it works & compresses down to the size of a grapefruit taking up very little space in my pack and defends against a soaking wet sleeping bag should I experience the ignominy of dumping my canoe before I get to my destination.

I should add that this bag won't pack as small or be as light as a "traditional" down mummy type bag, but since this is for canoe trips, ultimate light weight and compactness is less of a priority.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks, you must write a very good post I love it. keep it up good going.

    Outdoor Clothing and Equipment

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  2. My husband and I purchased two of these sleeping bags for our 5 and 6 year old before our first family camping trip. They are study, durable, and very cozy. There were a few features that I really loved:

    Pocket for the pillow - While our kiddos used a full size pillow that didn't fit in the smaller one inside the sleeping bag, they loved having a home for their stuffed animal during the day. I think we will purchase small pillows to fit in that pocket for future use.

    Storage bag for bag is attached - My kids are pretty good at cleaning up after themselves, but I loved that the storage bag is attached to the bottom of the sleeping bag. One less thing to lose on a family car camping trip.

    Shortening option - This bag is designed so that you can use the draw string from the storage bag to "shorten" the sleeping bag. My kids are short for their age, so I pulled the storage bag over the foot of the sleeping bag and closed the drawstring a little below their feet. This helped to keep them from sliding around during the night and made them even more cozy.

    Overall a great bag that made our first family camping trip comfortable and enjoyable for the entire family! (Well rested kid campers means that everybody has a better time). :)

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  3. I purchased this tent for a winter trip into Northern Michigan. There was approx 18" of snow on the ground and the temps dipped into single digits. I was completely warm and comfortable all night long. I highly recommend this product. I was inside a tent with hay for ground cover so that added to the comfort level I am sure.

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