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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Cabelas Alaskan Guide Sleeping Bag > Owner Review by Brian Hartman

CABELA'S ALASKAN GUIDE SLEEPING BAG
OWNER REVIEW BY BRIAN HARTMAN

IMAGE 1


OWNER REVIEW

April 17, 2011

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Hartman
EMAIL: bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
AGE: 43
LOCATION: Noblesville, Indiana
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 145 lb (65.80 kg)

I have been hiking and camping for over 20 years and enjoy backpacking solo and with my kids in Scouting. I especially enjoy fall and winter backpacking and camping. My backpack and gear are older and weigh 40+ lbs (18 kg). This has limited the distances I have been able to cover while hiking. My goal over the next several years is to replace my existing clothing and gear with more suitable and lighter weight alternatives.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Cabela's, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.cabelas.com
MSRP: $259.99 US
Available models: Mummy, Rectangular
Available sizes: Regular, Long
Temperature ratings: 0F (-18 C), -20F (-29 C), -40F (-40 C)
Model Tested: Rectangular model, Regular length, -20F (-29 C)
Listed Size: 34 in (86 cm) x 82 in (208 cm)
Listed Weight: 7 lb 12 oz (3.5 kg)
Measured Weight: 7 lb 15 oz (3.6 kg)

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Alaskan Guide sleeping bag is a cold weather bag designed for extreme outdoor conditions. It is available as a rectangular or mummy style bag in regular or long lengths with 0F (-18 C), -20F (-29 C), or -40F (-40 C) temperature ratings.

IMAGE 2 I own the rectangular bag in regular length with the -20F (-29 C) temperature rating. The bag has a sharp look with its spruce green top and black bottom. The interior of the bag is light grey in color. It is 34 in (86 cm) wide x 82 in (208 cm) long with a very slight taper below the shoulder area towards the foot box. The breathable / water resistant, downproof shell is constructed of Pertex ripstop nylon while the inside of the bag is lined with 220 thread count cotton fabric. The top of the Alaskan Guide sleeping bag is stuffed with 650 fill-power goose down insulation while the bottom of the bag uses DuPont Thermolite Extreme synthetic insulation. Cabela's uses different insulating materials on the top and bottom of the bag due to their insulating characteristics under compression. Down performs best when it is allowed to loft so that it can trap and hold the maximum amount of heat. Thermolite Extreme, on the other hand, insulates most effectively under the compression of body weight. This sleeping bag also incorporates 3D construction. This construction style effectively creates sidewalls on the bag for more sleeping room. A #10 YKK zipper is located on the right-hand side of the bag. The zipper extends all the way to the footbox and fully across the bottom of the bag, thus allowing it to be opened up into a comforter. For increased warmth, the Alaskan Guide has a fully enclosed hood as well as draft tubes to stop air from getting past the zipper. Draw cords are provided to cinch the hood on cold evenings. It also has an exterior storage pocket which is located under the logo. It measures 4 in (10 cm) x 4 in (10 cm) and can be used for stashing small items at night such as a flashlight, watch or iPod.

The sleeping bag comes with a large white cotton storage sack with Cabela's name printed along the side as well as with a waterproof, roll-top compression stuff sack.

FIELD USE

IMAGE 3 I have used my Alaskan Guide sleeping bag for 40 plus nights, mostly while camping with my family and friends. In addition, my kids have used it dozens of times both as a sleeping bag and as a comforter while on sleep overs. It has been with us on holiday camping trips and vacations around the country and as testament to its comfort and toughness, our Lab likes to lay on it whenever we forget to zip the tent door closed all the way.

There are many things I like about this sleeping bag but first on my list is the ripstop nylon shell, which has survived many years of abuse by our entire family without any holes, rips or tears. The shell is made of heavy duty Pertex, which is breathable but still water resistant and downproof. Despite numerous spills and leaky water bottles in our family tent, this sleeping bag never seems to soak through and I have yet to see any feathers poke through the fabric. I have also used this bag without a tent and it does a good job of repelling heavy dew, although I would not want to be caught out in a rain storm as it is not waterproof.

The second thing that I really like about this sleeping bag is its cotton liner. It is literally as warm, soft and comfortable as climbing into my bed at night with flannel sheets. This is my go-to bag for sub-zero temperatures and I am always amazed at how warm the liner feels when I first crawl into it. Once I am inside the bag, the Thermolite synthetic insulation does a good job of insulating me from the ground. I have slept in this bag in temperatures down to -12F (-24 C) and have stayed comfortable most of the time. The only times I get cold are when air comes into the bag from around my head because I don't have the draw cords tight enough to cinch down the hood. Because the bag is so roomy, once the interior gets cold it is difficult for me to generate enough body heat in the middle of the night to reheat it. On the plus side, the bag has huge draft tubes to prevent cold air from creeping through the zipper as well as draft tubes along the chest and shoulder area.

IMAGE 4 Speaking of room, this bag has tons of room for stretching out and rolling around at night. Of course, the extra room equates to extra weight and, as mentioned above, potential heat loss. Because this bag is quite large and heavy, it is not ideal for lightweight backpacking. However, it works great for car camping, base camping and when I am backpacking short distances in very cold weather.

As far as reliability, the zipper has worked flawlessly. A strip of ZipGlide fabric runs along the entire length of the zipper and has prevented it from ever snagging on the sleeping bag or draft tube.

SUMMARY

The Alaskan Guide sleeping bag seems to hold true to its -20F (-28 C) temperature rating and I absolutely love its Pertex shell, cotton lining and large interior space. True, it is quite bulky and heavy but these are the tradeoffs that go along owning a bag like this.

THINGS I LIKE

1. Durable
2. Comfortable interior
3. Spacious
4. Water resistant
5. Warm

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

1. Heavyweight
2. Doesn't compress really well

SIGNATURE

Brian Hartman
bhart1426 AT yahoo DOT com

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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