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COLEMAN KLICKITAT X40 SLEEPING BAG
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
LONG-TERM REPORT
November 27, 2007

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: John R. Waters
EMAIL: exec@bysky.com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: White Lake, Michigan USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 178 lb (80.70 kg)

My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, on glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, with other day-long hikes on various SE Michigan trails. I also hike in Colorado and am relocating there, which will increase my hiking time and trail variety tremendously. My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: The Coleman Company, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.coleman.com
MSRP: US $119.99
Listed Pack Weight: 2 lb (0.91 kg)
Measured Weight: 2 lb 1 oz (0.94 kg)
Other details: High performance, lightweight mummy featuring the next generation of continuous filament fiber – Climashield™ XP

• Pack size – 7.5 in x 13 in (19 cm x 33 cm)
• 31 in x 84 in (79 cm x 213 cm) mummy
• Temperature: 40 F (4.4 C)
• Anti-microbial treatment to inhibit the growth of order causing bacteria
• Fully-Sculpted hood for better heat retention
• Which-one™ draw cords—allows for easy hood adjustment in the dark
• Insulated chest baffle
• Angled trapezoidal foot provides for more natural sleeping position
• ¾ -length, YKK Locking zipper with two-way right-side zipper for ventilation of the foot area
• 4-Way compression stuff sack included

Coleman Mummy Bag
Picture from The Coleman Company Website


Additional Tester Information Relevant to This Test

Shoulder Girth: 50 in (128 cm)
Hip Girth: 42 in (107 cm)
Knee Girth: 28 in (71 cm)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS - July 18, 2007

Coleman Klickitat w/2 liter bottle
Klickitat w/2 liter Nalgene Bottle
The first thing I noticed about the Coleman Klickitat sleeping bag was its very small pack size. This is the smallest bag I have ever had any experience with. As can be seen from the picture to the left, the Klickitat is very compact. This is great for maximizing my backpack space. More room for food!

Upon removing the bag from the unassuming black stuff sack (more about the stuff sack later), I was pleased to see the color scheme. The picture on the Coleman website shows the Klickitat as a bland grey with orange interior. However in actuality, the bottom of the sleeping bag is a shade of an attractive charcoal grey which wraps around the hood, the top is a lighter grey and the inside can only be described as just plain bright green. The inside fabric looks like it will glow in the dark, it's that bright. I like it!

There is a very discreet same-colored embroidered logo on the chest.

Shaking out the Klickitat, I was pleased to see how nicely it fluffed up after being so compressed in its stuff sack. That immediately relieved my initial apprehensions about the already rather thin bag being too flat for my future sleeping comfort.


Next, I climbed right into the bag to test out the fit and features.

The fit is great! I'm not a tall guy and this bag is nicely sized for me; not too long but long enough so that my feet don't touch the bottom of the bag. It's very roomy around the chest area. This allows me to squirm and even roll from side to side and front to back within the bag if I want. There is none of the constriction that I have found with some other mummy bags. The angled trapezoidal foot box provides plenty of room to stretch out my feet skyward without having to strain against the bag. I like it!

The nylon taffeta liner feels cools and smooth against my skin and Coleman provides some other neat touches to make sure my comfort is well attended to.

The insulated chest baffle can be tightened (or left loose) over my shoulders by way of the "Which-one" draw cord. The cord is secured with a push barrel locking mechanism and consists of two cords to regulate the front and back of the baffle independently. The cords are easily distinguished by sight and/or by feel. The round cord also has a red weave through it and controls the front while the flat cord is solid black and controls the back of the baffle.

Tightening these cords keeps my body snugly encased and cool air out. Leaving them loose, allows for more air flow and cooler temps in the bag.

The fully-sculpted hood works on the same principle as the chest baffle.with the "Which-one" cords. The round/red flecked cord controls the neck and the flat/black cord controls the top of the head. Thanks to the round vs. flat configuration, I can make adjustments even in the dark.

Both drawcords are located on the left side of the bag, making it easy for my right hand to manipulate.
Which-One Cords
Which-One Drawcord System


I had no problems working the 3/4 length right-side zipper above and beyond the usual contortions required to zip myself into any mummy bag. The zipper moved up and down the tracks smoothly without snagging. It did seem to take a lot of pressure to open the two-way zipper at the foot area though. The zipper seems to almost "lock" at the bottom and I had to take care to not yank and possibly jam it. There also is a flexible rubber-like grip on the zipper pull which makes it easier to grasp.

Other neat features include: a nice flap at the top of the zipper to tuck the zipper pull into so as to not rub against my body; a dual Velcro-like flap to fasten over top the zipper; and another one inside the bag to secure the chest baffle more securely.

A cursory check revealed no loose, broken or uneven threads on the seams or any snags or pulls of the cover or liner. The ends of the Which-one cords are neatly sealed and all hard surfaces appear to be smooth. A good start for any test.

Zipper Pull
Klickitat Zipper Pull
Zipper Closure
Klickitat Closure System
Closure Tab
Klickitat Zipper Closure Flap


After checking the Klickitat out on my living room floor, I then realized that I'd need to get it back into that little bitty stuff sack. Hmmm. Of course in my excitement, I didn't pay any attention as to how the bag had come out of the stuff sack, so I had no idea how it was originally folded and crammed in.

While I, as an engineer, mentally tried to visualize the best way to do it, my wife walked over, picked up the bag, folded it first head-to-toe, then in half, side-to-side, and lastly rolled it tightly width-wise. Just like that, she had the Klickitat stuffed back into the sack. All those years of folding laundry finally paid off. Ouch!

Anyway, the stuff sack is solid black with a draw-cord closure secured with a barrel lock mechanism. There is an attached interior flap to fold over the sleeping bag within the sack to protect the bag from the elements. Four woven straps encircle the length of the sack. These straps have heavy duty buckles through which the sack can be compressed even further if need be. I can really crunch the Klickitat!

Can't wait for my next trip out into the Colorado wilderness in two weeks. In the meantime...

The one thing that perplexes me is that despite the claim to the contrary on the enclosed hangtag for the Klickitat, Coleman did not include a storage sack so that the bag can be stored loose between trips.

"Hey, honey...where is that spare pillow case? In the laundry?"

SUMMARY TO DATE

This concludes my Initial Report on the Coleman Klickitat X40 Sleeping Bag. This report will be updated after two months with my Field Report, approximately mid-September 2007.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS-Sep 2007

During these past two months of testing, most of my testing has been in the Cooper Mountain area of Colorado (south of Pike's Peak). I have also used the Klickitat on two or three occasions in southeast Michigan.

Michigan weather during the testing period was mostly hot and humid during the summer. Colorado weather was mostly dry, windy, with cool nights and warm to hot days. Temperatures ranged from 40 F (4 C) at night to 90 F (32 C) in the daytime.

Terrain covered everything from flat sandy lakeshore (in Michigan) to the mountainous Sangre de Cristo range and Cooper Mountain regions in Colorado. Elevation ranged from a low of 600 ft (183 m) in Michigan to a low of 5000 ft (1524 m) in Colorado, and up to 13000 ft (3962 m) in Colorado.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Well it's been fun using this bag. It's also been fun for me to try and SAY its name. It comes out in all different forms and a great few seconds of fun around the campfire is trying to say it 5 times fast. I haven't tried to turn it into a drinking game, but maybe on the next trip.

I haven't had many cool nights to test this bag much below 50 F (10C) yet. This past weekend the temps finally went down to 48 F (9 C) and I was able to sneak out for a night in the valley to see if this bag could handle it. As far as temps go, this bag has been quite comfortable in the 50 to 60 F (10 C to16 C) range and slightly warm once above 60 F (10 C). I like to test in nothing but my boxer shorts. I feel that I can always add clothes and that there is no real way to tell what anyone may be wearing, so as "au natural" as possible will give me a good indication of the limits in both directions for temp.

I camped out one night where the temp was 72 F (22 C) and the bag was too warm. I ended up lying on the outside, which worked well because the material is cool to the touch and felt nice. It's slippery, but I slept well and it added some extra padding to the under pad, which was a foam roll-up pad.

Another night at 58 F (14 C) was almost perfect. Since it was breezy, I was able to pull the zippered side all the way up to my chin and leave my entire head outside of the hood, using the hood as more cushioning on top of my "pillow", which is usually my tee shirt and pants inside a stuff sack. (Trick here of course is to not use sweaty, smelly clothes). I woke up around 3 AM after the wind died down and started to get warm. I think if the bag had a foot vent that it would have solved my problem, but instead I ended up moving the zipper down to about my waist and using the top half of the bag as a blanket pulled loosely over my shoulders. Occasionally the wind would gust again and get under the opening, but it felt good, so I spent the rest of the night in that configuration. As usual with mummy bags, I found it awkward to keep the loose unzippered covers on when I laid with my back to the opening. I'm a side-sleeper, so I'll switch from laying on my left side to laying on my right side and always have that challenge when the bag is not completely zipped up

A third night, when the temp dropped to 48 F (9 C) , I had to "batten down the hatches" a little more. I zipped up all the way, only snagging a few times and quickly getting the snags cleared. Then I pulled the hood over and snugged up the ties. I was warm and cozy, but at around 4 AM I woke up feeling a little cooler then I would have thought. I wasn't sweating. It was just cool and I thought to myself that I could tell that I was probably approaching the lower temp of this bag. Since I was only in boxers, even a lightweight tee would be warmer. So when I take this out for the tests in October, when the temps will be in the low 40 F (4C) to mid-30 F (2 C) range, I shall make sure I have the ability to add some light-weight layers. I'm not a fan of wearing too much clothing in my bag because I hate getting twisted up.

Since I never sweated in the bag, I can't comment on how well it handles that. We're in high desert country here in Colorado and the evenings are a comfortable 20 to 30% humidity range. I'll probably be faced with more humidity as we get into the fall season here and evenings get cooler. I was planning on doing a few hikes in stormy weather and chickened out after seeing the lightening this summer. I felt like I was inside a VanDeGraf generator at times. Perhaps, I'll get my nerve up for next season.

As a result of not sweating and being in such low humidity, even though I've used this bag several times and slept just in boxer shorts, it still smells almost brand new. I've used some other bags that I did sweat in that needed to be aired out after a few uses, so I think this is great.

I've found that I can easily locate the zipper and the hook and loop closures. That's good. Seriously. I am not normally claustrophobic, but when I get inside a mummy bag and get zippered all the way up, especially with the hood in use, I get a little anxious if I can't quickly get out (especially since I have this thing about finding a scorpion or stink beetle in the bag with me). David Copperfield and David Blaine need not worry about competition from me. The coded hood pulls and the easy to find loop on the zipper make it pretty simple to get out and I only snagged it few times (and that was probably because I was in such a hurry).

SUMMARY TO DATE

All in all, this bag is comfortable. It works well from 48 F (9 C) to 60 F (16 C) and I got some really good sleep. I think a foot vent would be nice to have since the bag is designed for warmer evenings, where it can really come in handy. Otherwise, over the next few weeks, with temps getting cooler, I'll see how low we can go.

This concludes my two months' field report. See my Long-Term Report posted below.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM LOCATIONS/CONDITIONS-Nov 2007

During these past two months of testing, most of my testing has been in the Cooper Mountain area of Colorado (south of Pike's Peak). Elevation ranged from a low of 5000 ft (1524 m) and up to 13,000 ft (3962 m).

Well, winter is on the way in Colorado. Where we are in Canon City (Fremont County), this time of year we're usually seeing sunny 50 F (10 C) days and windy 20 F (-7 C) nights. We've been rather fortunate to have warmer weather here in the Canon City area the past month. Nighttime temps only dipped into the 20 F (-7 C) range a few times. At night it's mostly been in the 30 F (-1 C) range. So, in order to test this bag correctly, I had to plan a few nights out when the temp was in the 40 F (4 C) range and maybe dipping down into the high 30 F (-1 C) range. I like testing gear, but I'm not keen on the idea of testing a 40 F (4 C) rated bag much below 30 F (-1 C). I don't like sleeping really cold. I end up waking up and having to water bushes at 3:00 AM and again at 4:00 AM and maybe again at 5:00 AM. Something about the cold.

Our 35 acres (14 hectares) backs to over 40,000 acres (26, 287 hectares) of state and federal land. We can walk off our place and hike for 40 miles (64 km) towards Pikes Peak without coming across private land (except for the 35 acre/14 hectare vacant parcel right to the north of us). It's paradise. Kathy and I are getting used to bushwhacking and using the GPS very well now. Since we're here practically full time, we can take off for hikes of several miles/kilometers and overnights whenever we get the whim.

Recently, I packed up my backpack with a Coleman Siege 2 tent, a Mountain Hardware Superlight 60 pad, ground cover, and supplies for an overnighter and hiked north about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from our place at 5635 ft (1718 m) up to about 6745 ft (2056 m). Nice views of over 6 mountain ranges from up here and of the plains to the east. Quite nice. My goal was to test this bag at temps under 50 F (10 C). The first night didn't get below 47 F (8 C). I wanted to test the bag down closer to the 40 F (4 C) limit, so I did another overnighter when I knew the temp would be lower.

By the way, I always carry bear spray on these trips. We've seen some pretty large "deposits" and Kathy insists one that was about 4 ft (1.2 m) long and 18 in (46 cm) wide was probably bear barf. I didn't think I smelled that bad, but hey maybe the bear thought so.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

As I mentioned in my earlier report, I usually remove my pants and outer layers and sleep in underwear and a tee. I hate getting wrapped up in my clothes and having my circulation cut off. Of course it becomes an issue if I need to leave the tent quickly if a bear pats me on the head, but I still like sleeping that way.

As before, this bag is very warm and comfortable at temps around 50 F (10 C). I had no issues at all with drafts or feeling cold. I slept all night without having to get up. At the 45+ F (7+ C) range it wasn't even necessary to "batten down the hatches" and tighten the draft collar or use the hood. I was quite comfortable. In fact, much more comfortable than the 15 F (-9 C) bag I have which makes me too warm at these temperatures.

The first night, when temps went down to 48 F (9 C), I was quite comfortable. In fact, warm. I didn't need the collar and didn't need the hood.

The second night, when temps went down to 38 F (3 C), I was cool. Not uncomfortable, but I had to zip up the collar to keep warmth in and had to use the hood. Didn't need to get up during the night, so I never got the chills. I DID keep my silk long underwear on though. If I'm going to sleep in stuff with arms and legs, I find silk to be the best because it is so smooth and allows me to roll around well. So this bag is okay to 38 F (3 C) with lightweight silk underwear. There were no drafts or cool spots, although I can tell that the air in the bag is cooler where I am not, so if I roll over the inside of the bag is cooler for a while until I warm it up.

Both nights though, as soon as the sun came up and the temps started to rise it got warm in this bag quickly. Nice waking up in a warm bag after sleeping at 38 F (3 C). Morning temps on both overnights were into the low 50 F (10 C) range. The temperatures around here rise and drop very quickly.

I did notice, after multiple trips now, that the full length zippers do snag more than I think they should. I found myself undoing snags as many as 5 times for each entry and exit of the bag. It's very frustrating. I was in and out of the bag probably 7 or 8 times and each time there were multiple snags. I had to practice pulling the sections apart to avoid getting material into the path of the zipper. That's rather difficult to do as the zipper gets down towards the foot of the bag. On a plus note though, there was never any damage to the bag as a result of a snag. I'm rather gentle when undoing snags and when zipping. A more burly approach may cause bag damage.

The bag smells new yet. I keep it loosely rolled up in a gear closet. It doesn't come with a storage bag, so it's just rolled into a big ball. But since I haven't sweated in it yet, it's still very healthy.

No signs of wear. I have not washed it or had a need to. No stains. Looks great.

SUMMARY

Aside from the snagging issue and the lack of a foot vent, I like this bag. It keeps me warm at rated temperatures and seems to be rugged enough for normal use. The foot vent would be a nice addition when temps get into the high 50 F (10 C) range, but once into the 60 F (15.6 C) range, chances are pretty good that I would be sleeping on top of the bag anyway.

It's small and light and packs well. Overall it's a keeper.

CONTINUED USE

I'll use this bag for most of our overnights unless the temp gets below 35 F (1.7 C). I've been looking for a lightweight bag to handle the nighttime temps around here, which is usually in the 50 F (10 C) range throughout the spring, summer and fall. So this appears to be an excellent 3 season bag that will get a lot of use. Hopefully the snagging issue will not shorten the product life.

Thank you to Backpackgeartest.org and Coleman for the opportunity to test the Coleman Klickitat X40 Sleeping Bag.

John R. Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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