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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Coleman Klickitat X40 Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Sheila Morrissey
COLEMAN KLICKITAT X40
Photo from Coleman website.
Initial Report - July 10, 2007
Field Report - September 11, 2007
Long-Term Report - November 24, 2007
Initial Report: July 10, 2007
Name: Sheila Morrissey
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Email Address: geosheila(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Goleta, California, USA
I have been hiking and camping since I was born, and finally started backpacking in 2005. I hike with friends and my dog, Patch, in the Sierra Nevada or Los Padres National Forest. My pack is usually around 25 lb (11 kg), including consumables. I typically carry a tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag for my sleeping gear.
Manufacturer: The Coleman Company, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.coleman.com
Size: Regular (Also available in Long)
Listed Weight: 2 lb (0.9 kg)
Measured Weight: 2 lb (0.9 kg)
Listed Dimensions: 31 in x 84 in, mummy
Measured Dimensions: approximately 29 x 88 in (It was quite difficult to measure, but I believe the listed dimensions are true.)
Temperature Rating: 40 F (4 C)
MSRP: US$ 119.99
Warranty: 5 years for manufacturer defects
The Klickitat X40 is a mummy-shaped synthetic sleeping bag rated to 40 F (4 C). The 12 oz (340 g) of synthetic filling is Climashield XP, a continuous filament polyester fill reported to not "clump, shift or migrate", according to the insulation manufacturer. The insulation is also claimed to be especially lightweight, warm, compressible, durable, water resistant and hypoallergenic. The Klickitat's outer shell is made of wind- and water-resistant 260T, 44D Tactel Nylon Ripstop. The liner is made of 278T, 40D Nylon Taffeta, treated to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria. The mummy bag's hood has Coleman's "Which-one draw cord", which as far as I can tell, is a regular locking draw cord. The same type of draw cord cinches a draft tube above the shoulder area that closes with a hook-and-look fastener by the right-side zipper. A 3 in (8 cm) draft tube also lines the inside of the sleeping bag along the full-length, locking, double YKK zipper. (Coleman's website lists the bag as having a 3/4-length zipper, but it is indeed a full-length zipper). The double zipper can be opened to ventilate the foot box. The foot box has a trapezoidal shape, with extra toe room on top of the bag. The bag is machine-washable, but it is recommended that it be line-dried.
The Klickitat came with a compression stuff sack and, according to the attached hang-tag, it should also have come with a cotton storage sack. The website does not list the cotton storage sack and I did not receive one. I am still waiting for a response from Coleman to see whether I can get the cotton storage sack.
I am really impressed by this bag. It packs up much smaller than any bag I have used before and weighs less than half of my usual bag. Because it has a relatively warm rating, the Klickitat X40 has very little insulation and is quite thin. It has a remarkably well-designed hood. During my limited use of this bag so far on the couch in front of the television, the draft tube stayed snug around my shoulders and the hood remained tucked in tight to my head without slipping behind my neck (a problem I've had with my old mummy bag), even as I moved around. Though not important to the functionality, I really like the colors of the bag, too. It's light and dark grey on the outside, and lime green on the inside (there's no orange like on the stock photo at top).
Field Report: September 11, 2007
I first used the Klickitat on an overnight backpacking trip in Los Padres National Forest. I camped at an elevation of 5,200 ft (1,600 m) and the overnight low temperature was probably around 55 F (13 C). I slept on an insulated backpacking air mattress inside a mostly mesh tent with no fly.
I used the Klickitat for three nights while backpacking in Jennie Lakes Wilderness, Sequoia National Forest. I camped at an elevation of approximately 8,500 ft (2,600 m) on the first night and near 9,000 ft (2,750 m) the next two nights. The overnight low temperature was about 50 F (10 C). I slept on a backpacking air mattress inside a double-walled tent.
So far, I have only used the Klickitat in temperatures above the temperature rating of the bag. When the outside temperature was about 55 F (13 C), I was comfortable wearing light pants and a t-shirt and only zipping the Klickitat to my waist. When the outside temperature was near 50 F (10 C), I wore similar clothing with an added a pair of light wool socks, zipped the Klickitat most of the way closed, and pulled the hood over my head. I was a little bit cold but had problems with the fit when the bag was completely zipped. I won't take the bag in temperatures that are much colder without an extra blanket or clothing to keep me warm.
When I tried zipping the bag completely, I awoke a short time later with very sore arms. While I slept, I tried to force my elbows outwards because they were too tightly contained in the bag. Though I have had similar problems in other mummy bags, the Klickitat may be a little too narrow in the shoulders for me. However, there are also great aspects of the fit of the Klickitat. The bag is long enough for me without being excessively long and the angled foot box is comfortable. Even with the bag unzipped to let an arm dangle out, I can still use the hood as a pillow holder, kept loosely draped over my head or tightened around my face.
I think I finally have the "which-one draw cord" system down. The locking device for the shoulder draw cord has two separate cords pulled through it. A round, red-and-black cord tightens the front of the bag when pulled, and a flat, black cord tightens the back of the bag when pulled. The cords feel different so that I can know which one I am tightening in the middle of the night. In reality, I haven't memorized which is which, and I pretty much tighten them both together every time. Two different cords are also pulled through the other locking device for the hood draw cords. A round, red-and-black cord tightens the bag up from under my chin, and a flat, black cord tightens the bag down over my forehead. The only difference between the shoulder and hood draw cords is that locking device is immovable on the hood. I can tighten and loosen the cords through it, but the locking device itself is attached to the hood. I suppose this is so I don't get strangled by the draw cords.
No matter how far closed I zip the Klickitat, I have a very difficult time unzipping it. The zippers look like they should be able to work from the inside or outside of the bag, but in my experience they only work from the outside. With the Klickitat fully zipped, exiting the bag requires that I first loosen the hood, then loosen the shoulder draft tube, and then squeezing my arms out through the opening before I can even get to the zipper from the outside of the bag. When I finally do start to unzip the bag, the zipper catches on the shell material every time. Getting in and out of this bag takes far more effort than it should. Not being able to get out quickly is especially irritating when I wake up in the middle of the night.
The light weight and tiny packed size of the Klickitat make the narrow shoulder area and uncooperative zipper seem like minor annoyances. The packability of it is what makes this a fantastic bag and one that I'm betting I'll use for many summers to come. I've had to change my whole packing strategy because this bag takes up about half the volume of my old sleeping bag and is much smaller than the bear canister I usually pack on top of my sleeping bag. Even on the three-night trip, I didn't need to use the extended neck of my pack at all since the sleeping bag took up so little space inside my pack. The sleeping bag stuffs very easily back inside its stuff sack with room to spare, and can be compressed down even smaller. Switching to the Klickitat also cut more than 2 lb (0.9 kg) from my pack weight.
The Klickitat was looking pretty filthy after its first two backpacking trips, so I threw it in the washing machine. Sleeping bags are never supposed to be washed in a top-loading, agitator-type washing machine but that's how I always wash my sleeping bags. I machine washed and dried the Klickitat together with my older sleeping bag by Coleman and both survived the wash just fine. Several globs of tree sap left stains that the light grey material on the top of the Klickitat didn't hide very well. I like the colors of this bag, but it might have been better if all of the outside of the bag were dark grey just to hide stains.
SUMMARY (SO FAR)
So far, this sleeping bag is working out great. I've been warm enough using the Klickitat on my trips and was able to leave my bulky 15 F (-9 C) bag at home. I have a few problems with the fit and zippers, but the itty bitty size and light weight of the bag more than make up for it.
Two phone calls and two emails to Coleman customer service about my missing cotton storage sack went unanswered for weeks before I received an apologetic email explaining that their server lost all emails from the month of June. I guess they recovered my email because a cotton storage sack was mailed to me.
Long-Term Report: November 24, 2007
I used the Klickitat for two nights while backpacking on Catalina Island, camping just above sea level both nights. During the night, temperatures were around 55 F (13 C). I slept on an insulated backpacking air mattress inside a double-walled tent.
I don't want to make too many product comparisons, but because I had preconceived ideas about this sleeping bag before I received it, I feel like I should really mention the huge differences between the Klickitat and older Coleman sleeping bags I have used. Compared to the older bags, the Klickitat has both a more modern fit, with its foot-shaped footbox, and a more heat-conserving fit, with its hood that wraps tightly around my head and its snug draft tube that tightens above my shoulders. Additionally, the Klickitat weighs significantly less and takes up far less pack volume than older Coleman bags I have used.
During the long-term testing period, I continued to be amazed by the low weight and tiny volume of this bag. It can very easily be stuffed and compressed down to the size of a basketball and weighs just 2 lb (0.9 kg). Instead of lightening my pack load, I used all that weight savings to upgrade to a heavier but far more comfortable sleeping pad. What a great change to my summer pack!
I may have been too picky with the fit of the bag during the field testing period. So long as I didn't tighten the hood, I could get one elbow to stick comfortably outside of the bag. On nights during the long-term testing period when the outside temperature was about 55 F (13 C), I zipped up the bag completely, but did not tighten the hood or shoulder draft tube. I instead used the hood to keep a jacket in place to use as a pillow. Using the zipper was very frustrating. Every time I zipped or unzipped the bag, the zipper became stuck a minimum of three times and was often quite difficult to get moving again. On the positive side, the zipper never slipped opened during the night when I didn't want it to.
The Klickitat is not a cold weather bag, but it kept me comfortably warm in temperatures down to about 50 F (10 C). With cooler temperatures, it's now time for me to put the Klickitat away for the year, but when the weather warms up again next spring, this sleeping bag will definitely make its way back into my pack. The weight and volume of the Klickitat are exceptional for its warmth. The colors are nice, except that the light grey on top does stain. The fit is good in terms of length and width, and the angled footbox is comfortable and allows enough room between my feet to rest in a natural position. The fill has not shifted, even after machine washing the bag and compressing the bag. If I could change something about this bag, it would definitely be the zipper. It gets caught on the sleeping bag material frequently, making a quick escape for a midnight pee break very difficult.
This concludes my Test Series. Thank you to Coleman and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test the Klickitat sleeping bag.
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