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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Cumulus Mysterious Traveller 700 > Owner Review by christian veenstra

Cumulus Mysterious Traveller 700

An lightweight down sleeping bag owner review by Christian Veenstra
July 8th, 2010
Airing out the Mysterious Traveller

Personal Biographic Information

NameChristian Veenstra
Age27
GenderMale
Height178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight75 kg (165 lbs)
Email addresschristianDOTveenstraATyahooDOTca
City, Province, CountryVancouver, BC, Canada
DateJune 28, 2010

Backpacking Background:

I spend most of my time in the Coast Range of BC, but have also done trips in the Cascades, Rockies, Alps and Iceland. Everything from daytrips to self-supported expeditions up to a month in length, for the most part camped above treeline. Often I'll be tackling technical objectives, so my fundamental equipment must be minimized. The weather in the Coast Range is generally pretty wet (well, snowy) during the winter and dry in the summer. I get out year 'round, so encounter a fair variety of weather - whether I bring a tent depends mostly on the forecast.

Mysterious Traveller packed up compared to a Nalgene

Product Information

ManufacturerCumulus
Product NameMysterious Traveler 700
Date of Manufacture2010
Websitewww.sleepingbags-cumulus.com
MSRP$370 CAD
Listed Weight1080 g (38.1 oz)
Actual Weights1122 g (39.6 oz), 1170 g (41.3 oz) (I have two, so listed both)
Rated Sleeping Temperature-11 C (12 F)
Description: This is a 4 season down sleeping bag, with 700 g (24.7 oz) of 700-fill goose down. The body is trapezoidal baffle construction in a hooded mummy cut, with neck and zipper baffles.

Preamble

My wife and I purchased a pair of these sleeping bags for a month long kayak accessed ski tour of the Waddington Range in the Coast Mountains. Since our 6 person team would be carrying in all our own supplies and mountaineering equipment for our (planned) 17 days away from the kayaks it was quite important that our sleeping bags (one of the "big three" heavy items) be very lightweight and have low packed volume. In May one still has to be prepared for winter conditions in the mountains so this seemed to be a good choice as it would still be lightweight but we could expect to survive the coldest nights (if we wore all our clothes and down jackets inside). At the time these were the lightest offerings by Cumulus in that temperature range, although it seems they've recently introduced yet lighter ones, despite it being only a few months later (I believe they are in the process of expanding their North American offerings).

Since then we've used these bags on a handful of other trips as well - probably 20 nights total camping on snow or glacier in the alpine, 10 at sea level and another 5 somewhere in between. The worst conditions we've slept in them was at the top of the glaciated Ice Valley corridor in the Waddington Range at ~2600 m (~8500 ft), where it was probably -12 C (10 F) and blowing hard. Under the bag I generally use a short-cut (shoulder to knee length) Therm-a-Rest Prolight 4 sleeping pad and make a little pile of stuff for my feet and head.

Initial Impressions

The bag comes with a large mesh storage sack as well as a smaller stuff sack (which is made of waterproof fabric, but is not seam-sealed). It fits well into the provided stuff sack - leaving it mostly compacted, yet soft enough to ram it into whatever shape my pack provides. Out of the bag I immediately noticed that the build quality was very nice, exactly what I would expect for a first rate sleeping bag, and with very few escaped feathers. I can see some of the down showing through the fabric, but this is entirely expected of the thin fabric for an ultralight bag.

I measure the thickness to be about 16 cm (6 1/4 in), measured with the bag lying flat on the floor after hanging for > 2 days to allow it to loft fully. For my height of 178 cm (5 ft 10 in) the bag is almost a perfect fit, with the extra space taken up if I do up all the draw cords tightly. I would estimate there to be another 10 cm (4 in) of space with the cords looser, so I think the maximum recommended height of 190cm (6 ft 3 in) is probably accurate.

Hook and Loop closure on neck baffle

Experience

Overall, we have been very happy with our bags. The only "problem" is that I think they are actually warmer than the rating might imply - they feel substantially warmer than my other bags of a similar rating. For most of the trips I do, even in the alpine in winter, I think this bag will be a bit too warm - I wonder if I should have bought the next lighter bag (in the Coast Range it rarely gets really cold, and I don't mind having to wear my down jacket inside my sleeping bag for the odd really cold night). I should qualify the statement a bit with the fact that I generally sleep fairly warm, but it seems that this is one of the few sleeping bags (or perhaps only?) which actually keeps me quite comfortable at its rated temperature in a tent, as opposed to barely allowing survival through the night (which seems to be the standard). I have not yet had to put on extra clothes to keep warm while using this bag, despite exceeding its temperature rating a little bit (of course, I always wear a base layer to help keep my bags clean).

I think that a lot of this warmth comes from the build quality of the bag - I can tell that the inner fabric layer is smaller than the outer, which helps to prevent the loft from getting packed out, it is very breathable, and the zipper baffle and neck collar make a really good seal which is easy to adjust with the drawstrings. One of the nicest touches about this bag, actually, is that the neck collar seals with its own wide strip of hook and loop - this means that, even with the bag zipped together to another bag, I can still do up the neck collar effectively. This is invaluable to me, since I almost always camp with my wife, as it means that we can still zip our bags together on the coldest nights without the massive heat leak from in between our heads that we'd get with most bags.

The only trouble with the bag is the lack of a zipper stiffener, which can make opening/closing the bag when half-asleep a bit tricky as can occasionally snag. Of course, then the bag would be slightly heavier.

Likes:

  • Light
  • Warmer than advertised
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent seals/baffles (and still good when zipped to another bag)

Dislikes:

  • No zipper stiffener backing


Read more reviews of Cumulus gear
Read more gear reviews by christian veenstra

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Cumulus Mysterious Traveller 700 > Owner Review by christian veenstra



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