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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Eureka Bero sleeping bag > Test Report by Marina Batzke

EUREKA BERO 30 F SLEEPING BAG
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
LONG-TERM REPORT
November 16, 2015

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

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com
AGE: 56
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. My backpacking trips are mostly weekend excursions in Southern California: desert areas in the winter months and mountainous areas in the summer months. I try to backpack one or two weekends a month. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Johnson Outdoors Gear, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Made in China
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.eurekatent.com
MSRP: US$119.90
Listed Carry Weight: 2 lb 14 oz (1300 g)
Measured Weight: 2 lb 14.9 oz (1330 g) incl. compression sack
Listed Stuff Sack Size: 7.5 in diameter x 15 in length (19 cm x 38.1 cm)
Measured Stuff Sack Size: 7 in diameter x 13.5 in length (17.8 cm x 34.3 cm)

Listed Length: 78 in (198 cm)
Measured Length: 78 in (198 cm)
Listed Width Chest: 35 in (89 cm)
Measured Width Chest: 34 in (86 cm)
Listed Width Feet: 26 in (66 cm)
Measured Width Feet: 26 in (66 cm) measured at the lower zipper end
IMAGE 1
Length compared to 1 Gal = 3.78 L Water Bottle

Other details:
In addition to the Regular size (fits up to 6 ft/ 183 cm) that I am testing, the Bero 30 F is also available in Women's (fits up to 5 ft 6 in/ 168 cm) and Long (fits up to 6 ft 6 in/ 198 cm).

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Bero Regular 30 F Sleeping Bag arrived inside its own Compression Sack. Attached to its drawstring was a cardboard tag with product information, describing the features in English, French and Spanish. The data provided in English language matches what I found on the manufacturer's website.

The black compression sack is accented by two loop-around grey straps that result in 4 pull strap ends.
IMAGE 2
Diameter compared to 1 Gal = 3.78 L Water Bottle

On one end, the compression sack has the product name EUREKA! BERO 30 F / - 1 C REG imprinted, along with the gross weight, SYNTHESIS 1 lb 10 oz / 750 g fill weight and the temperature rating chart. At this same end, it has a grey fabric grab handle and a tiny grey fabric loop.

By loosening the ends of the loop-around compression straps, I was able to push the grey straps aside and gain access to the drawstring. I opened the compression sack to see the tightly rolled-up sleeping bag inside. It took a lot of effort to pull out the soft fabric sleeping bag. I am worried if I will get it back into that tight sack to pack it up for my first trip.
IMAGE 3
The Bero spread out

The mummy shaped sleeping bag is dark blue on the floor side. It is bright blue on its top side, divided into nine baffles. Inside it is silver-grey. The shell fabric is very soft 100% polyester taffeta (40D / 290T). The liner fabric is very soft peached 100% polyester (50D / 300T). D stands for Denier, the unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers. T refers to the thread count. Peached means the fabric has been treated to make it soft and smooth.

At its top, the Bero has a hood that I could pull tight on a cold night, using its pull string. Around this hooded section, it has a dark blue draft collar. The Bero does not have a pillow pocket. All the way down the zipper (on the upper inside), the Bero has a 1.75 in (4.5 cm) dark blue draft tube. It has a pocket on the upper inside in 6 in x 7.5 in (15 cm x 19 cm) with a hook-and-loop closure for safe-keeping of valuables.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

On a fabric tag, sewn into a foot area outside-seam of the bag, I found the washing instructions. The preferred method is hand washing this bag in warm water with mild soap or detergent. I shall rinse the bag in warm water and afterwards either air dry it or hang it over a line.

As alternate washing method, I may use a commercial heavy duty front loading tumble machine on gentle cycle. Again it is recommended to wash the bag in warm water with mild soap or detergent, followed by air drying or hanging the bag over a line. I shall not dry clean this bag.

For long term storage, I shall hang the bag by the two loops in its foot area. I shall not leave the bag inside its compression sack for an extended length of time.

TRYING IT OUT

The Bero 30 F Regular is described as a comfort mummy and after I opened the sleeping bag and slid inside for the first time, it right away felt very roomy and not tight at all. I am sure I will have enough room inside for my sleep sack liner.

The locking, two-way zipper is 55 in (140 cm) long and ends 19 in (48 cm) from the foot end of the sleeping bag. I will need to see how I like that, as my own sleeping bag has a zipper all the way to the foot area and I sometimes have opened the foot area a little bit when I felt too warm inside. Or I have opened the entire zipper of my own sleeping bag and used it more like a quilt.

The foot box is quite roomy: I measure the foot fabric rectangle (where my foot soles would touch) at 14 in (35.5 cm) wide and 11 in (28 in) high.

At first, the zipper ran a bit rough: I opened and closed it repeatedly and now it runs a bit more smoothly.
IMAGE 4
Two wrinkled spots hinder the zipper

Unfortunately, near the upper end, the zipper is twice sewn in with an overlap and the small wrinkles near the top opening make it rather difficult to easily close the zipper completely from the inside. While inside the bag, everytime I pull up the zipper to those spots, the zipper stops. I need both hands, one to hold the fabric and the other hand to guide the zipper over the unevenly sewn spots to get the zipper closed fully. I foresee this as a problem, as I once had a panic attack inside my own sleeping bag when it was tightened all the way to the top one winter night and I could not quickly open it.

I have had a very difficult time stuffing the sleeping bag into its compression sack. After my first successful attempt, I noticed a torn thread on the sleeping bag outside (first baffle seam from the top).
IMAGE 5
Thread torn

LIKES AND DISLIKES

+ soft fabric
+ fluffy bag
+ roomy, not constricting

- really hard to get out of compression sack
- rather difficult and time consuming to squeeze back into the compression sack
- one outside thread torn already after just stuffing bag into the compression sack
- zipper sewn in with wrinkles; difficult to close all the way to top


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Purple Lake, Northern California, USA
4 days/ 3 nights July 2015
Camp Elevation: 9900 ft (3000 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 48 F (9 C)

Beartrap Bluff, Los Padres National Forest, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night July 2015
Camp Elevation: 5000 ft (1500 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 50 F (10 C)

Mt. Pinos, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night August 2015
Camp Elevation: 7500 ft (2300 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 46 F (8 C)

Little Jimmy, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night August 2015
Camp Elevation: 7500 ft (2300 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 54 F (12 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

For more than a year while backpacking, my sleep set-up has been to place my mattress pad inside, not underneath the sleeping bag. I was doing this with my own rather wide mummy-shaped down sleeping bag and have followed this pattern for all test-period backpacking nights with the wide Eureka Bero polyester sleeping bag. I like this set-up, as it guarantees that I do not roll off the mattress pad at night because I am frequently switching from left to back to right side sleeping. On top of the mattress pad, I place the liner.
IMAGE 1
Mattress pad and liner inside Bero


My biggest problem with the Bero has been that its zipper has two fabric folds sewn in near the zipper top. Those two bumps have made it difficult for me to open the fully closed Bero while I am resting inside. I have to hold onto the top of the bag fabric with one hand, while trying to maneuver the zipper pull over those two bumps with the other hand. On a cool night, with my arms both inside the bag, that has not been an easy undertaking.
IMAGE 2
The inside view of those two bumps

In general, I easily feel cold. I love to sleep comfortably warm. During the test period, I wore thermal tights and a T-shirt underneath a fleece shirt at night. Depending on the anticipated nighttime temperatures, I also wore a fresh pair of socks and had a scarf and a knit hat at hand.

But with the problem that I cannot easily slide open the zipper, I have been very concerned to fully close the zipper all the way to the top with my arms inside. I have kept the bag about 6 inches (15 cm) open at its top. On two nights of the Purple Lake trip and the one Mt. Pinos night, I briefly awoke in the morning hours with a slight shiver on my back. Each time, I pulled the Bero and my sleeping bag liner closer around my body and fell asleep again. Yet in the foot area, the Bero has been sufficiently warm to the degree that I occasionally pulled my socks off after a few hours into the night.

I love it that the Eureka Bero comes with its own stuff sack. Once inside my tent for the night, I place my boots onto the flattened stuff sack (like a small floor mat) to keep boot dust off the tent floor. In the mornings, it has been a hard chore to stuff the Bero back into its stuff sack. After a lot of experimenting, accompanied by frustration, I now roll up the bag a bit more spread out, then squeeze-press it into the stuff sack and afterwards use the compression straps to get the Bero into its small bundle size as shown in the IR photos above. That way, it fits well into the bottom area of my backpack and is actually smaller in size than my old down sleeping bag.

In addition to that initial torn thread on the bag outside, the Bero had two seams on the inside that were not sewn in well where my fingers caught at night. I fixed those with a thread and needle.

SUMMARY

+ small bundle once inside its stuff sack, perfectly fitting into my backpack
+ handy stuff sack
+ warm in the foot area

- zipper sewn in with wrinkles; very difficult to open while I am inside the bag
- challenging to put bag into its tight stuff sack
- a few loose threads


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Dobbs Cabin, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Camp Elevation: 7240 ft (2200 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 47 F (8 C)

Gould Mesa Campground, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Camp Elevation: 1500 ft (460 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 75 F (24 C)

Little Jimmy Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Camp Elevation: 7500 ft (2290 m)
Nighttime Temperatures: 49 F (9 C)

Cooper Canyon Trail Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Camp Elevation: 6300 ft (1920 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 61 F (16 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On the Dobbs Cabin backpack, the temperature went down to 47 F (8 C) at night. I slept inside the Bero plus snuggled inside a silk liner and stayed sufficiently warm.

The Gould Mesa backpack had incredibly hot 75 F (24 C) nighttime temperature. I slept inside my tent without the rainfly on, enjoying every slight breeze, resting on top of my sleeping bag and inside the silk liner.

At Little Jimmy Campground, the nighttime temperature reached 49 F (9 C). I was feeling ill and actually kept on my down jacket overnight inside the sleeping bag.

On the morning of the Cooper Canyon backpack, our group had to pack up in a rush due to an emergency. I rushed rolling and stuffing the Bero into its tight stuff sack. I feel now after the 4 month test period, I have a system down to accomplish the squeezing and stuffing faster despite the very tight stuff sack.
IMAGE 2
This rolling width helps the stuffing

IMAGE 3
Starting to stuff





WARRANTY

Those two spots along the zipper that were sewn in with a wrinkle limited my satisfaction with the BERO sleeping bag. I therefore visited the manufacturer's website for their warranty information.

Sleeping bags come with a 'Limited Life of Product' Warranty. The manufacturer warrants to the original purchaser of a sleeping bag that the item will be free of defects in material and workmanship from the date of purchase until the time that the sleeping bag is no longer serviceable due to normal wear and tear.

On their website http://www.eurekatent.com/Customer_Support/ I filled in a form with the topic 'Product Issues'. I received an email response from Johnson Outdoors Gear Inc. the same day, asking me to provide my full name, address, phone number and a copy of the receipt. They will then supply me with an authorization number for the return and their return shipping instructions. The manufacturer will then perform a warranty inspection. Now that the test period is over, I will follow through on this.

SUMMARY

+ small bundle once inside its stuff sack, perfectly fitting into my backpack
+ handy stuff sack
+ warm in the foot area

- zipper sewn in with wrinkles; very difficult to open while I am inside the bag
- challenging to put bag into its tight stuff sack
- a few loose/torn threads

Thank you to Eureka and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this all-polyester sleeping bag.

Marina Batzke

ADDENDUM

Johnson Outdoors Gear Inc. emailed me a Return Authorization and a shipping sticker. I returned the Bero sleeping bag and after their inspection, Johnson Outdoors Gear Inc. right away shipped a Replacement Bero to me.
IMAGE 4
Replacement Bero with flawless zipper

This new Bero 30 F Sleeping Bag is flawlessly made. The zipper is sewn in without any wrinkles. I see no loose threads.

The return process was straight-forward and hassle-free.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

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