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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Eureka Kaycee 0 Deg. Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Dawn Larsen

Eureka! Kaycee Sleeping Bag
Test Report


Initial Report - 17 December 2009
Field Report - 26 March 2010
Long Term Report - 16 May 2010

Name: Dawn Larsen
Age: 48
Gender: female
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT yahoo DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA 
 
Backpacking Background:

I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last few years have backpacked some private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper for eleven years and I have kayak/canoe camped for four years, both in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my sixteen year-old son.

me 

Product Information

Manufacturer: Eureka!
Year of Manufacture: 2009
URL:  www.eurekatent.com
Listed Weight of Bag in Sack:  4 lb 9 oz (2.07 kg)

Listed Dimensions:  82 (208) x 32 (81) x 21 in (53 cm)
Zipper: right
Temperature Rating: 0 degrees F (-18 C)
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: $144.90 US

Fabric: 210T polyester diamond ripstop shell and inside is a 210T polyester taffeta liner
Fill: Rteq
Size: Regular
 
Measurements
Weight:  4 lbs 13 oz (2.18 kg)
Dimensions measured flat: 29 in (74 cm) wide at shoulders, 18 in (46 cm) at foot end, 82 in (208 cm) long.
Packed Size in stuff sack The smallest I could compress it was 16 in (40.6 cm)wide and 34 in (86 cm) around.

 packed

Initial Report

17 December 2009


Product Features

This is a cold weather bag.  Its features include: A differential cut that prevents thermal leaks; an insulated draft tube prevents cold air from entering through the zipper; an inside stash pocket that holds small gear (pocket dimensions are 7.5 x 7 in (191 x 178 mm)); an external pillow pocket on the outside bottom of the bag that keeps a camp pillow in place; and an ergonomic trapezoidal foot box.


 inside   pillow
The fill, according to the website, is a proprietary synthetic insulation that features 4 micro-hollow fibers that trap heat and suspend it in a patterned array.
 
The zipper is a #5, 2-way zipper with self-repairing coils.  A zipper stiffener is integrated into the draft tube to prevent snagging during use.  A hook & loop zipper lock prevents the zipper from working open when in use or laundering. 
 
Included is a coated polyester compression stuff sack.
 

Initial Impressions
 
The first thing I noticed when I took this out of the box was that it is very heavy and bulky.  I had a lot of trouble getting it back into the stuff sack. My first time to get in the bag and try it out, I found the following:
 
Fasteners: The zipper moves easily, both from the top and bottom.  The hook and loop fastener is securely attached to the bag and works well, and the cinch cords work fine.
 
Fit:  The foot box is very roomy, but does not zip so that I can walk around with the bag on me.  That concerns me as I sleep in a hammock.  The shoulder room is very tight.  I understand the tight fit keeps the warmth in, but I like to be able to have some room to turn in the bag rather than the bag turn with me.  My shoulders are not very wide, so I can't imagine a larger person with wider shoulders being comfortable in this bag.

Pillow pocket:  My larger camping pillow was a little too big, but it still held it in place when I moved.  I'm a little concerned because I sleep on my side in my hammock. Where will the pillow go?

 
Warmth:  When I tried this bag first in my house on the floor, the temperature was 68 degrees F (20 C).  I almost smothered, so I think the fill will be warm. 
 
Though I don't live in a cold weather state, I have never been so cold as I am living in South Carolina!  When the temperature drops here, it is so humid and wet that it cuts right through me.  I look forward to testing it soon on a backpack outing in late December in Arkansas, as well as on other cold weather adventures.

Field Report
26 March 2010


Field Conditions
Unfortunately, I only got out on two camping trips this reporting period, both on private land near Sumter, South Carolina. Both were over weekends. First was a car-camping trip in February, very cold and clear, 40 F (4 C) degrees during the day and 30 degrees F (-1 C) at night.  The second was a backpacking trip in early March, conditions were chilly and wet, 45 (7 C) degrees F during the day and 35 degrees F (1 C) at night. On the first trip, I took a tent and the hammock because I wanted to see how the bag would function in both.  On the backpacking trip, I took only the hammock system.

Observations
Car camping - The first trip was very cold and I brought both a tent and a sleeping hammock system designed for colder weather in order to test the bag in both, and because I was afraid that I wouldn't like the bag with the hammock.  I was right (more below).

Kaycee with a sleeping hammock - This bag works much better with a tent. I understand that the footbox is not zippered in order to retain body heat, but evidently I was very entertaining to watch, according to my son, in my long johns trying to get into the hammock with the sleeping bag on me. Getting comfortable in the hammock is difficult (and evidently the most amusing to watch). I had to unzip the zipper at the bottom and pull the bag up around my knees so that I could sit in the hammock and then take my shoes off.  I also had the bag unzipped to my waist because the bag is very tight across my shoulders.  It was very difficult to hold the bag onto my body. So then I sat, zipped up the bottom of the bag, swung my legs around and stretched them out. When I tried to lie down in the hammock, the bag had fallen down around my waist  and bunched up underneath me.  There was a lot of twisting, etc. to finally get the bag up around my shoulders and zip it up.  And yes, I had to get up twice in the night and do the "dance" all over again.


Backpacking - I tried to put the bag on the inside of my 52 liter Osprey Ariel internal frame pack, but it took up way too much room so I had to strap it to the outside.  It was also much heavier than the bags I'm used to.  However, the cold night made it worth it.  I know it may not seem cold to you snow campers, but in South Carolina, the humid cold can be really rough.  

Packing - The bag is very difficult to stuff back into the compression sack. I'm afraid that I'm going to rip it when I do, but it eventually, with much tugging and shoving, goes into the compression sack.  

Warmth - The big positive with this bag is how very warm it is.  It is also really wonderful how quickly the Rteq insulation lofts after being pulled from the sack.  The insulated draft tubes around my upper body and along the entire length of the zipper did a great job keeping my body heat from escaping. I'm not sure in South Carolina that I need a bag quite this warm.  There were times, especially in the hammock, that I got too warm because the hammock retains heat so well, and so does the bag. I couldn't really sleep in a hammock without extra clothing since I had to get up a couple of times.  In the tent, I could sleep in just a t shirt and be fairly comfortable. 

Fit - I really don't like how tightly the bag fits around my shoulders.  I know that in cold weather I wouldn't want much air space in the bag, but personally I felt almost claustrophobic in this bag.  I think this bag proved to me that I'm not a big fan of the mummy, or a tight mummy anyway.

Cloth - I really like the feel of this bag.  The cloth is silky and feels really good on my skin.

Durability - Because of the fit issues, I really abused the zipper and it has worked very well so far.  

Summary
I am worried, because we've already had a couple of upper 70s days, that this bag will be too warm in our spring here in South Carolina.  I am going to test it in the next 2 months to see just how warm the nights can be before there is absolutely no way that I could sleep in it.  

What I like so far
It is very warm.
I like the feel of the material.

What I don't like so far.
The bag is too tight around me.
I wish the footbox would unzip.
The bag is very difficult to get into the compression sack.


Long Term Report
16 May 2010


Field Conditions
Myrtle Beach State Park in South Carolina - 4/16-18.  The weather was warm and clear, but very windy as this campground is on the beach just behind the dunes. Temperatures were about 87 degrees F during the day and about 55 degrees F at night.  I used my sleeping hammock for one night and a backpacking tent for the other.   

Maggie Valley, North Carolina - 5/13-15 in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  The weather was wet and humid, in the upper 80s (30 C) during the day and mid 50s (13 C) at night. It rained intermittently during my stay.  I tied my sleeping hammock in the woods on a hillside behind a privately owned wilderness cabin.

Observations
With practice, I am now able to better use
this bag with my hammock.  Instead of trying to put it on and then get it, I position it in the hammock and then get in and sort of wiggle my way up the hammock.  My problem with the bag now is that it is way too warm for South Carolina in the spring.  When we camped at Myrtle Beach, I could not get comfortable temperature-wise.  If I was in the bag, I was suffocating.  If I was out of the bag, I was cold.  I forgot to bring the reflective heat pad for the hammock.  It slides in between the bottom layers of the hammock to reflect body heat.  However, even without it, it was too warm for this bag. As well, in the tent, the bag was still a little too warm, but not as bad. I was able to unzip it and sleep with my feet in the footbox and pull the top of the bag over me.  It was fairly comfortable. I think the hammock acts like a cocoon and retains more heat than my backpacking tent.  In Maggie Valley, which is a colder climate, the bag still was too warm to use with a hammock. I used my reflective heat pad, and slept with the Eureka! bag completely unzipped.  My feet still got way too hot, so I wore socks and pulled my feet out of the footbox, then pulled the top part of the bag partially over my shoulders.  Since the bag fits so tightly, that was really not sufficient either because I could not position it well while in the hammock.

This time, the zipper kept getting stuck on the draft tube, which was a little annoying and claustrophobic, especially since I was hot.

I bought a new compressible pillow that fits in the pillow slot much better. However, I didn't really need it in the hammock.  It worked well in the tent except when I turned on my side with it zipped, the pillow ended up on the back of my head. Later, when it got hot and I unzipped the bag, it worked well.

I never did get any better at stuffing this bag into the compression sack.  It was very difficult to do that, so I ended up just jamming it down into my pack, which took up too much room.

Summary
I think I may use this bag only for dead-of-winter camping in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee where temperatures regularly fall below zero.  I really think it is too warm for a Southeastern climate. Also, since I feel very claustrophobic in it because it fits so tightly, I will only use it sometimes, when the cold is going to be the main issue.
 
What I liked
It is very warm.
The stuffing lofts very quickly.

What I didn't like
This bag fits way too tightly for my tastes.
It is too difficult to fit into its compression sack.
It is too warm for my Southern climate.

This concludes my long term report. Many thanks to Eureka! and BackpackGearTest.org for providing the Kaycee Sleeping Bag for testing.


Read more reviews of Eureka gear
Read more gear reviews by Dawn Larsen

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Eureka Kaycee 0 Deg. Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Dawn Larsen



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