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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Exxel Suisse Sport K2 sleeping bag > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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Suisse Sport
K2 Sleeping Bag

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

January 13, 2012

K2
Suisse Sport K2 Sleeping Bag

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
August 20, 2012

FIELD REPORT
November 4, 2012

LONG-TERM REPORT
January 13, 2013

INITIAL REPORT
August 20, 2012

Reviewer Information

Backpacking Background

Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  44
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  245 lb (117 kg)
Shoulder/Chest Girth:  58 in (147 cm)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
 

Product Information:

The following information came from the product tags.

Suisse Sport K2 Sleeping Bag
Manufacturer: Exxel Outdoors
Manufacturer website: http://www.exxel.com
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2012
Materials:

Outer Shell
Fill
Lining


Durable Polyester
MicroTekk Z1 Fill
Durable Polyester
Temperature Rating: 5 - 10 F (-15 to -12 C)
Size Available: Regular 33 x 84 x 24 in (83.8 x 213.4 x 61 cm)
Warranty: One-year, Manufacturer's Defect Warranty. Just bring the bag back to your retailer with proof of purchase -- the retailer will arrange to replace or repair.
MSRP: N/A

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Dimensions: 33 x 84 x 24 in (83.8 x 213.4 x 61 cm)
Listed Stuff Size: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Listed Fill Weight: 3.0 lb (1.4 kg)
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Outer Dimensions: 33 x 84 x 24 in (83.8 x 213.4 x 61 cm)
Weight:

Sleeping Bag
Compression Sack


4 lb 3 oz (1.9 kg)
5 oz (142 g)
Stuff Size: 11 x 13 in (28 x 33 cm)
Color:

Outside
Inside

Light Gray / Black
Light Gray

Product Description:

Exxel Outdoors and its brand Suisse Sport are known for making affordable family camping gear that is sold at major mass retailers and sporting goods chains. The K2 (hereafter referred to as the "bag") is an affordable, mummy-style sleeping bag that I would describe as a moderate weather bag. The temperature rating for the K2 is stated to be 5 - 10 F (-15 to -12 C). This bag includes the following features:
  • drawstring hood
  • full chest baffle and draft tube
  • double-layer offset quilt construction
  • exterior utility pocket (chest pocket)
  • built in drying loops
  • full-length two-way zips
  • two-piece compression sack included

Like other mummy bags, the K2 tapers from the shoulders to the footbox. It is 33 in (83.8 cm) across at the shoulders, its widest point. The bag tapers to approximately 24 in (61 cm) across at the smallest point in the footbox. The bag is two-tone in color: a light gray on top and inside, black on the bottom.

Hood Hood
The bag has a large mummy-style hood. There is a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) sleeve around the outer edge of the hood through which the drawcord passes. This drawcord is for securing the hood around the user's face. The drawcord and cord lock are accessed on the left shoulder at the base of the hood. The zipper is along the right side and at the upper end of it, near the base of the hood, a 2.25 in x 4 in (5.7 x 10 cm) hook and loop closure is available to cover the zipper.

Inside the bag, there is a 3.5 in (9 cm) wide partially insulated draft collar. The outer 0.5 in (1.3 cm) is sleeve around the draft collar through which the drawcord passes. The drawcord is accessed over the left shoulder. On the left side of the draft collar, there is hook and loop closure to secure the collar around the user's neck.

On the outside of the bag, in the chest area, there is a 7.5 x 11 in (19 x 28 cm) zippered pocket. This pocket is made from that same black material as the underside of the bag. The pocket zipper is on the user's right side.

The bag has a double-layer offset quilt construction. The lining appears to be sewn to the fill approximately every 7.5 in (19 cm) on the outside, and varying distances [7.25 - nearly 8 in (18.4 - 20 cm)] on the inside. However, these "baffles" do not extend through the outer shell material. The bag has a full-length coil zipper that extends from the hood to approximately 11 in (28 cm) from the bottom of the footbox. The zipper has two metal sliders. The first slider has two pulls--accessible from both outside and inside the bag. The second slider, which originates at the end of the zipper nearest the footbox, only has a pull on the outside of the bag. There is a 3 in (7.6 cm) wide, partially insulated draft tube that runs the full length of the zipper which is on the right side of the bag. The draft tube is sewn along the zipper on the top side.

There were no care instructions included with the bag.

The bag came with a two-piece compression sack. The compression sack appears to be made of the same material as the bag. It has a drawcord with cord lock. There are four 1 in (2.5 cm) nylon webbing straps and buckles which attach to the lid to compress the bag. The sack has a 1 in (2.5 cm) nylon webbing handle sewn to the bottom of it to serve as a handle.

Initial Impression:

The bag came stuffed inside its compression sack. As I began pulling the bag out, I immediately liked the slick feel of the shell material. I also liked the color combination. The next thing that caught my attention was the thinness of the bag, especially considering it is rated for 5 - 10 F (-15 to -12 C). There does not appear to be much fill. I am anxious to see if the minimal fill will actual provide comfort within the temperature range listed by the manufacturer.

When examining the hood, it was readily apparent that it is larger than most of the hoods on my other mummy bags. No doubt it should be large enough to accommodate my backpacking pillow.

I am a somewhat concerned that due to the lightweight material from which it is constructed, the compression sack may not hold up to multiple compressions, especially if one tries to "really" compress it.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of a thorough examination of the material, zippers, cords and cordlocks. The zipper operated smoothly as did the cordlocks. I found some loose threads, uneven seams, fraying material, and stuffing sticking through a seam as shown in the photos below.
threads frayed filling
I then proceeded to weigh and measure the bag. Next, I put the bag in its stuff/compression sack to check its stuffed size and compressed size. In its stuff sack, uncompressed, the packed bag measures 11 x 18 in (28 x 46 cm). I was able to compress it to 11 x 13 in (28 x 33 cm).

Finally, I climbed inside the bag to see how well it fit. The bag is plenty long enough for me at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m). In addition, it fits my 58 in (147 cm) chest/shoulders, with a little room to spare. I am excited to sleep in this bag.

Initial Likes:

  • smooth fabric
  • color combination
  • width through the chest/shoulders

Initial Dislikes:

  • quality of workmanship

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FIELD REPORT
November 4, 2012

Summary:

I have slept in this sleeping bag 5 nights thus far.

Pros Thus Far:

Cons Thus Far:

  • smooth fabric
  • color combination
  • width through the chest/shoulders
  • quality of workmanship
  • chest baffle placement
  • zipper

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

In August, I slept in the bag on an overnight backpack trip in Island Park, located between Ashton, Idaho and West Yellowstone, Montana. Island Parks is approximately 6,500 ft (2,000 m) above sea level.

I slept in the bag on an overnight backpack trip to the Menan Buttes, located approximately 38 mi (61 km) northeast of Idaho Falls. The North Menan Butte is designated as a National Natural Landmark.

In September, I slept in the bag on another overnight trip in Island Park and on an overnight backpacking trip in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, which is located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m).

In October, I slept in the bag one night near Idaho Falls, Idaho at an elevation of approximately 6,000 ft (1,829 m) above sea level.

Observations:

The bag is nice and roomy. It comfortably accommodates my 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 245 lb (117 kg) frame.

Thus far, the bag has been warm enough. The only problem that I have experienced is with the zipper. The zipper does not stay securely in place; it tends to come unzipped as I move around in the night. To this point, temps have not been cold enough to pose a problem. However, temps are dropping, so we'll see what issues this causes me during the rest of the test series.

The hood does not cinch as tightly around my face as other bags I own. As stated earlier temps have not been cold enough for this to be an issue. We'll see how I feel about this after spending time in it in colder temperatures.

For me, the chest baffle seems to be in a slightly awkward place. If I am higher in the bag to better utilize the hood, then the baffle seems to be too low. If, however, I slide down a bit in the bag, the baffle seems to be right under my chin. It is not a major issue, however it seems a bit awkward to me.

The workmanship issues noted in my initial report: loose threads, uneven seams, fraying material, and stuffing sticking through a seam have not gotten any worse thus far.

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LONG TERM REPORT
January 13, 2013

Summary:

I slept in this sleeping bag 6 nights during the test series.

Pros:

Cons:

  • smooth fabric
  • color combination
  • width through the chest/shoulders
  • quality of workmanship
  • chest baffle placement
  • temperature rating
  • zipperdoes not stay securely in place

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

In late October, I took the K2 on an overnight backpack to Aldous and Hancock Lakes north of Kilgore, Idaho near the Continental Divide Trail, in the Centennial Mountains. Located along the Idaho / Montana border, these mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in the United States that run east to west. Aldous Lake is 7,340 ft (2,237 m) above sea level. It is a steep 1 mi (1.6 km) hike from Aldous to Hancock Lake. However, the trail drops down into Hancock Lake, which sits in a bowl formed by a landslide. At Hancock Lake, one can see the Centennial Mountains and the Continental Divide ridge. Weather conditions were good, clear skies, no wind, and over night low temperature was near freezing.

Observations:

The zipper continued to have issues. It does not stay securely in place; it comes unzipped as I move around in the night. I actually ended up using the bag much like a quilt (with my fleece jacket between me and my sleeping pad) to get through the night on my last backpacking trip. Had temperatures been much colder, this would have been an issue as I did not have another bag with me.

As stated in my Field Report, the hood does not cinch tightly around my face. This results in the warm air escaping and/or cold seeping in. Because I used the bag like a quilt, this was not a major issue for me. However, if temperatures had been much colder, this would have been an issue. I would recommend the manufacturer adjust the hood such that it cinches tighter around the user's face.

The placement of the chest baffle continues to baffle me. When I am higher in the bag to utilize the hood, the baffle seems to be placed too low for me. When, I slide down in the bag a bit, the baffle seems to be right under my chin. I would recommend the manufacturer rework the chest baffle and its placement.

Because of the issues noted above, I would personally be reluctant to use the K2 anywhere near the bag's low temperature rating (5 - 10 F or -15 to -12 C). However, this is an entry-level priced bag, designed primarily for car camping. Therefore, I do not want to be too harsh in my assessment. I believe the K2 to be adequate for car camping and use in temperatures somewhat warmer than those for which the manufacturer has rated it.

The workmanship issues noted in my Initial Report: loose threads, uneven seams, fraying material, and stuffing sticking through a seam did not seem to worsen during the course of the test.

This concludes my Suisse Sport K2 sleeping bag test series. Thanks to Exxel Outdoors and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to participate in this test.

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