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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Exxel Suisse Sport K2 sleeping bag > Test Report by alex legg

Suisse Sport K2 Sleeping bag
Test Series by Alex Legg
Initial Report August 15th, 2012
Field Report November 1st, 2012
Long Term Report January 8th, 2013


Tester Information:

Name:  Alex Legg
Age:  30
Gender:  Male
Height:  6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight:  195 lb (88 kg)
Email address:  alexlegg2 AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country:  Tucson, Arizona, USA

Backpacking Background: 

I grew up backpacking in the Rockies.   I hike ranges throughout Arizona and Colorado year round.  I carry a light pack, mostly water.  I prefer a tarp shelter to my heavier 2-person tent.  I do many day hikes and I also spend as many as 5 days out at a time.  Temperatures range from below freezing to above 100 F (38 C), and elevations from 2,000 ft to 14,000 ft ( 610 m to 4, 300 m).  I bag a mountain almost every weekend, and I walk my dogs 4 miles daily through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.

Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer: Exxel Outdoors
Manufacture Date:  December, 2011, Made in China
URL: http://www.exxel.com/
Listed Weight: (fill only) 3.5 lb (1.6 kg)
Measured Weight: 4.2 lb (1.9 kg)
Materials of Filling, Lining, Cover, and Carry Bag: 100% Polyester

Initial Report:

Product Description and Initial Impressions:

The Suisse Sport K2 Sleeping Bag is a mummy style bag rated at temperatures of 5 to 10 F (-15 C to -12 C).  The bag I received is a grey color with black trim.  When I first saw the bag, I commented on how large it looked even while stored in the included compression sack.  I measured it at roughly 20 x 10 in ( 50 x 25 cm) and then pulled it out of the sack.  The bag is pretty heavy, but since I will be primarily be using it for car camping that is not an issue for me. 

I laid the bag down and saw a hook-and-loop strap that connects above the top of the zipper.  I have seen bags with similar straps before, but I have yet to really see their purpose.  Below the strap is a 7 in (18cm) zippered pocket bearing the Suisse Sport logo.  I can fit my entire hand inside the pocket and it seems like a good place to store a flashlight or headlamp while I sleep.

As I unzipped the K2 I noticed the thick flap of insulation that covers the zipper from the inside.  I would expect a bag rated this cold to have one of these, so I was happy to see it.  I got inside the bag and felt the thick cushy insulation all around me. I had a little trouble with the zipper at the very top, but I managed to get it all zipped up and even got the hook-and-loop strap connected.  I was pleased to find that the hood of the bag fit my tall frame comfortably.  It is also fairly wide giving my head some space to breathe.  Many bags have hoods that are stifling for me to fit into, so this is a nice thing.



                                                    
I pulled on the drawstring that goes around my upper shoulder area and felt the bag pull snug.  As soon as I cinched it down, it loosened on its own.  I cinched it tight again and it loosened a little again.  Then I did the same to the drawstring around the hood to find a similar situation. 

Unlike other mummy bags I have used, I cannot completely eliminate the airflow coming in to my body.  Generally when it gets cold I cinch down my drawstrings and find myself with only a tiny opening big enough to breath through.  In the K2 bag, I could probably fit a cantaloupe thorough the opening and I can't make it any smaller.  I don't foresee this being too terrible of an issue unless it gets really cold outside, but it does seem a bit odd to me.

I didn't feel any more claustrophobic than I do normally in mummy bags, and there was a little bit of room in the foot box area to allow my feet to breathe.  I think that I will be able to sleep fairly well in this bag based on what I have seen at this point. 

Summary:

The K2 bag looks warm and comfortable.  I am a little unhappy with the function of the drawstrings, but I'm not worried about freezing to death or anything.  I like that I fit into the bag comfortably and I can't wait to get out there and put it to the test. 

What I like:

1.  It's big enough for me!
2.  Wide hood

What I don't like:

1.  Drawstrings don't stay tightly cinched down.
2.  Cannot entirely block out the air from getting in

Field Report:

Field Conditions:

I have been on three separate car camping adventures during this testing period.

I camped on Mt. Lemmon in Coronado National Forest for two nights.  The temperature got down around 40 F (10 C) and the elevation was just over 8,000 ft (2438 m).

I did an overnight in Coconino National Forest near Greer, Arizona.  The temperature got as low as 28 F (-2 C) in the early morning and the elevation was near 8,500 ft (2,591 m).

Finally,  I went on a trip to the Madera Canyon Recreation Area south of Tucson for a weekend.  The elevation was around 5,000 ft (1,524 m) and the temperature got down to 45 F (7 C) overnight.

I did not encounter rain or adverse weather on any of these trips.

Performance in the Field:

The K2 has performed well so far.  It is cushy, comfortable, and far warmer than I had expected. 

The main trouble I have had is the zipper teeth separating near the foot box.  I am able to back track the zipper handle as long as I hold the teeth together with my hand.  This isn't especially easy, and only happens while I'm in the bag trying to sleep.  Luckily I haven't gotten too cold or agitated.

I fit into the mummy style bag well.  There is ample room in the hood for my head which is nice  The hood doesn't close around my face as much as I would like, but it has not gotten cold enough to be a bother yet.  I find that the chest baffle is weird and in an uncomfortable place.  It goes around my lower chest and feels more stifling than anything when I try to tighten it.  I have also found that it untightens on its own, and so I have just been loosening it all the way and trying to ignore it while I sleep.  My feet fit comfortably into the foot box and I like that the zipper does not open that area.  I find my feet stay warm even when the zipper is coming apart and letting the cold in.

I actually like to use this bag more like a quilt when the weather is warm enough.  I can place my feet in the foot box while the unzipped bag is wrapped over me.  This allows for comfort and airflow, not to mention lack of annoyance from the phantom zipper spreader. 

Summary:

I think the bag is very warm and large enough to fit my tall frame.  The zipper coming apart is my only complaint because I have become pretty good at ignoring the chest baffle. 

What I like:

1.  I fit in it!
2.  Warm

Concerns:

1.  Zipper opens from the bottom
2.  Hood does not close down much
3.  Chest baffle is awkward

 
Long Term Report:

Field Conditions:

I used the K2 Sleeping bag on a few car camping excursions with family and friends, the location descriptions are below.

I slept in the K2 on an overnight trip to the Santa Rita Mountains in Coronado National Forest for New Years Eve.  The bag was used at 4,500 ft (1,370 m).  The temperature ranged from 15 F to 45 F (-9 C to 7 C).

I also used the K2 bag on an overnight trip to Happy Valley in the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park.  The temperature ranged from 25 F to 50 F (-4 to 10 C) at about 4,500 ft (1,370 m).

I took the K2 up Mt Lemmon in Coronado National Forest for a two night weekend car camping trip with some friend, kids, and dogs.  The elevation was about 8,000 ft (2,438 m) and the temperature ranged from 30 F to 50 F (-1 to 10 C).


Performance in the Field:

The K2 bag is still comfortable and warm unless the temperature gets down below 20 F (-7 C).  During a night when the temperature got to 15 F (-9C), I actually went to my truck and grabbed another sleeping bag during the middle of the night.  I continued to use the K2, but I put the other bag over it.  This helped me to stay warm and happy.

On the other occasions that I used the K2 bag, I did not get overly cold at all.  I still dislike that the mummy hood does not cinch down enough to keep my face completely warm, but it is not a deal breaker in my opinion.  The bag is still warm enough for most of my camping needs. 

I think that during the summertime I may use this bag as more of a quilt, leaving the zipper open and just putting my feet into the toe box.  I have found it is more comfortable when I'm sharing a tent with my girlfriend to have us both under the same coverage as opposed to being in separate sleeping bags.

Due to the heavy weight and the overall bulky build of the K2 bag, I will probably not use it as my main sleeping bag choice on many of my trips.  The one time I attempted to load the bag into a 40 L (2,441 cu in) backpack, I quickly realized that there wasn't much room for the other essentials I needed.  Although the K2 comes in a compression sack, it does not compress enough for me to comfortably carry it in my backpack.  That fact along with the cold walk to the truck to fetch my warmer sleeping bag has kind of turned me off from this bag.  I like to be sure that I have gear that will work just as I like to have tools that I know will work.  In my experience, the K2 bag did not hold up to its temperature rating.  I got pretty cold when the temperature was quite a bit warmer than the bag is rated.

Summary:

The K2 sleeping bag is comfortable and warm until it gets too cold outside and leaves me running for my spare bag.  I think that the K2 is a decent car camping type bag, but definitely not for backpacking due to its size and weight.  It will unfortunately live most of its days in my gear closet.  I do like this bag, but not my favorite due to my experiences trying to sleep in cold weather and trying to pack it into a backpack. 




Things I like:


1.  Comfortable
2.  Long

Things I don't like:

1.  Unreliable warmth
2.  Mummy hood does not cinch down over my face
3.  Zippers are not the greatest


I would like to thank Exxel Outdoors and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this product!




Read more reviews of Exxel Outdoors gear
Read more gear reviews by alex legg

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Exxel Suisse Sport K2 sleeping bag > Test Report by alex legg



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