KELTY FORAKER SLEEPING BAG
TEST SERIES BY SCOTT WASLEY
March 30, 2009
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Idaho Falls, Idaho USA
5' 10" (1.78 m)
180 lb (81.60 kg)
I am an avid backpacker, kayaker, backcountry skier, and all around outdoorsman. I began backpacking thirty-seven years ago at the age of 10. I have hiked or camped nearly every month, year-round. I have hiked mostly in the Western part of the United States (Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana). I have a great love for the out of doors and enjoy all the seasons of the year. I am generally a mid-weight hiker, mainly because I like to take a little extra gear to be comfortable. I have recently spent a good share of time in the Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2007 (per Consumer Tag)
Listed Weight: (Long) 3 lbs 1 oz (1.4 kg)
Listed Size: (Long) 64 in Girth x 78 in (163 cm x 198 cm)
Listed Temperature Rating: +15 F (-9.4 C)
Verified Weight: (Long) 2 lb 14.6 oz (1450 g)
Verified Size: (Long) 64 in Girth x 78 in (163 cm x 198 cm)
Verified Loft: 4 in (10 cm)
Stuff Sack Size: 14 in long x 7 in dia. (36 cm x 18cm) Compression Style
Fill Material: 750 fill Goose Down 20 oz (622 g) (per Consumer Tag)
Warranty: "Lifetime Warranty, Kelty takes pride in its workmanship and undertakes to manufacture the best possible products. Kelty products are covered under warranty, to the original owner, for the lifetime of the product, against defects in materials or workmanship. Since no Kelty product is indestructible, Kelty's warranty does not cover defects attributable to or resulting from normal wear and tear (ie: exhausted zippers), natural hazard damage (ie: weather, animals, ultraviolet (UV) damage on tents), abuse of alterations."
Color: Fiery Red (top), gray (bottom) and gray interior
Manufacturer's Web Site http://www.kelty.com/kelty/
MSRP: $315.00 (U.S. Dollars) Size: Long
Country of manufacture: China
The Kelty Foraker (hereafter referred to as the "bag") is mummy shaped, tapering at the foot area. The bag is filled with a 750-fill-power goose down. The bag has a temperature rating of 15 F (-9 C). According to the manufacturer's website, this bag is constructed of four different types of fabric. The top outer shell is PR290T polyester microfiber ripstop with a DWR finish. The bottom outer shell is P345T polyester microfiber taffeta with a DWR finish. The interior lining is P300T polyester microfiber pongee. The fabric on the hood and footbox is StormStopper waterproof / breathable N255T nylon taffeta.
The bag has a trapezoidal baffle construction on both top and bottom. The top of the bag has a stitched chevron design. However, the bottom has standard horizontal stitching. The footbox has two hang loops welded to it. The loops are constructed from the same waterproof/breathable material on the footbox. The bottom of the footbox also came with three tags welded in the material. These tags include a consumer tag, laundering instructions, and a product tag. There are two sets of loops for use with padlocks. However, no padlocks were included with the bag. These loops are made of nylon webbing. They are inserted in the seam between the top and bottom shell fabric. Inside the bag, there are two sets (one near the top and one in the footbox) for use with a liner. No liner was included with the bag.
The bag has a deep-pocketed hood with a down-filled tube that encircles the face. The hood has Fatman and Ribbon drawcords. The Fatman cord is a round 0.125 in (0.32 cm) diameter nylon cord. The Fatman cord also has a reflective feature. The Ribbon cord is a flat 0.25 in (0.64 cm) nylon cord. The two cords are secured with a single cordlock. The cordlock is connected to the bag via a nylon loop.
To prevent cold drafts from entering the bag during use, there is a large down-filled draft tube attached to the top edge of the bag. This draft tube is nearly 6 in (15 cm) in diameter and 22 in (56 cm) long. It lays across one's neck to seal out the cold. In addition, there is a draft tube along the zipper that runs the entire length of the bag. This zipper tube is down-filled and is approximately 2.5 in (6.3 cm) in diameter. This ensures that there are no cold spots along the zipper. The zipper is a YKK coil two-way separating, and is 60 in (152 cm) long. The zipper includes a fabric covered piping that extends the length of the zipper. This is intended to reduce/prevent the zipper from snagging.
The bag came with its own compression stuff sack. The sack itself is constructed of a what appears to a be a lightweight, coated nylon fabric. This sack has four nylon webbing compression straps, two of which are captured and two are free. The compression straps have nylon quick-release buckles. There is also a mini nylon cinch cord and cordlock to close the sack. The stuff sack is very well constructed. It has double-stitched flat seams. The seam that attaches the bottom to the body is seam taped. The bottom exterior has the company name, logo, bag name, size, and temperature rating silk screened in orange. The seam has small swatches of each of the four fabrics (including colors) used in the sleeping bag. Additionally, the bottom of the stuff sack has an integrated pull handle, which is very convenient.
The bag also came with a cotton storage sack. Like the compression sack, the company name, logo, bag size, and temperature rating are silk screened on the bottom. The storage sack is approximately 14 in 36 cm) in diameter and 27 in (69 cm) in length. The storage sack has a nylon drawcord and cordlock. The storage sack also came with a product tag attached to it.
My first impressions when I saw the box containing the bag was this is "very compact and light weight, great product". The bag was very compressed and rolled into the provided storage sack along with a heavy plastic bag keeping it compressed. Attached to the storage bag was a product card identifying the bag's features, including the warranty information. The card was ink marked identifying that this bag was the size long and on the back of the card was an attached sticker identifying the model, temperature rating, length, and right zip. This product card is written in English. The inside and outside of the bag appears to be manufactured from a soft, supple, lightweight, micro rip-stop fabric. The bag appears to be very high quality.
I inspected the bag for any loose threads, fabric snags, broken seams, etc. I also ran the zipper up and down several times. It worked smoothly. I was somewhat disappointed with the fabric used on the top of the bag. My hands were slightly dry and snagged on the fabric as I ran my hands across it. Although the fabric was not damaged in any way, I was concerned about how this fabric will perform during the life of the bag--testing will tell. The other fabrics appear to be appropriate for the intended use and are snag-free. The entire bag does not appear to have any defects. The bag was exactly as I had requested--a Long.
PROPOSED TEST PLAN
The items I plan to evaluate during this test include:
· Overall Quality of Materials and Workmanship
This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
I would like to thank BackpackGearTest and Kelty for the opportunity to test the Foraker 15 F (-9 C) sleeping bag.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
In late November, I spent one night in the sleeping bag. I hiked in to the Catamount yurt in the Rapid Creek area near Pocatello, Idaho. The hike into this yurt is 2.25 mi (3.62 km) across mostly open, rolling terrain. Total elevation gain on this hike is 816 ft (249 m). We began hiking about 8:30 p.m. The sky was cloudy and snowing, winds were approximately 5 mph (8 kph) and I would estimate the overnight low temperature to be approximately 15 F (-9 C)
Mid December, I spent another night in the sleeping bag near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Idaho Falls has an elevation of 4,700 ft (1,433 m) above sea level. The skies were cloudy and snowing, winds were about 25 mph (40 kph) and the overnight low was 15 F (-9 C). I used my OR Advanced Bivy as my shelter on this occasion.
Finally, in late December I spent another night in the sleeping bag. This time, I was at my cabin near Palisades, Idaho. My cabin sits at approximately 6,000 ft (1,829 m) above sea level. The sky was again cloudy, but there was no precipitation this night. The winds were calm and the overnight low temperature was 20 F (-7 C). I used my OR Advanced Bivy as my shelter on this occasion as well.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
On my yurt trip in the Rapid Creek Area, the bag was very comfortable and roomy. The footbox, shoulder girth, and length fit me quite well. However, I noticed that the collar draft tube is a little large. This makes the bag really thick at the collar area and feels like it is about a foot thick on my chest. I am not sure I like this. The fabrics did not crinkle, or make excessive noise as I moved about inside the bag. The fabrics are soft, supple, and conform nicely. I compressed the bag very tightly with other items in the sleeping bag compartment of my pack. However, the bag completely regained its loft within several minutes. I did not notice any loose feathers as I pulled the bag from my pack. Furthermore, I did not notice any feathers the next morning. The zipper functioned well, not catching once during this use.
On the night I spent in the bag near Idaho Falls, Idaho I awoke several times in the night to turn over. I was a little cold, but not freezing, and I can not say that one particular area of my body was cold. The cold actually seemed to be migrating through the bottom so maybe my pad was not sufficient . I was on top of 4 in (10 cm) of snow, the pad was 1 1/2 in (4 cm) thick self inflating, with a 1 in (2.5 cm) memory foam on top of that. The bag was zipped all the way up, but I did not draw up the hood to enclose. I slept inside my bivy with the flap door fully shut, but not zipped. I could feel the wind blow in occasionally. The bag was not wet or damp in any way. It was very comfortable and roomy and did not feel restrictive at all. The zipper functioned very well and did not snag the fabrics.
On my last outing of the Field Test period, I slept well overall. The bag provided a fair amount of room and was comfortable. I slept in my bivy with the flap door zipped most of the way shut. I awoke a few times in the night because my upper body was cold. This was mainly my own fault, as I came out of the bag part way since I didn't have it cinched down tight enough around my body. I had it zipped up all the way, but didn't tighten the hood area. I was very impressed with the warmth of the sleeping bag compared to how lightweight it is. When I awoke in the morning, there was a fair amount of moisture in my bivy. The moisture extended from about my waist to the bottom of the footbox. Surprisingly, the bag was not saturated. The moisture tended to bead up on the surface of the fabric and I was able to easily shake the moisture off the bag.
Overall, I am pleased with the design, quality, and performance of the Kelty Foraker 15 F sleeping bag thus far. After three nights in the bag, two of which were at the bag's rating of 15 F (-9 C). I wore the same mid-weight base layer top and bottom all three nights. I believe the temperature rating of this bag is accurate. I would probably not want to use it at temperatures below the rating.
After all three outings, I have not noticed any feather migration, seam failure, zipper problems, or snagging of the fabrics. Initially, I was somewhat concerned that the outer fabric might snag. I am pleased to say that has not proved to be the case to date.
My Likes Thus Far:
Softness of the fabric
My Dislikes Thus Far:
Bulky collar draft tube
Inconsistent loft in the baffles
This concludes my Field Report. My Long-Term Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.
I would like to thank BackpackGearTest and Kelty for the opportunity to test the Foraker 15 F (-9 C) sleeping bag.
Once again during the long term test period I used the sleeping bag with a Gore-Tex bivy as my shelter. There was no snow accumulation on the ground just spitting new flakes. When I went to bed the temp was around 25 F (-4 C). The wind blew all night. I awoke several times in the night to turn over. The pad I was using is a 1 1/2 in (3.8 cm) thick self-inflating, with a 1 in (2.5 cm) memory foam on top of that. The bag was zipped all the way up, but I did not draw the hood tightly around my head. I slept inside my bivy with the flap door fully closed but unzipped several inches. I could feel a slight breeze over my face occasionally. The bag was amazingly warm for its weight and loft.
On my second night during the LTR test period I skied into the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area. The overnight low temperature was -10 F (-23 C). We slept in the warming hut, a canvas tent with a wooden floor. I slept on the wooden floor in the rear section of the tent. My skiing buddy kept the wood stove burning through the night. However, where I slept, the overnight temperature was approximately 20 F (-7 C). I was warm and slept comfortably all night long with the exception of his occasional snoring.
On my first outing during the LTR test period the bag was amazingly warm and light. During the night the bag was not wet or damp in any way. It was very comfortable and roomy and I did not feel restricted at all. The zipper functioned very well and did not snag on the fabrics.
On my second outing during the LTR test period, I slept very soundly, even with the bag partially unzipped. I tossed and turned throughout the night, sleeping on my side and back without any problem turning over. I was cozy and warm throughout the night. I did not experience any colds spots.
I have compressed this sleeping bag multiple times during the course of this test. The bag compresses easily and continues to loft well after being removed from its stuff sack. I have stored the sleeping bag in the cotton storage sack. This sack appears to be an appropriate size, not compressing the bag thereby permitting it to breathe while stored.
The zipper continues to operate smoothly. I have not had any problem with it snagging during the test period. Likewise, the cordlocks continue to work well. The fabric and 750 fill down Insulation have also performed well during the test period. In general, the insulation materials have not shifted or clumped with use. The fabric has not developed any pilling, snags, nor has is become soiled.
This bag is rated at 15 F (-9 C). Through my testing, I believe the temperature rating of this sleeping bag is accurate based on my sleeping preference. With the springtime temperature rising, I plan to use this bag as my primary 3-season bag since it seems to have a broad comfort range. Based on my experience to date, I would recommend this sleeping bag.
During this phase of the test, I slept in the bag two additional nights for a total of five nights during the test series. I am very impressed with the Kelty Foraker sleeping bag especially the lightweight design. One thing I really like about this sleeping bag is the outer fabric. It is very soft and supple and conforms well to my body while I am in the bag. During the test period I experienced very little feather loss through the fabric, no failures with the seams. Overall I think this bag is a very good product.
|Foraker in Bivy|
· Non snagging zipper function
· Softness of the outer fabric
· 750 fill Down, it is very light, fluffy and warm
· Head and foot section constructed from waterproof breathable fabric
· Color is bright and cheery
· Varying loft thickness of the baffle design
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
· Over sized collar draft tube (it is huge)
This concludes my Long Term Report. I would like to thank Kelty and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Foraker sleeping bag.
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