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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > SD Euphoria 15 Degree Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Jennifer Koles

Sierra Designs Euphoria 15 F (-9 C) Women's Sleeping Bag

Test Series by Jennifer Koles

August 17, 2010

Skip to my Initial Report- April 5, 2010
Skip to my Field Report- June 23, 2010
Skip to my Long Term Report- August 17, 2010


Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Koles
Age:  35
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California, United States


Backpacking Background

After getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able to go longer in duration and distance. I have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.

The author

The author in the Narrows at Zion National Park, Utah.


Initial Report

April 5, 2010

 

Product Information and Description

Manufacturer: Sierra Designs
Model: Euphoria 15 Women's (Flex Synthetic Line)
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer Website: www.sierradesigns.com

Color: Green and gray/black outer shell with purple liner.
Sizes Available: Regular fits up to 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) and Long fits up to 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Size Tested: Long
Zipper: Right

MSRP: $179.95 USD

Trail Weight Listed by Manufacturer: Regular 3 lb 0 oz (1.36 kg); Long 3 lb 4 oz (1.47 kg)
Actual Weight with Stuff Sack:
3 lb 12 oz (1.70 kg)
Actual Stuff Sack Weight: 2.55 oz (72 g)

Fill Weight (indicated by manufacturer): Regular 33 oz (936 g); Long 36 oz (1021 g)

Listed Stuff Size by Manufacturer: 9 in (23 cm) x 19 in
(48 cm)
Actual Stuff Size Measured (approximate): 10.5 in (27 cm) x 19 in (48 cm)

Fill: HeatSync
Shell: 30D Polyester
Lining: 30D Polyester

 

Euphoria Hood

Warranty: The manufacturer guarantees that the materials and workmanship in every product they make will stand up to the use for which it was designed. All defective items are to be sent the manufacturer and they will repair or replace the item at their discretion.

Euphoria Long View

Features of the Euphoria

The Sierra Designs Euphoria Women's Sleeping Bag is part of the Flex Synthetic Sleeping Bag line. It is available in 15 F (-9 C) and 30 F (-1 C) models, both of which are considered to be 3-season sleeping bags. This 15 F (-9 C) bag has a comfort limit rating of 30 F (-1.1 C) to 18 F (-7.7 C).

The Euphoria comes with a cotton home storage bag and a stuff sack for use on the trail. The stuff sack does not have compression straps. It is cinched closed with a cord lock.

What exactly is a women's sleeping bag?

Some facts about Sierra Designs Women's Sleeping Bags (obtained from the Sierra Designs website):

  • "Men and women sleep better in sleeping bags designed for their body type. Sierra Designs was the first in 1995 to recognize that sleeping bags should be designed differently for women. The average man is 6 feet (1.83 m) tall, but the average woman is 5 feet, 4 inches (1.63 m) tall. Body proportions and metabolic rates are also different. We size our women's bags smaller so that women are not carrying additional weight and don't have to heat up more air space in a larger bag. Women's sleeping bags are also designed with narrower shoulders, wider hips and increased insulation in the torso and foot box."
  • "Sierra Designs developed the first women-specific sleeping bags in 1995 (Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley)."
  • "Our women-specific bags are tailored to fit a woman's body (narrower at the shoulders, wider at the hips and sized for height)."
  • "Offer more insulation in the torso and foot box region."

HeatSync:

The bag is filled with HeatSync; which is a synthetic fill that the manufacturer markets as being a short staple insulation that is warm, lightweight and compressible.

Flex Technology:

What makes the Euphoria special is the Flex Technology. This construction eliminates constriction and allows the sleeping bag to move. For instance if I want to sleep in a fetal position the bag should move with me and keep me warm and comfortable. This technology is also marketed as being able to improve the sleeping bag's thermal efficiency. The Flex sleeping bags are manufactured under a license by Mont-Bell, Ltd. I found this interesting and unexpected. I have seen the Mont-Bell bags that are constructed with this type of technology and this bag has a resemblance in appearance.

Materials:

The shell and the lining are made of 30D polyester. It is soft and silky to the touch. The outer shell is gray/black on the bottom and green on the top. The green color is a darker green shade, but it is kind of bright. The inner lining is a medium shade of purple. I think the color combination is kind of odd. Maybe it is because the green color of the bag is kind of bright. But, the color goes well with the spring season; it reminds me of Easter. The lining is not stitched completely through the insulation. At a first glance it would appear that the bag is baffled. However, the lining is an independent sheet.

Draft Tube:

The Euphoria has a single draft tube that runs next to the zipper to prevent cold spots and drafts. The draft tube is on the top portion of the sleeping bag; it runs the length of the zipper to the bottom of the foot box and over the top opening of the bag (the collar). It is almost 4 in (10 cm) wide when measured on the zippered side.

Pad Locks:

The Euphoria has many features that make this a unique sleeping bag. First of all it comes with pad locks. These are to attach the sleeping bag to a sleeping pad to help prevent sliding off the pad. So many of my bags do not come with pad locks, and they end up being an additional purchase. There are two nylon webbing pad locks (0.5 in/1.27 cm wide); that are removable by a hook and loop type of fastener that attaches to cording. They are also adjustable by sliding the webbing trough a stationary buckle. I wonder how well the pad locks will work when I am sleeping in contorted positions. I will have to check that out in my field reporting.

Pillow Pocket:

Another neat feature of the Euphoria is a pillow pocket. This is on the underside of the bag, in the hood area. The pocket is held closed by two pieces of hook and loop. This designed as an integrated pocket for a Sleep EZ Pillow. I do not have such a pillow; so I am going to either use my existing down or air pillow, or clothing to serve as a pillow. The pillow pocket measures 20 in (51 cm) wide and 9 in (23 cm) deep.

Side Pocket:

There is a zippered side pocket near the zipper that I would find handy to store items such as tissues, lip balm, a head lamp, or my MP3 player. There is no pull cord on the zipper, but I could see myself easily attaching one in the future. The pocket is just over 4 in (10 cm) deep and the opening is slightly over 5.25 in (13 cm).

Foot Box:

The foot box of the Euphoria has a microfleece lining to help keep the feet warm and dry. It also has an ergonomic shape. The manufacturer markets this feature as allowing for ease of movement, while remaining thermally efficient; and shaped for comfortable sleep. There are also hang loops on the outside of the bag for hanging the bag in storage.

Zipper:

The zipper of the body of the Euphoria has a snag free zipper track. This is an innovative feature that prevents a stuck zipper by creating a barrier between the lining and the zipper track. The main zipper track has two available zipper openings. Near the foot box the zipper can be opened for ventilation (there is no zipper pull on this zipper). The zipper at the top of the bag has a small zipper pull and allows for entry into the bag.

Hood/Collar:

The hood of the Euphoria has an ergonomic design. It is shaped to cradle the head comfortably without compressing the insulation. There is also a draw cord at the collar of the bag. This is to cinch up the hood to keep warm air inside the bag.


Initial Impressions

I checked out the Sierra Designs website prior to receiving the Euphoria bag. The bag on the website looks like the bag I have in my possession. However, I think the color on the website is not as bright. The features and specifications are listed on the site and they are listed on the product tag that I was attached to the cotton storage sack of the bag. On the website there is a huge error. On the fabrics and materials tab it lists that the following for the insulation properties: " Insulation: HeatSync™ Down Shell Material: 30D Polyester Liner Material: 30D Polyester". So, silly me I thought I was getting a down sleeping bag, because I failed to research what HeatSync was before receiving it. This is not a down bag as indicated on the fabrics and materials tab of the web page.

I am just over 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) tall and I know from past experience that the regular sized Sierra Design bags are not comfortable and are too small for me. That is why I opted for the long size. Even though I am at the small end of height for this bag, I thought going up to the next size would be better than a bag that was too small. To see how the Euphoria fits; I crawled in the bag for an initial fit test. The bag was not constricting and I had some extra room in the foot box. But, I like to extend my feet down when I am sleeping; so I like the extra room here. The bag seems wide and not tapered in the leg area, but this may be due to the Flex construction. I will have to see if I get cold spots.

The included stuff sack does not have compression straps, which I found to be odd. I like to make my bag as small as possible before I put it in my backpack. That way the sleeping bag takes up less volume. On the bottom of the stuff sack there is a wide band of added material that I can hold on to when pulling the bag out of the sack; for easier removal. The sack is very large and there is basically no effort on my part to cram the sleeping bag in to the sack. The sack has a flap at the opening to protect the bag from dirt when it is closed by the draw cord.

The care instructions and the phone number for customer service are on a tag that is sewn on the draft tube. The care instructions are pretty much standard: do not dry clean; hand or machine wash with mild soap or soap designed specifically for use with sleeping bags; machine wash on gentle cycle; do not use an agitator type of washing machine; rise very thoroughly to remove all soap; drip dry or tumble dry in a commercial drier; do not steam press or iron.

So far the Euphoria fits me and it has quite a few nice features. I can't wait to try it out.


Field Report

June 23, 2010

Testing Locations

Death Valley, California: The Euphoria was used here on a two night camping trip. The elevation was approximately -180 ft (-56 m) and the low temperatures were 45 F (7 C) to 49 F (9 C).

Cleveland National Forest, California: This was a one night backpacking trip with a first-timer friend of mine. The low temperatures hovered around 40 F (4 C). The elevation at camp was 1,600 ft (488 m).

Near Red Rocks, Nevada: This was a one night camping trip. It was very warm at night with the temperatures in the upper 70's F (24 C) and the elevation was around 4,500 ft (1,400 m). During this trip I slept on top of the bag and used it as a ground insulator.


Performance in the Field

Over the past two months the Euphoria was used in temperatures above 40 F (4 C). It has been difficult over the past two months for me to sleep at colder temperatures, mostly due to mild weather when I traveled out of state on my recent trips. I have been comfortable sleeping in the Euphoria, even though it was used in warmer temperatures. I just vented the bag as needed to cool me off. The warmest temperatures encountered while using this bag was during my trip to Red Rocks as it was a warm 75 F (24 C) at night. So, I just slept on top of the Euphoria and used it as a ground insulator.

The Euphoria is very comfortable. I think this is mostly due to the Flex Technology construction. I can sleep on my side all curled up into a fetal position and not be constricted or have a claustrophobic feeling. The bag is soft and has a light loft to it. The material is not scratchy and the lined foot box is very comfortable against my feet. Due to the added insulation the lining enables me to sleep sock free in temperatures above 40 F (4 C). In the warmer temperatures it has also been helpful to vent the back by opening the zipper starting at the foot box.

pocket

Pocket

I have used the pad locks on the Euphoria and I think they are great for when I am sleeping on my back, which is not often. They do a good job of holding the sleeping pad in place. But, when I sleep on my side in this bag I just like to have the pad placed beneath the Euphoria. The pad locks do not work as intended if I am sleeping on my side in this bag.

I love the pillow pocket in the hood of the Euphoria. I have never owned a sleeping bag with a pillow pocket. I have used both my down pillow and my air pillow while sleeping in this bag. Both fit nicely in the pocket. Most of the time at night I wake up and I cannot find my pillow, or my air pillow gets cold when I forget to bring the pillow cover. I noticed that my air pillow stays warm in the pocket with no additional cover.

The side pocket on the Euphoria is a nice addition to the bag. I have stored a snack, tissues, lip balm, and my MP3 player inside of it. It is tricky for me at times to open the zipper on this pocket since there is no zipper pull, which would be a nice addition to this pocket.

The Euphoria compresses nicely into the stuff sack that was provided with the sleeping bag. However, it is oversized for the bag. I prefer to use a smaller compression sack for this bag. It fits compressed nicely into my 55 L (3,200 cu in) Osprey Ariel backpack, but I have difficulty carrying it inside my smaller packs. If I take the Euphoria with me in a smaller pack I do not have much room for spare gear and necessary gear.


Long Term Report

August 17, 2010

Testing Locations

Mt. San Jacinto State Park, California: I took two one night backpacking trips here. Went for a day hike to the summit on both trips. We camped at an elevation around 9,000 ft (2,750 m). The low temperature was in the mid 40's F (5 C).


Performance in the Field

Over the past two months the Euphoria was used on two one night backpacking trips. It was warm at night as the temperatures were above 40 F (4 C). I slept with the bag zipped open midway for most of the night.

One of my favorite features of the Euphoria is the flex construction. It basically flexes into the same position as my body. I can roll around, bring my knees to my chest, and sleep with my arms in a comfortable position with this bag. The foot box lining so far has enabled me to sleep without socks in the warm temperatures the bag was exposed to.

My second favorite feature is the pillow pocket. No more looking for a pillow that has slid away during the night. It stays all tucked away in the pocket.

On these two backpacking trips I took with the bag I opted to stuff it in a smaller stuff sack and one with compression straps. The stuff sack provided with the Euphoria is overkill in my opinion. There is so much extra space in the sack even when I stuff the Euphoria inside with my down pillow.

While camping at San Jacinto State Park I spilled some water on the bag in the evening. Basically the bag got soaked near my knees. Luckily I was not cold through the night. The bag also got some condensation on it during the night and again I was not chilled. The bag dried during the daytime hours when I left it in my tent as I hiked to the summit.

I have yet to wash the Euphoria as it does not have an odor yet. It surprises me that there are no odd odors as the Euphoria has been exposed to some warm temperatures.

The Euphoria looks like new. The insulation is not bunched up and the zippers are working just fine with no sticking or snagging. I would like to see a larger zipper pull on the main zipper and I would also like to see one on the bottom zipper near the foot box. I recently tore a ligament in my thumb which makes pinching and gasping difficult. I think a larger zipper pull would make grasping the zipper much easier; especially with my injured thumb.

This bag is on the heavy side for me to take backpacking in the future. That is just my personal preference. I like the flex construction of this bag so much that I plan on using it car camping or on short backpacking trips.


Things That Rock:

  • Flexes
  • Comfortable
  • Pillow pocket
  • Pad locks
  • Small front pocket

Things That Are So-So:

  • No compression straps on the stuff sack
  • Roomier than thought it would be
  • The color combination is odd in my opinion
  • On the heavy side

Remarks

This concludes my reporting on the Euphoria. Thank you Sierra Designs and backpackgeartest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.

Stuffed

Included stuff sack



Read more reviews of Sierra Designs gear
Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Koles

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > SD Euphoria 15 Degree Sleeping Bag > Test Report by Jennifer Koles



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