The manufacturer has indicated the Sierra
Designs Winema is a four-season, women specific, earth
friendly expedition bag. This bag is designed to be
narrower at the shoulders, which is to help conserve
heat. There is also additional insulation in the torso
and the foot box areas.
What makes this bag earth friendly is
the recycled materials that construct the bag. It has
recycled materials in the lining and the fill that are
claimed not to compromise quality or performance. This
eco-friendly type of manufacturing helps conserve resources
and reduces the environmental burden.
Designs Winema 0F (-18 C) sleeping bag is constructed
of a PrimaLoft Eco fill. This type of fill is indicated
by the manufacturer as being breathable, fast drying,
water resistant, lightweight, compressible, soft hand,
and thermally efficient. This fill is a 50/50 blend
of traditional PrimaLoft fibers and recycled fibers.
The recycled fibers are produced from post-consumer
products. The shell is constructed of EcoSensor Recycled
material. This material is made from recycled polyester
textiles and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles.
The interior lining is constructed of Cocona. This material
is a mix of Cocona yarn and recycled polyester. The
Cocona yarn is actually activated carbon yarn that is
intended to pull moisture away from one's skin. It is
also intended to attract and trap odors and then releases
them upon washing.
The shell of the bag is a light blue color on the top and black and light blue on the bottom. The exterior and the interior of the hood are black in color. The Sierra Designs logo is printed on the exterior shell of the bag. The interior lining is gray and black in color. The interior has a silky feel on the chest (ventral) or top inside portion of the bag. The interior bottom or back (dorsal) portion of the bag is lined with a black material that is not silky. I am thinking that this is the Cocona Recycled material. This type of lining is also found in the hood area. The lower 14 in (36 cm) of the bag in the foot box has a tricot lining. This lining is to give added warmth in the foot box.
The hood is what the manufacturer denotes as an expedition jacket hood that is the most thermally efficient hood on the market. It has an inner face draft tube that tightens with a cinch cord and fastens with a hook and loop type closure. The manufacturer indicates that this type of hood allows for an extremely quiet and shaded sleep zone.
The seams on the shell of the bag are a stitched type. The bag is stitched in a combination of tuck stitching and regular stitching. The interior stitched seams are tuck stitched. The tucked seams are to prevent snagging and to reduce wear and tear in the seams of the bag. The bag appears to have sheet insulation. The seams of the exterior shell of the bag do not appear to go through the insulation. The bag is very flat and I can not feel any baffles.
The Winema has a right
zipper. The zipper is a dual zipper with a zipper pull
located on the zipper closest to the head of the bag.
The zipper is a reverse type zipper. This type of zipper
has the traditional inside of the zipper exposed to
the outside. The zipper has a flap on the inside to
possibly prevent drafts. I also think that this flap
is to prevent snagging. This is a small piece of heavy
fabric running the length of the bag over the zipper.
Hood and chest area of the Winema.
The under side of the bag has two pad lock straps measuring .5 in (1.27 cm) in width and 29 in (74 cm) in length when fully extended. These are small nylon straps that have a small buckle to obtain the desired tightness. The straps are removable and are attached to both sides of the bag by cord loops. They have a hook and loop closure for fastening and removal near the cord loops. These pad locks are to be used by placing a sleeping pad underneath them next to the bag, and then cinching then to a desired tightness to keep the pad in place. This is to prevent the pad from sliding out from under the sleeping bag. The straps are placed near the shoulder area and just below the center of the bag.
The inside has two draft tubes one on the top and one on the bottom running the length of the bag next to the zipper track. The chest draft collar is located where my neck and chest rests inside the bag. It has a cinch cord and a hook and loop type closure for fastening. There is a small mesh pocket with a hook and loop closure on the draft collar that is located on inside chest area or top (ventral) of the bag. This pocket can be used to store items in to prevent freezing. This pocket measures 4.5 in X 3.25 in (11 cm X 8 cm).
The bag comes equipped with a large cotton sack for storage and a smaller stuff sack for storage in a backpack. The stuff sack is a compression style sack with a fixed bottom and a removable lid. At the top of the sack there is a cinch cord to close the opening before placing the removable lid on top. The sack has four nylon webbing compression straps. Two are more of a fixed type with a buckle and the other two are a type of quick connector buckle. When the sleeping bag is placed into the stuff sack the compression straps are easily cinched down to obtain a smaller size for placing the bag inside a pack. The Sierra Designs logo is on the exterior lid of the stuff sack.
I am very impressed with my initial observations of the Winema sleeping bag. I have never used a sheet type insulated bag before, so I am not used to the flat appearance of the bag. I did have the opportunity to try the regular size bag for size and I found it to be too snug for my liking in the foot box and especially the shoulders. I am 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) tall and I like to have some room to spare in my sleeping bags. The long size is a perfect fit for me. I can zip it completely up and I do not have any claustrophobic feelings as I did with the regular size.
This sleeping bag is not yet available for me to view on the Sierra Designs' website, so I really had no expectations of what I would receive. I was provided with some information on the sleeping bag from the manufacturer. The information listed the components and some of the key features of the bag.
The bag has a soft lining that is silky on the top and more of a fabric type on the bottom. The bottom lining is constructed of the Cocona fabric. The tricot lining in the foot box is very soft to the touch. I did notice that the tricot lining does attract quite a bit of fuzz and lint. I have opened and closed the zipper several times and thus far I have not encountered any issues with it sticking.
The Winema I found can be quickly and easily stuffed into the provided stuff sack. The process was not very laborious and did not require much physical effort.
I must say that I am impressed with the comfort and
of this bag upon my initial observations. I can't wait to get it out in the field this weekend.
on testing the Winema sleeping bag in winter and early
spring conditions in the states of Utah, California,
and Montana during the four month testing period. I
will be primarily testing the comfort, warmth, and durability
of this bag.
February 5, 2008
During the past
two months the Winema was tested in the following locations:
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah:
This was a one night trip with the camp elevation at
8,000 ft (2,438 m). The
daytime temperatures were from 36 F (2 C) and a nighttime
temperature of 5 F (-15 C). There was snow on the ground
from a trace amount to almost 3 ft (1 m) drifts.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah: This
was a three day trip with the elevation averaging around
3,900 ft (1,189 m) at both camp locations. The daytime
temperatures were between 55 F (13 C) to 60 F (16 C).
The nighttime lows reached 27 F (-3 C). The weather
was sunny and clear skies.
Wasatch Mountain Range, Utah:
One night trip with an elevation of about 8,000
ft (2,438 m). The nighttime low was 10 F (-12 C). There
was an overnight snow shower with a trace amount of
Performance in the Field
The Winema is slightly different than other sleeping bags I have tried in the past. Over the past few years I have purchased down sleeping bags mostly because I could save some weight. I have never used a bag that had a sheet style construction for the insulation or one made of recycled materials.
The Winema compresses nicely into the stuff sack
that was provided with the sleeping bag. I can easily stuff
the bag into the compression sack with not too much muscle
power. It also fits compressed nicely into my 55 L (3,200
cu in) Osprey Ariel backpack and into my 45 L (2,700 cu in)
REI UL pack, but I do not have much room for spare gear and
necessary gear in the smaller pack. For the winter backpacking
in colder climates I generally use my Go-Lite Odyssey 82 L
(5,500 cu in) pack and I found the Winema to fit nicely inside
the Go-Lite pack with room for all my winter gear.
After removing the Winema from the compression sack I found that the bag does not loft as a typical down bag does. The sleeping bag appears flat, however the Winema still feels slightly fluffy and soft when I lie on it. It does not feel as fluffy as my down bags, but there is some cushioning felt.
The tricot and Cocona lining of the bag does attract lint, fuzz, dirt, and debris. I also noticed more static in this bag than I am accustomed to and I think this is due to the lining. I can usually keep the inside of my sleeping bags fairly clean by shaking them out. This bag seemed more difficult to shake out because the fabric lining collected the particles. The lining does not allow for sliding in the bag and I found that my legs and feet became stuck to the fabric at times when I attempted to roll inside the bag. I did not like the feeling of not being able to move freely without having friction of the fabric lining against my fleece thermals. There was no friction against my clothing and the bag when I wore silk thermals. Sometimes I just feel restricted in the bag because I am sticking to the lining.
The inside of the Winema is roomy enough for me. There is no restriction in my shoulders or my feet. In the footbox I do have room to store some items such as water bottles and additional clothes. I also have enough room in the torso and hip area when I roll onto my side.
I did find the hood to be comfortable even when it is all cinched up and I am lying on my back. I found the hood to be large enough to be pulled over my eyes. On one of my trips the moon was almost full and having the hood cover my eyes definitely helped me initiate sleeping.
The Winema has been exposed to some condensation from the inside of my tent. From what I can tell, the condensation did penetrate into the filling of the bag. However, I did not notice a temperature difference including and surrounding the area of the bag that became wet. The filling was not saturated with water, but it was actually more than damp. The outer shell and the filling of the bag dried in a temperature of around 55 F (13 C).
I have used the Winema in temperatures ranging from 27 F (-3 C) to 5 F (-15 C). I found that I became cold at 10 F (-12 C) and below. I had a feeling of basically being chilled all over. I was chilled on two occasions in the bag at temperatures below 10 F (-12 C). There was no change in my eating habits during those evenings or a change in the clothing that I normally wear in those temperatures (fleece and silk base layers). There really was no opportunity for me to test the moisture transfer of the inner lining by sweating inside the bag. This is just because I have not encountered warm enough temperatures to actually sweat while sleeping in the Winema. I can say that the lining has not become wet or damp during the prior two months of testing this bag.
The zipper is easy to open and close. It had not become stuck nor do I find myself fiddling with the zipper to keep it on its track or away from the fabric of the bag. My bag did not come with a zipper pull. The manufacturer did inform me that there should have been a zipper pull included with the bag. From what I understand this would be a ribbon type of pull. What I would like to see is a glow in the dark, tabbed zipper pull included with this bag. I like to be able to easily find my sleeping bag's zipper in the night. Especially when I need to exit my bag quickly when nature is calling.
So far there has been no need for me to wash the Winema. I easily removed some dirt on the outer lining of the bag with a wet cloth and a small amount of soap. The inner lining of the bag does not smell from what I can tell. It just collects lint, fuzz, and dirt particles. There has been no separation of the PrimaLoft Eco sheet or abnormal distribution of PrimaLoft Eco inside the bag.
So far I am pleased with the performance of the Winema in
temperatures 10 F (6 C) above the bag's temperature rating.
The bag is comfortable, roomy, does not retain odors, and
is easy to unzip.