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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Sierra Designs Nahche and Winema Bags > Test Report by Jennifer Koles

Sierra Designs Winema 0 F (-18 C) Women's Sleeping Bag

Test Series by Jennifer Estrella

Long Term Report - March 25, 2008

Skip to my Initial Report- November 13, 2007
Skip to my Field Report- February 5, 2008
Skip to my Long Term Report- March 25, 2008

Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Koles
Age:  33
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:  Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Backpacking Background

I started taking overnight backpacking trips four years ago in the Uinta Mountain Range in Utah. I found myself taking entirely too much gear. I am finding out slowly how to minimize my needs and not require extra luxuries. My previous outdoor experiences consisted of 4-wheel-drive camping in primitive areas and day hiking. I use a four season convertible tent or a three season tent for my shelter. I plan to take more trips, increase my duration, and reduce my two to three day backpack base weight down from 17 lb (8 kg).

Initial Report

November 13, 2007

Product Information

Manufacturer: Sierra Designs
Model: Winema 0 (Green Effect Line)
Year of Manufacture: 2008 model
Manufacturer Website: www.sierradesigns.com

Color: Light blue outer shell with gray and black 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: $289.00 USD

Weight Listed by Manufacturer: Regular 3 lb 12 oz (1.70 kg) Long 4 lbs (1.81 kg)
Actual Weight of Sleeping Bag:
3 lb 12 oz (1.70 kg)
Actual Stuff Sack Weight: 7 oz (198 g)

Fill Weight (indicated by manufacturer): 35 oz (992 g)

Listed Stuff Size by Manufacturer: 10 in X 20 in (25 cm X 51 cm)

Actual Stuff Size Measured (approximate): 10 in X 19 in ( 25 cm X 48 cm)
Compressed Stuff Size (approximate): 10 in X 13.5 in ( 25 cm X 34 cm)

Measurements Listed by Manufacturer: Regular- Shoulders 58 in (147 cm) Hips 57 in (145 cm) Foot Box 41 in (104 cm) Long- Shoulders 60 in (152 cm) Hips 59 in (150 cm) Foot Box 41 in (104 cm)

Fill: PrimaLoft Eco
Shell: EcoSensor Recycled
Lining: Cocona Recycled

Winema Sleeping Bag

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.

Product Description

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.

The Sierra 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

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.

 

Initial Impressions

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 aesthetics of this bag upon my initial observations. I can't wait to get it out in the field this weekend.

Testing Strategy

I plan 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.

 

Field Report

February 5, 2008

Testing Locations

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 accumulation.

Inside tent

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.

Long Term Report

March 25, 2008

Testing Locations

During the past two months the Winema was tested on two overnight trips in the following locations:

San Jacinto State Park, California: The elevation at Round Valley was 9,100 ft (2,774 m). There was snow on the ground with clear skies and no precipitation. The temperatures were 33 F (1 C) for a high and low of 19 F (-7 C).

San Jacinto State Park, California: I went back to this area for another night of backpacking. There was still snow on the ground. We camped at 9,100 ft (2,774 m) and the temperatures were a mild 50 F (10 C) for a high and 25 F (-4 C) for the low.

 

Inside MSR Tent

Performance in the Field

During the last two months of testing I got a closer determination of the temperature that I find warm in the Winema. After spending a night at 19 F (-7 C) I was slightly chilled. If I added additional layers of clothing I am certain that I would have been warmer but I wanted to accurately test the temperature rating of this bag. Since using the Winema during the past four months I found that I was cold when the outside temperature reaches below 20 F (-7 C). Depending on the outside temperatures during the testing period I used a Big Agnes Air Core and Therm-a-Rest Trail Comfort sleeping pad. During the testing period I wore mid-weight silk and fleece weight base layers while sleeping in the bag. Sometimes additional heavier layers were needed especially around 10 F (-12 C) and below. I think this is a great bag for me to use in temperatures above 20 F (-7 C). I will admit that I do sleep cold and that females generally sleep colder than males. I do not think there is anything wrong with the construction of the bag in particular, it is just my core body temperature.

Well there has been no need to wash the bag. It has really no odor retention that I can tell. I did not become overly warm in the bag so I never sweated in it. The PrimaLoft Eco insulation is still intact with no bunching of the insulating sheet.

The Winema is roomy enough for me that I can sleep comfortably. But, I also went up a size. I am 5 ft 5 in ( 1.65 m) which is at the maximum recommended height of the regular size bag. I found the regular size bag to be too restricting and overly tight in the shoulders and the hips and that is why I chose to go up a size to the long. Even with the larger size bag I did not experience any cold pockets or have excess dead space in the Winema. I personally do not like to be overly uncomfortable by experiencing tightness in a mummy bag that I can not move.

The zipper is still performing as it was new. The zipper does not get stuck easily and glides on the track nicely. I would still like to see a glow in the dark zipper pull manufactured with this bag.

I really like using the pad locks to keep my sleeping pad in place beneath the bag. Even when I had them twisted the sleeping pad still stayed in place. I found that the pad locks are easily adjusted to accommodate various thickness of sleeping pads or desired tightness.

One of my favorite features of the Winema is the comfortable hood and the media pocket. I found that I like to store a headlamp, tissues, and lip balm in the media pocket so that they are close at hand during the night. The pocket keeps the items warmer than just being placed inside a tent pocket. It also keeps them easily accessible. I just find the hood to be so comfortable. The cinch cords did not become stuck and the hook and loop closures are strategically placed in a user friendly position.

The Winema still compresses easily into the stuff sack. When removed from the stuff sack the bag still has its flat like appearance with no loft gained. This is due to the PrimaLoft Eco sheet like construction. I thought after compressing the Winema into the stuff sack a few times that the insulating sheet would have bunched or became separated from the shell. I am happy to report that it still appears as new. After testing this bag I did realize that I personally care for a sleeping bag with more loft.

Things That Rock:

  • This bag is made from recycled materials
  • The Cocona lining prevents odors
  • The zipper does not stick
  • The hood is comfortable
  • The Winema is roomy enough for me

Things That are So So:

  • Particles of dirt collect to the Cocona and the Tricot lining
  • I am warm in the Winema only down to 20 F (-7 C)
  • I stick to the Cocona lining

Summary

The Winema is a eco-fiendly synthetic bag that has many interesting features. I really like the idea that Sierra Designs has produced a sleeping bag with the environment in mind. The Cocona lining is great at trapping odors. The lining does not allow me to move freely in the bag when I am trying to slide or roll over. I have a feeling that I am stuck from the friction on the fabric. I am warm in the Winema down to a temperature rating of 20 F (-7 C). All in all the bag is comfortable, roomy, and on the light weight side for a synthetic sleeping bag. It compresses nicely and the insulation does not bunch or become separated. I am very amazed how a sleeping bag can be made with recycled materials.

Remarks

This concludes my long term report. Thank you Sierra Designs and backpackgeartest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test the Winema.

 

 



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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Sierra Designs Nahche and Winema Bags > Test Report by Jennifer Koles



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