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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Sierra Designs Nahche and Winema Bags > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen


Sierra Designs Nahche 0 Sleeping Bag

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

Last Update - May 9, 2008

SD Nahche
Bottom of the Sierra Designs Nahche 0 Storage Sack

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
January 10, 2008

FIELD REPORT
March 11, 2008

LONG-TERM REPORT
May 9, 2008

INITIAL REPORT
January 10, 2008

Reviewer Information

Backpacking Background

Name: Ryan L. Christensen

Age:  43

Gender:  Male

Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)

Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)

Shoulder/Chest Girth:  58 in (147 cm)

Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com

City, State, Country:  Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago and began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. For several years, we have hiked or camped nearly every month, year-round. We vary our experience: desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; spring, summer, fall, and winter; sunshine, rain, wind, or snow. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below comes from the Sierra Designs Nahche 0 product brochure.

Nahche 0 Men's Sleeping Bag

Manufacturer:

Sierra Designs

Manufacturer website:

http://www.sierradesigns.com

Place of Manufacture:

China

Year Manufactured:

2007

Materials:

Outer Shell
Fill
Inner Lining


EcoSensor™ - 100% polyester
PrimaLoft® ECO - 100% polyester
Cocona™ - 100% polyester

Temperature Rating:

0 F (-18 C)

Sizes Available:

Regular - fits up to 6 ft (1.8 m)
Long - fits up to 6 ft 6 in (2 m)

Warranty:

The Sierra Designs Warranty


"Sierra Designs guarantees that the materials and workmanship in every product we make will stand up to the use for which it was designed. This warranty does not cover damages caused by improper care, accidents or the natural breakdown of materials over extended use and time. All defective or damaged products should be returned to us for evaluation and will be repaired or replaced at our discretion. Damages due to accident or improper care will be repaired at a reasonable rate. Products sent for repair must be cleaned prior to sending."

MSRP:

$269 USD [Regular]
$289 USD [Long]

 

Product Specifications

Manufacturer's Specifications

 

Listed Dimensions:

Long


84 x 33 in (213 x 84 cm)

Listed Stuff Size:

Long


10 x 20 in (25 x 51 cm)

Listed Trail Weight:

Long


4 lb 5 oz (2.0 kg)

Listed Fill Weight:

Long


44 oz (1.2 kg)

Tester's Actual Measurements

 

Dimensions:

Long


84 x 33 in (213 x 84 cm)

Weight:

Sleeping Bag - Long
Compression Sack
Storage Sack


4 lb 5 oz (2.0 kg)
6.3 oz (179 g)
3.6 oz (102 g)

Stuff Size:

Long


10 x 20 in (25 x 51 cm)

Color:

Dark Gray / Black

Product Description:

Green Effect Expedition Jacket Hood Nahche Information

The Sierra Designs Nahche 0 (hereafter referred to as "bag") is a mummy-shaped, left-zip, synthetic-filled, men's sleeping bag. This bag tapers from the shoulders to the footbox. The bag is 33 in (84 cm) across at the shoulders, its widest point. It is approximately 17 in (43 cm) across at the smallest point in the footbox. The bag is two-tone in color: a dark gray top and a black bottom. There is a "Green Effect" label sewn on the outer shell along the zipper near the head. Near the hood, there is a Sierra Designs logo embroidered in light gray thread atop the bag. The hood is what Sierra Designs calls an "Expedition Jacket Hood." This is unlike the hood on a typical mummy bag in that it is sized and looks just like the hood on an expedition jacket. The company logo, bag name, size, temperature rating, and fill material are embroidered in light gray thread near the zipper at the footbox. The 44 oz (1.2 kg) of PrimaLoft® ECO fill gives this bag a temperature rating of 0 F (-18 C).

Snag Free Zipper TracksThe bag has a full-length, two-way zipper with "Snag Free Zipper Tracks" which provide a barrier between the lining and the zipper. The zipper handles have cloth pulls. Inside the bag, there are fully insulated "Dual Draft Tubes" running along the zipper (top and bottom). There is also a fully insulated "Draft Collar" which can be secured on the left side with the hook and loop closure. The draft collar also includes an integrated mesh "Media Pocket" to hold MP3 players, GPS units, compact digital cameras, etc. This pocket also has a hook and loop closure to keep contents secure. The interior lining is not as smooth as the exterior shell fabric. But, it is smooth enough that my rough hands did not catch on it as I ran them across the material. The material in the footbox is different from that in the rest of the bag.

Pad Locks

On the underside of the bag, there are two pad locks used to secure the bag to a sleeping pad. Each pad lock consists of a 0.5 in (1.3 cm) wide strap of nylon webbing which passes through a loop of nylon cord on either side of the bag. At each end, the webbing strap folds back onto itself with a hook and loop closure. Each pad lock has a buckle to enable adjustment to various size pads. These pad locks are removable; simply undo the hook and loop remove from the loop on each side of the bag.

At the foot of the bag, there are two nylon loops to use when hanging the bag to dry or when storing. There is also a loop at the end of the zipper in the footbox.

Sierra Designs advertises its "Green Effect™ mission is to practice and promote a harmonious relationship between its business world and the outdoor world." This particular bag is part of Sierra Designs' Green Effect™ line and therefore features several eco-friendly materials. First, the outer shell is EcoSensor™. According to the product brochure, this is an "eco-friendly polyester fabric made from recycled polyester textiles and PET bottles." Additionally, Sierra Designs claims this fabric "utilizes the eco-efficiency of recycling, conserving resources, and reducing the environmental burden with no compromise in quality or performance." Second, the fill material is PrimaLoft® ECO. This too is manufactured from recycled materials, namely plastic soda and water bottles to create "Eco Spun fibers". PrimaLoft® ECO is a 50/50 combination of "Eco Spun fibers" and PrimaLoft® fibers. Third, the inner lining is blend of Cocona™ yarn and recycled polyester. Integrated in the Cocona™ yarn is activated carbon, which comes from coconut shells (food industry waste). This activated carbon is said to provide superior moisture management, pulling moisture away from the skin. Additionally, the activated carbon attracts and absorbs odors, releasing them when the item is laundered.

Draft Collar & Dual Draft Tubes

Attached to the bag's zipper was a rigid, colorful, product brochure. The brochure has colorful graphics, company logo, and the words "Four Season" on the front. On the back is Sierra Designs warranty information in English and French; the Sierra Designs web address and U.S. and Canadian telephone numbers; Tents, Sleeping Bags, and Clothing are listed in both English and French. There is also a UPC symbol next to the product name, temperature rating, and size with the words "Made In China" listed as well. This brochure is printed on 100% recycled paper. Inside, the brochure contains product information in both English and French.

The bag came with a white 100% cotton, storage sack and a nylon compression sack. On the bottom of the storage sack, there is a color swatch, which happens to be the primary color of the bag. I like that little extra touch of quality. The storage sack is a bit smaller than I anticipated. But, as a synthetic bag, it does not need as much room to breathe as a down bag does. The black compression sack is a bit different than others I have used. This one has two quick-release buckles in addition to two regular cinch straps. The lid has a light gray Sierra Designs logo printed on it. There is also a tag sewn in the vertical seam of the sack. This tag has "SD" on one side and "Sleep Better Perform Better" on the other side. There is another tag just above it with the words "Made in China" on it.

Initial Impression:

The bag came stuffed inside its cotton storage sack. As I began pulling the bag from its storage sack, I was immediately impressed. Being an updated model, I had no idea what to expect in way of colors. I really liked the dark gray/black combination--quite manly.

The next thing that caught my attention was the feel of the exterior fabric; it is smooth to the touch. The interior lining also impressed me. Because it is not as slick as the exterior material, I was afraid that my dry hands might snag on it as I began to run them across the fabric. However, I am happy to report that was not the case, there was no snagging at all. Not until I actually climbed into the bag did I learn that the footbox is lined with different material, a micro-fiber type. No doubt this is to aid in keeping the user's feet warm. This is another little "extra" that adds to the overall quality of this bag.

When examining the hood, I was impressed to learn that there are two drawstrings; one at the outermost edge and the other on the interior of the hood, approximately 5 in (13 cm) from the outer edge. My take on this is that the outer one pulls is to draw the hood tight around the face. The inner one to draw the hood tight around the head. I believe this combination should really prevent cold air from entering through the expedition hood.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of a thorough examination of the material, zippers, buckles, cords and cordlocks. I then proceeded to weigh and measure the bag. Finally, I climbed in to how well it would fit me. Lengthwise it is great, but to be honest, it is fairly snug across my and shoulders. This is due to the taper from the shoulders to the hood. Hopefully this will not make me claustrophobic. Nevertheless, I can hardly wait to take this bag out into the backcountry.

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FIELD REPORT
March 11, 2008

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

The Kelly Canyon Nordic Area located 26 mi (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m). The temperature shortly after 8:00 p.m. MST when we began skiing was 14 F (-10 C) and there was no wind. Based on the height of the trail sign-in box, I estimate there was 4+ ft (1.2+ m) of snow. With the overnight low temperature of 1 F (-17 C) in Idaho Falls, I guess we had a low of approximately -4 F (-20 C) and it was probably close to this temp as we climbed Norm's Hill in our snowshoes.

Harriman State Park located 18 mi (29 km) north of Ashton, Idaho or 45 mi (72 km) south of West Yellowstone, Montana. The park is within an 11,000-acre (44.5 km 2) wildlife refuge in the greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In the winter time, there are more than 20 mi (32 km) of trails available for cross-county skiing and snowshoeing. The skies were partly cloudy, with snow showers most of the day Saturday. The temperature ranged from 21 F to 37 F (-6 C to 3 C).

Near Idaho Falls, Idaho, which is approximately 4,700 ft (1,433 m) above sea level.

Observations:

During the Field Test phase, I slept in the Nahche four nights.

On my overnight cross-country skiing/snowshoeing trip to the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, my buddy and I slept in the Warming Hut, a canvas tent with a wooden floor and raised wooden bunkbeds. To test the limits of the Nahche, we chose not to keep the wood-burning stove going through the night. Consequently, the overnight low temperature inside the tent was nearly identical to the outside temperature, which I estimated to be -4 F (-20 C) and the coldest night of testing thus far. I wore mid-weight merino wool socks; mid-weight synthetic top and bottom; and a lightweight, synthetic skull cap to sleep in. With me in the bag and the pad locks cinched securely around my sleeping pad, there was not enough give for me to zip the zipper the full length. In fact, I was unable to zip it the last 10 - 12 in (25 - 30 cm) around my 58 in (147 cm) shoulder/chest. Nevertheless, I was completely warm the entire night, even though I tossed and turned occasionally. I wore the Expedition Jacket Hood, but did not tighten either the interior or exterior drawstrings. The hood fit nicley and kept my bald head warm through the night. My small, compressible backpacking pillow did not fit well in the hood however. Therefore, I chose not to use it. The pad locks kept the bag nicely atop my sleeping pad throughout my tossing and turning. Being 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), the 84 in (2.13 m) Nahche was plenty long. However, it was not overly long. The footbox provided ample room for my US size 11 (45 Eur) feet. The dual draft tubes kept the cold air from penetrating the zipper. However, I believe their bulkiness contributed to me being unable to fully zip the bag. The Media Pocket held my compact digital camera and the two AA batteries for my GPS unit. However, there was not room for anything more. I was pleasantly pleased when I awoke to find that there was no frozen condensation anywhere on the bag. In its compression sack, the bag barely fit through the opening to the sleeping bag compartment of my 65 L (3,967 in3) pack.

On the overnight cross-country ski trip to Harriman State Park, we slept in a six-person yurt. There were seven in our party, so I slept on the wooden floor. However, with younger boys in our party, we kept the wood-burning stove burning minimally most of the night. Once again, I wore mid-weight merino wool socks and mid-weight synthetic top and bottom to sleep in. I slept with the zipper approximately half-way down the better part of the night. When the fire diminished, I pulled the zipper a few more inches (8+ cm). Nevertheless, with an overnight low temperature of 20 F (-7 C) I still slept completely warm all night. Being quite a bit warmer than the earlier outing, I chose to use my compressible backpacking pillow on top of the hood. This time, I did not use the pad locks. As a result, I rolled off my pad during the night. Although I had a plastic tarp under the pad, the bag still came in contact with some dirt and debris from the firewood. I was able to easily brush the dirt and all from the exterior fabric. It also took some work to get the bag, in its compression sack, through opening in the sleeping bag compartment of my 103 L (6,285 in3) pack.

The other two nights, low temperatures were in the low teens F (-11 C) and the skies were partly cloudy, and there was no wind. Again, I wore mid-weight merino wool socks; mid-weight synthetic top and bottom; and a lightweight, synthetic skull cap to sleep in. With the pad locks very loosely around my sleeping pad, I was able to zip the zipper the full length. However, I chose to leave it unzipped a few inches (8+ cm). But, I did use the draft collar on both nights as I slept under the stars. Again, I was plenty warm each night. I did not notice any cold spots the entire length of the bag. Again, I did not notice any frozen condensation anywhere on the bag.

Likes: (thus far)

Dislikes: (thus far)

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LONG-TERM REPORT
May 9, 2008

Summary:

During the Long-Term Test Phase, I slept in the Nahche an additional four nights, for a total of eight during the test period. The interior dimensions--at the shoulder--are a bit small for me. If I used the pad locks, I was unable to get the zipper to the top. If I did not use the pad locks, I could pull the zipper to the top. The Nahche did an excellent job of keeping me warm through each night. Both the exterior and interior fabrics have held up exceptionally well during the test period. Especially for a synthetic bag, I like how well the Nahche compresses when using the supplied compression sack. Aside from the fit in the shoulder area, I really like this bag overall. I believe it to be a great value.

Likes:

  • Exterior Fabric

  • Interior Fabric

  • Compressibility

  • Temperature Rating Appears To Be Accurate

  • No Funky Smell in the Cotton-Like Cocona Fabric Lining


Dislikes:

  • Interior Shoulder Width - a couple more inches (5+ cm) would make the bag more comfortable for me, especially when using the pad locks

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

The Kelly Canyon Nordic Area located 26 mi (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, Idaho in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m). On this late March trip, the temperature at 8:00 p.m. MST when we began skiing was in the mid 20s F (-4 C) and there was a slight wind. We let the fire go out during the night and I estimate the overnight low was near 0 F (-18 C).

I also slept in the Nahche three nights near Idaho Falls, Idaho, which is approximately 4,700 ft (1,433 m) above sea level. Two of these nights I was by myself, under the stars In April. I slept in the bag a third night, the first weekend in May, at a BSA Cedar Badge National Youth Leadership Training Staff meeting with my two oldest sons. I slept in a canvas wall tent. For the two of the three nights, the skies were partly cloudy. However, on the third night, the sky was nearly crystal clear. The overnight low temperatures ranged between the upper teens and the upper 20s F (-8 to -2 C). The outing with my boys, with an overnight low of 28 F (-2 C), was the warmest of the three.

Observations:

The only issue I have had with the Nahche has been its sizing in the shoulder area. I have battled this throughout the test period. If I tried to use the pad locks, even with pads of different thicknesses, I have been unable to fully zip the zipper. With the fat dual draft tubes, another couple of inches (5+ cm) in the shoulder area would really increase the comfort for me. However, the fit through the rest of the bag has been great. There has been ample room for me to sleep with clothes inside the bag to warm them for morning.

The lining fabrics have been great. The Cocona™ fabric has been comfortable against my skin. Furthermore, it has not taken on any funky smell. The tricot lining in the foot box is a nice touch and I believe it helped keep my toes warm, especially when not wearing socks. The EcoSensor™ shell fabric has also performed well. The two times in April that I slept in it, there was frost on the bag when I awoke. However, once the sun came out it quickly dissipated--without a trace. There have been no snags, punctures, or tears in any the materials.

On all but the last night I slept in the bag, I wore mid-weight base layer top and bottom and merino wool socks to bed. This was sufficient to keep me warm through the night. On my last night in the bag, I did not wear the base layer or wool socks. But, I was still warm all night. I feel the temperature rating of this bag is pretty accurate.

Nahche CompressedThis has been my first experience with an "expedition hood" on a sleeping bag. I will admit its snug fit does improve the overall warmth of the bag, but I am not totally converted. Based on my particular sleeping style (tossing and turning through the night), I like a little wiggle room, even in the hood.

The durability of the bag has been great throughout the test period. The seams remain tight, none of the PrimaLoft® ECO insulation has escaped. I used the compression sack on all outings and have been impressed with how well the bag compresses (10 x 16 in or 25 x 41 cm). As with any synthetic-fill bag, the Nahche does not have a great amount of loft. However, I have not noticed any decrease in what loft it does have as a result of multiple compressions. Storage has always been in the supplied cotton storage sack. The zippers continue to work smoothly. The snag-free zipper tracks have done their job; not one snag thus far. The drawcords and cord locks also continue to work smoothly.

Aside from the fit in the shoulder area, I really like this bag overall. I believe it to be a great value, and I like that it is an eco-friendly bag.

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This concludes my Test Series. Thanks Sierra Designs and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Nahche 0, a great eco-friendly sleeping bag.



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