BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Suisse Sport Adventurer 45 F Bag > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Suisse Sport Logo
logo courtesy of http://www.exxel.com


Suisse Sport Adventurer
Sleeping Bag

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

November 23, 2009

Adventurer
Photo Courtesy of Exxel Outdoors Spec Sheet

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
July 17, 2009

FIELD REPORT
September 23, 2009

LONG-TERM REPORT
November 23, 2009

INITIAL REPORT
July 17, 2009

Reviewer Information

Backpacking Background

Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  44
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. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
 

Product Information:

Because the Adventurer is a prototype, there are no product hang tags or brochures.
The following information comes from a spec sheet provided by Exxel Outdoors customer service.

Suisse Sport Adventurer Sleeping Bag
Manufacturer: Exxel Outdoors
Manufacturer website: http://www.exxel.com
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2009
Materials:
Outer Shell
Fill
Lining

Durable Textured Ripstop Polyester
MicroTekk Down-Like 0.7 Denier Fill
Soft Polyester Liner
Temperature Rating:
Comfort Zone
(per Exxel Outdoors)
30 - 40 F (-1 to 4 C)
Size Available: Regular (29 x 84 x 19 in (74 x 213 x 48 cm)
Warranty: One-year, Manufacturer's Defect Warranty. Just bring the bag back to your retailer with proof of purchase -- the retailer will arrange to replace or repair.
MSRP: $49.99 US

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Dimensions: 29 x 84 x 19 in (74 x 213 x 48 cm)
Listed Stuff Size: Not Listed
Listed Weight: 2.8 lb or 2 lb 13 oz (1,270 g)
Listed Fill Weight: 1.5 lb (680 g)
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Outer Dimensions: 29 x 84 x 19 in (74 x 213 x 48 cm)
Weight:
Sleeping Bag
Compression Sack

2 lb 10 oz (1,191 g)
3.4 oz (96 g)
Stuff Size: 17 x 8 in (43 x 20 cm)
Color:
Outside
Inside
Blue / Black Accents
Black / Yellow Accents

Product Description:

According to its publicist, Exxel Outdoors and its brand Suisse Sport are known for making affordable level, family camping gear that is sold at major mass retailers and sporting goods chains. The Adventurer (hereafter referred to as the "bag") that I am testing, is a prototype for 2010. This bag is an affordable, lightweight mummy-style sleeping bag that I would describe as a very moderate weather bag. Rather than provide specific temperature ratings for their bags, Suisse Sport lists their "Comfort Zone." The comfort zone for this bag is stated to be 30 - 40 F (-1 to 4 C). This bag includes the following features:
  • drawstring hood and draft tube
  • full chest baffle
  • double-layer offset quilt construction
  • interior utility pocket (chest pocket)
  • built in drying loops
  • full-length two-way zips
  • compression stuff sack included
  • is washable

HoodAs with other mummy bags, this one tapers from the shoulders to the footbox. The bag is 29 in (74 cm) across at the shoulders, its widest point. It is approximately 19 in (48 cm) across at the smallest point in the footbox. The bag is two-tone in color: a bright blue body with black accents on the hood. The interior is black with yellow accents.

The hood is a typical mummy-style hood. There is a 1 in (2.5 cm) sleeve around the outer edge of the hood through which the stretchable drawcord passes. This drawcord is for securing the hood around the user's face. The drawcord and cord lock are accessed on the right shoulder at the base of the hood. Once the drawcord is adjusted, the hood is secured on the left side at the upper end of the zipper via a 4 x 4 in (10 x 10 cm) tab with hook and loop closure.

Inside the bag, there is a 4 in (10 cm) wide partially insulated draft collar. There is a 1 in (2.5 cm) sleeve around the draft collar through which the stretchable drawcord passes. The drawcord is accessed over the right shoulder. On the left side of the draft collar, there is hook and loop closure to secure the collar around the user's neck.

Pocket Just below the draft collar, in the chest area, there is a 5 x 8.5 in (13 x 22 cm) zippered pocket. This pocket is made from that same yellow material as the draft collar and draft tube. The pocket zipper is on the user's right side.

The bag has a double-layer offset quilt construction. The lining appears to be sewn to the fill approximately every 11 in (28 cm). However, these "baffles" do not extend through the outer shell material. The bag has a full-length coil zipper that extends from the hood to approximately 17 in (43 cm) from the bottom of the footbox. The zipper has two metal sliders. The first slider has two pulls--for access both outside and inside the bag. The second slider, which originates at the end of the zipper nearest the footbox, only has a pull on the outside of the bag. There is a 3.5 in (9 cm) wide, partially insulated draft tube that runs the full length of the zipper which is on the left side of the bag. The draft tube is sewn along the zipper on the top side as shown in the photograph below.

Draft Tube Footbox

As mentioned earlier, because this bag is a prototype for 2010, there are no tags of any kind attached to it. However, by contacting Customer Service, I was able to receive the recently approved Use and Care Instruction tag information. On the production models, the tag will read as follows:

USE AND CARE INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Use a front loading, non-agitating commercial washing machine only. Wash on gentle, cold water cycle with a mild detergent.
  • Air dry bag completely. Lay the bag, unzipped, on a clean flat surface in a well ventilated area. It may be necessary to flip the bag to ensure both sides are dried completely
  • Never use a damp sleeping bag.
  • Dry cleaning is not recommended as solvents may be harmful to the material and the residual fumes may be harmful to the user.
  • WARNING:
  • Keep all flame and heat sources away from this sleeping bag. This sleeping bag conforms to CPAI-75 rate of burn standard. The fabric and insulting materials are not flame resistant and can burn. The sleeping bag will burn if contact is made with any flame source.
  • Please remove all packaging material before giving to children.

The bag came with a nylon stuff/compression sack. The compression sack appears to be made of the same material as the bag. It has a drawcord with cord lock. There are four 1 in (2.5 cm) nylon webbing straps and buckles which attach to the lid to compress the bag. The lid also has a 1 in (2.5 cm) nylon webbing handle sewn to it.

Initial Impression:

The bag came stuffed inside its stuff/compression sack. As I began pulling the bag out, I immediately liked the slick feel of the shell material. I also liked the color combination. The next thing that caught my attention was the thinness of the bag. There does not appear to be much fill. But again, this bag has a Comfort Zone of 30 - 40 F (-1 to 4 C) so a lot of fill is not necessary. I am anxious to see if the minimal fill will actual provide comfort within the temperature range listed by the manufacturer.

Holding the entire bag in my hands, I was impressed its minimal weight. I expected a lightweight bag and that is exactly what I received.

When examining the hood, I liked the fact that it is roomy; it should be large enough to accommodate my backpacking pillow.

I am a somewhat concerned that due to the lightweight material from which it is constructed, the compression sack may not hold up to multiple compressions, especially if one tries to "really" compress it.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of a thorough examination of the material, zippers, cords and cordlocks. The zipper operated smoothly as did the cordlocks. I then proceeded to weigh and measure the bag. Next, I put the bag in its stuff/compression sack to check its stuffed size and compressed size. In its stuff sack, uncompressed, the packed bag measures 8 x 17 in (20 x 43 cm). I was able to compress it to 8 x 10 in (20 x 25 cm). Due to the compression sack's lightweight material, I was reluctant to trycompressing the bag further at this time. However, during the test series, I will see if I can compress the bag smaller.
Stuffed Compressed

Finally, I climbed inside the bag to see how well it fit. The bag is plenty long enough for me at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m). However, it is snug across my 58 in (147 cm) chest/shoulders. I am anxious to see whether or not I am able to sleep comfortably, without becoming claustrophobic. I can not wait to take this bag into the backcountry.

Initial Likes:

  • lightweight
  • smooth fabric
  • compressibility
  • color combination

Initial Dislikes:

  • chest/shoulder girth

Top of Page


FIELD REPORT
September 23, 2009

Summary:

During the Field Test Phase, I used the bag four nights. For me, the advertised comfort zone is a bit optimistic at the lower end and about right at the upper end. I consider this to be a good, lightweight, bargain bag.

Likes Thus Far:

  • lightweight
  • smooth fabric
  • compressibility
  • color combination

Dislikes Thus Far:

  • chest/shoulder girth
  • zipper frequently catches on material

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

At Hoback During the last weekend in July, I slept in the bag one night near my home in southeastern Idaho. The skies were clear, winds calm, and the overnight low was about 40 F (4 C).

The second week of August, I accompanied my three sons on their Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Venturing High Adventure. This outing included whitewater rafting down the Hoback River near Jackson, Wyoming; canoeing on String and Leigh Lakes in Grand Teton National Park; and a long day hike up the Middle Teton in Grand Teton National Park. Because of the low temperatures, I only used the bag two nights in base camp along the Hoback River just outside of Jackson, Wyoming. Temperatures ranged from an overnight freezing 30 F (-1 C) to highs in the mid-80s F (30 C).

During the third week in August, I used the bag on another overnighter near Inkom, which is located about 13 mi (21 km) southeast of Pocatello, Idaho. The elevation was approximately 4,544 ft (1,385 m) above sea level. The skies were clear, winds calm, and the overnight low was 48 F (9 C).

Observations:

As a lightweight, bargain bag, the Adventurer performed fairly well overall. However, at 29 in (74 cm) wide, the shoulder girth of the Adventurer is too small for my 58 in (147 cm) shoulder/chest girth. I am unable to fully zip the bag and still be able to move a little. This was an issue on my mid-August outing when the low temperature was at, or slightly below, freezing. The lower part of the bag has way more room than I personally need. That said, having slept in the bag now four nights, I believe the cut of the bag would be better for me if two or thee inches (5 - 8 cm) in girth were removed from the lower three feet (0.9 m) of the bag and were inserted in the two or three feet (0.6 - 0.9 m) extending down from the opening in the hood (shoulder/chest area).

From my experience to date, the temperature rating appears to be a bit optimistic at the lower end of the advertised comfort zone. Two of the nights on my week-long outing near Jackson Wyoming, I was forced out of the Adventurer and into a 15 F (-9 C) down bag. Even wearing wool socks and mid-weight base layer top and bottoms, I was cold in the Adventurer with overnight temperatures just below freezing. However, I believe the upper end of the comfort zone to be more accurate. On my overnighter in late August, the overnight low was 48 F (9 C). I found myself sleeping on top of the bag until the early hours of the morning because I was too hot inside the bag.

Over the course of my four outings, I caught the zipper numerous times on both the exterior fabric and the fabric of the draft tube. To prevent this, I found that I needed to pay particular attention to what I was doing. This included slowing down my zipping and dragging my fingers just in front of the zipper to prevent snagging. This was a bit of an inconvenience, but was not really a big deal to me.

The bag easily fit into the sleeping bag compartment of my 65L (3,966 cu in) backpack. Not wanting to tear the compression sack, I did not exert much effort in "really" compressing the bag. However, during the next phase of this test series, I will see just how small I can compress the bag.


LONG-TERM REPORT
November 23, 2009

Summary:

During the Long-Term Test Phase, I slept in the Suisse Sport Adventurer sleeping bag two additional nights. This brings my total nights in this bag to six for the test series. Due to colder temperatures, on my last outing I had to use the bag inside another.

The interior dimensions--especially at the shoulder--continue to be too small for me. Otherwise, the bag has performed nicely. Both the exterior and interior fabrics have held up exceptionally well during the test period. I like how well the bag compresses when using the supplied compression sack. Aside from how it fits me personally, I like this bag overall. I believe it to be a great value.

Likes:

  • lightweight
  • smooth fabric
  • compressibility
  • color combination

Dislikes:

  • chest/shoulder girth
  • zipper frequently catches on material

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

At the end of September, I accompanied my boys' Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Venturing Crew on an overnight backpacking trip to Aldous and Hancock Lakes north of Kilgore, Idaho near the Continental Divide Trail, in the Centennial Mountains. Located along the Idaho / Montana border, these mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in the United States that run east to west. Aldous Lake is 7,340 ft (2,237 m) above sea level. It is a steep 1 mi (1.6 km) hike from Aldous to Hancock Lake. However, the trail drops down into Hancock Lake, which sits in a bowl formed by a landslide. At Hancock Lake, one can see the Centennial Mountains and the Continental Divide ridge. Weather conditions were ideal, clear skies, no wind, and overnight low temperature was near freezing.

My last outing was on an overnighter in the foothills near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Again, the skies were clear and overnight temperatures below freezing--well below the comfort rating of this bag.

Observations:

On my trip to Aldous and Hancock Lakes, I slept in mid-weight base layer top and bottoms, medium-weight wool sock, and I was cold. During the night, I ended up donning my fleece pullover top as well. If I had been able to fully zip the bag, I believe I may have been able to make it through the night without the fleece top. However, this experience reaffirmed my belief that the 30 - 40 F (-1 to 4 C) Comfort Zone is overly optimistic at the lower end. With the temperatures continuing to drop, I decided to only use the bag inside another on my next outing.

To get another night in the bag, I did an overnighter near Idaho Falls. This time, I used the Adventurer inside a 15 F (-9 C) down bag. Although the overnight temperature was in the upper 20s F (-3+ C), I was warm throughout the night. I did not even need the base layers or wool socks.

On both outings during the long-term test phase, when not being particularly careful, I caught the zipper on the exterior fabric and the fabric of the draft tube. However, the material did not tear, or even snag. In fact, the material has worn well during the test series. To date, I have not needed to launder the bag to rid it of either odors or stains of any sort. The zippers continue to work smoothly as well.

Ideally, I would like to see the cut modified. For me, less room in the legs and more in the shoulder/chest area would be preferred. In my opinion, the current cut makes the bag better for individuals slightly smaller than my 58 in (147 cm) shoulder/chest girth. Aside from a less than ideal fit for me size wise, I believe the Suisse Sport Adventurer to be an excellent bargain bag for warmer weather.


This concludes my Suisse Sport Adventurer sleeping bag Test Series. Thanks to Exxel Outdoors and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to participate in this test.


Top of Page



Read more reviews of Suisse Sport gear
Read more gear reviews by Ryan Lane Christensen

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Sleeping Bags > Suisse Sport Adventurer 45 F Bag > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson