BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Summer Bags and Liners > Design Salt COCOON Expedition Liner > Test Report by Erin Foudy

COCOON Expedition Liner
Test Series By Erin Foudy
Initial Report May 4th, 2012
Field Report July 28th, 2012

Long Term Report September 25th, 2012



Photo courtesy of  COCOON website
Tester Info:
Name: Erin Foudy
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Height: 5'11'' (1.8 m)
Weight: 150 lbs (68 kg)
Email address: erinfoudyATyahooDOTcom
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona, USA

Backpacking Background:
I started backpacking while working for the National Park service ten years ago.  I have been a backcountry ranger/law enforcement ranger and served on search and rescue crews.  I typically take two or more camping trips a month, year round.  I appreciate light weight, but am not obsessed by it.  I often carry a 30 lb (14 kg) pack and stay out from three to nine days at a time.  I also enjoy day trips with only water on my back.  I take trips to Colorado and Montana in the summertime and enjoy the outdoors there as well.


Initial Report


Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer: COCOON
Year of Manufacture: 2012
URL: http://www.cocoon.at/
Available Sizes: Regular, Large, X-Large
Size Tested: Large
Listed Weight: 4.2 oz (120 g)
Actual Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g)
Available Colors: Black
Color Tested: Black
MSRP: Not listed



Description:

The COCOON Expedition Liner (hereafter referred to as the Expedition, or the liner) is a lightweight, 100% silk ripstop sleeping bag liner that can be carried inside an attached waterproof, ripstop nylon stuff sack.  The Expedition is a double stitched, mummy-shaped liner with a drawstring hood at the top, and a foot-box at the bottom.  It has one large opening near the top that allows me to slide inside the liner; there are no other entry or exit points.  The Expedition also has four small elastic loops sewn into the seam; two on the top of the hood, and two on the top of the foot-box.  The COCOON website describes the attached elastic loops as serving the purpose of coupling the liner to the sleeping bag or hanging it up to dry.  There is one small care tag located inside the liner sewn into the seam that tells me the Expedition is 100% silk, was made in China, and how it should be washed. 

                                                                                                                                        
                         The Expedition packs up small                                                                                                                Closeup of hood, attached stuffsack, and elastic loops up top

COCOON claims the Expedition can serve dual purposes, to keep my sleeping bag clean, thus extending my bag's lifespan, and adding insulation and comfort.  The information card that came attached to the liner states that the silk fabric used for the liner will add 9.5 F (5.3 C) to the temperature rating of my sleeping bag.  The silk fabric improves the temperature rating of my bag while only adding 4.2 oz (120 g) to my pack weight.        


Initial Impressions:

Upon receiving the Expedition in the mail I was shocked at how small and lightweight the package was.  The liner came beautifully rolled and stuffed inside the stuff sack with an information card attached.  Once I pulled the actual liner out and unrolled it to its full size I immediately became concerned that there was no way I was going to be able to get the liner back inside the tiny stuff sack.  To my surprise, I had no problem getting the liner back in.  I did my best to replicate the way the liner had come folded and rolled, and easily slipped it back into the stuff sack.  Later, I tried just stuffing the liner back in without taking the time to carefully prepare it for the small stuff sack, and again I was surprised at the ease with which the liner could be packed. 

In looking over the Expedition closely I did find an area of concern in the stitching on one of the seams inside the liner.  I found some loose threads and what looks like an area where a sewing machine went over the same seam several times.  Other than this one spot, that I will keep an eye on, I did not find any other defects.  During my close inspection of the Expedition I couldn't help but wonder at how thin and light the liner is.  I have never used a liner before, so at this point it is hard for me to grasp that something so thin can help to keep me warm.  Living in southern Arizona, I could see using the Expedition in place of a heavier sleeping bag to lighten my pack load considerably.  The thinness of the Expedition does give me some concern with the durability of the liner.  The fabric is ripstop, however, it feels very fragile and I can easily see through it.  My one other concern about the Expedition is my ability to easily get in and out of the liner.  With only the one opening towards the top I can see myself becoming frustrated if I have a hard time wiggling out of the liner in the middle of the night.  Other than these two concerns the Expedition looks like a great product and I look forward to testing the this liner out.             

Summary:
The COCOON Expedition Liner so far seems like a quality product that can improve the temperature rating of my sleeping bag without adding much weight to my pack.  In warm weather the Expedition offers me the option of leaving my heavier sleeping bag at home; reducing my pack weight considerably.  In all, the COCOON Expedition Liner seems like it will give me more versatility in how I handle colder and warmer sleeping conditions while at the same time keeping my sleeping bag clean. 

Pros:
1.  Improves the temperature rating of my sleeping bag
2.  Extremely light weight
3.  Packs up small
4.  Can be used in place of my sleeping bag in warmer temperatures

Cons:
1.  May prove hard to get in and out of
2.  Fabric seems fragile and thin
3.  Stitching defect on small section of the seam

Field Report


Field Conditions:

I used the COCOON Expedition Liner on a backpacking trip to northern Arizona as well as a nice backpacking trip while in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona.  However, our planned trips in the Colorado Springs area were cancelled due to the Waldo Canyon Fire and due to my boyfriend's grandmother, who we stay with in the area, being placed on pre-evacuation orders.  Not to mention that most of the national forest around Colorado Springs has been closed indefinitely.  Once the fire was mostly contained we were able to get in a few short day hikes, but no overnights.

Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona.  Elevation ranging from 9,600 ft to 12,643 ft (2,926 m to 3,854 m) on top of Mt. Humphreys.  Temperatures ranged from 32 F to 65 F (0 C to 18 C).   This trip was a 3-day, and 2-night backpacking excursion.

Mount Baldy Wilderness, northeastern Arizona.  The elevation ranged from 9,394 ft to 11,414 ft (2,863 m to 3,479 m) near the top of Mount Baldy (non tribal members are not allowed to summit).  Temperatures ranged from the mid 40s F to the mid 70s F (10 C to 21 C).  I hiked 17 m (27km) during 2-day, 1-night trip.


Performance in the Field:


So far I have been really pleased with the Expedition.  The silk material feels great against my skin after a long day on the trail.  It provides a surprising amount of warmth while also keeping my sleeping bag clean.  I tend to get cold easily, I almost always wake up cold in the middle of the night while sleeping outdoors.  Since using the liner I honestly haven't had this problem.  I have discovered that the liner provides just the right amount of extra warmth to keep me comfortable while sleeping.  I find it  astonishing that such a thin material can provide as much warmth as it does.  So far I have not tried the liner on its own as a warm weather sleeping option, though I am hoping to get the chance to do so during the next testing phase.  While the extra warmth the Expedition supplied was wonderful, I originally had a fair amount of difficulty getting in and out of the liner.  Squirming into the liner feet first from the top proved to be way too difficult and annoying.  For myself I found it to be most convenient to leave the liner bunched at the bottom of my sleeping bag and then to pull it up, over, and around myself.  When getting up in the night to go to the bathroom I pulled the liner back down towards the bottom of my bag.  I found this method worked best for me and reduced the amount of time it took me to get in and out of the liner.  While sleeping in the liner I didn't experience much bunching or get tangled up.  I typically do a decent amount of tossing and turning but I didn't get too caught up.  I attribute this to being a side sleeper; when wearing a mummy bag I take the whole bag, and in this case the liner as well, with me when I roll over onto my side.  I really don't twist and turn much inside my sleeping bag.      


Summary:

Based on these first experiences I think I am sold on the use of liners!  So far I have not found the cons I listed in my Initial Report to be a problem.  I have found a convenient way to get in and out of the bag, I have not had any issues yet with the fabric fraying or coming apart, and the one stitching defect seems to be holding strong.  The Expedition adds no noticeable weight to my pack yet improves the temperature rating on my sleeping bag and keeps my sleeping bag clean.  I am looking forward to testing the liner on its own soon to see if it can stand alone in warmer sleeping conditions.        

Pros:
1.  Improves the temperature rating of my sleeping bag
2.  Extremely light weight
3.  Packs up small
4.  Silk fabric is comfortable
5.  Potential to be used in place of my sleeping bag in warmer temperatures

Cons:
None!!












Long-Term Report

Field Conditions:

Coronado National Forest, Wilderness of Rocks from the summit of Mt. Lemon.  Elevation ranging from 7,280 ft to 9,080 ft (2,219 m to 2,768 m).  Temperatures ranged from the mid 40s F to the mid 80s F (10 C to 27 C).  I hiked 9.5 m (15 km) during two separate 2-day, 1-night trips.

Coronado National Forest, Mt. Lemon during two separate 2-day, 1-night car camping trips.  Elevation around 8,000 ft (2,438 m).  Temperatures ranged from the 40s F to the mid 80s F (10 C to 27 C). 

Performance in the Field:

During the long-term testing phase I used the COCOON Expedition Liner during two separate overnight car camping trips and two backpacking trips in the same area.  The temperatures during these trips were warm enough that I was able to use the liner on its own for most of the night until the early morning hours when I got cold enough that I moved into my sleeping bag with the liner.  Having the liner meant that I was able to carry my lighter weight, more compact sleeping bag and not worry about losing any warmth.  On previous trips during this time of year I have taken my lighter weight bag and suffered for it, as I have a low threshold for the cold.  I have loved having the option of taking my lighter weight bag without the worry of being uncomfortable from the cold during the night, and of course using the liner adds no noticeable weight to my pack. 

The liner has proven to be durable, despite my initial concerns.  During this test I have not had any problems with the liner ripping, or wearing despite the thinness of the material.  I have kept an eye on the stitching defect I reported in my initial report and as of yet it has not proved to be an issue or affected the performance of the liner in any way. 

Summary:

The COCOON Expedition Liner has been added to my "must haves" for backpacking and car camping excursions.  The liner is lightweight, compact, comfortable, easy to pack, keeps me warm, and keeps my sleeping bag clean.  I have absolutely no complaints about this liner and can honestly say that from here on out I will not be camping without it. 

Pros:
1.  Improves the temperature rating of my sleeping bag
2.  Extremely light weight
3.  Packs up small
4.  Silk fabric is comfortable
5.  Potential to be used in place of my sleeping bag in warmer temperatures

Cons:
None!!
 
This concludes my Long-Term Test Report and this test series.  Sincere thanks to Design Salt and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.




Read more reviews of Design Salt gear
Read more gear reviews by Erin Foudy

Reviews > Sleep Gear > Summer Bags and Liners > Design Salt COCOON Expedition Liner > Test Report by Erin Foudy



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