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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Summer Bags and Liners > Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack > Test Report by Marina Batzke

GRAND TRUNK SILK SLEEP SACK
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
LONG-TERM REPORT
November 02, 2015

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com
AGE: 55
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. My backpacking trips are mostly weekend excursions in Southern California: desert areas in the winter months and mountainous areas in the summer months. I try to backpack one or two weekends a month. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Grand Trunk, Chicago, IL, USA
Year of Test: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.grandtrunk.com
MSRP: US$69.99
Listed Weight: 5 oz (142 g)
Measured Weight: 4.3 oz (122 g) incl. stuff sack
Bundle Dimensions: 5 in x 2.5 in diameter (13 cm x 6.5 cm)
Listed Dimensions: 84 in x 36 in (213 cm x 91 cm)
Measured Dimensions: 82 in x 34.5 in (208 cm x 88 cm)
Other details:
Also available in Double size 84 in x 68" (213 cm x 173 cm) at 9 oz (255 g) for $99.99

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack arrived in a big mailing envelope. When I opened that envelope, I was amazed by the really small, compact size of the Sleep Sack bundle and how super lightweight it felt - cute. My second thought was: am I ever going to get the fabric stuffed back into such a cute, small bundle ever again? We shall see.
IMAGE 1
Size comparison
IMAGE 2
Diameter view on top of my smart phone

The black stuff sack is made of smooth, soft fabric, pleasant to touch. It has a big Grand Trunk Logo Patch sewn on and a small tag indicating its SINGLE size sewn into a seam. At its bottom end plus along the long side, the stuff sack has a grey 0.75 in (1.9 cm) fabric sewn on. At its top, it has the pull string to open or close the stuff sack.








READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The item packaging (not shown) consists of a cardboard band, loosely wrapped all-around the Sleep Sack bundle. This cardboard has the product details, features and related advertising imprinted.

The Grand Trunk Sleep Sack is made of 100% premium silk. The care instructions indicate to hand wash the Sleep Sack.
The cardboard wrapper also mentions a limited warranty. On the Grand Trunk website, the manufacturer mentions that their product warranty lasts two years unless otherwise noted.

TRYING IT OUT

Surprise: the Sleep Sack itself is a pleasant blue color. It easily slid out of the stuff sack and I noticed a chemical odor. I definitely will hand wash the Sleep Sack first before using it to get rid of that chemical odor.
IMAGE 3
Starting to pull out the silk fabric
IMAGE 4
The new Sleep Sack spread out

Second surprise: the stuff sack is permanently attached to the Sleep Sack. That is a nice idea: then I do not need to search all over my tent the last morning when I want to pack up my belongings for the hike out.

While the silk feels soft to the touch, it does not at all feel slippery (more dull and cool). The silk is very thin, yet when I try to stretch it between my fingers, it does not pull a thread and feels sturdy and resistant.

Along its top width, the Sleep Sack has a pillow opening from below.
Along its length, both top sides are open 32 in (81 cm), while 50 in (127 cm) of the lower sides are closed. The split sides have drawstrings on each side.

I slid into the Sleep Sack once: I have plenty of room to toss and turn inside.

Oh, and I folded and rolled up the Sleep Sack in no time. It fit back into its stuff sack without a problem.

Initial Thoughts:
Small, lightweight, convenient little bundle
Chemical odor requires hand washing before first use
Stuff sack permanently attached which guarantees I will always easily find it
Roomy interior
Packs easily


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California, USA
3 days/ 2 nights June 2015
Camp elevation: 6600 ft (2000 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 50 F (10 C)

Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night June 2015
Camp Elevation: 2600 ft (790 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 67 F (19 C)

Purple Lake, Northern California, USA
4 days/ 3 nights July 2015
Camp Elevation: 9900 ft (3000 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 48 F (9 C)

Beartrap Bluff, Los Padres National Forest, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night July 2015
Camp Elevation: 5000 ft (1500 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 50 F (10 C)

Mt. Pinos, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night August 2015
Camp Elevation: 7500 ft (2300 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 46 F (8 C)

Little Jimmy, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night August 2015
Camp Elevation: 7500 ft (2300 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 54 F (12 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Before my first outing, I handwashed the Sleep Sack with a mild detergent for dark colors and the silk liner air-dried quickly, hung over a clothes line on my balcony. It was easy to fold it and place it into its attached stuff sack.

For all test-period backpacking nights, I have used mummy-shaped sleeping bags: trips 1 and 2: an older down sleeping bag; since then, a new polyester sleeping bag. Both are rather large bags and I always place my mattress pad inside, not underneath the sleeping bag. I like this set-up, as it guarantees that I do not roll off the mattress pad at night. I toss and turn a lot, frequently switching from left to back to right side sleeping. On top of the mattress pad, I place the liner. Before testing the Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack, I had been using a polyester liner for about a year.

On my first night using the Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack our campground was engulfed in thunder and lightning: so bad I thought my last minute had come. I was trying to catch some sleep inside my small tent with pouring rain, bright lightning and roaring sounds outside. The silk liner was very soft to my skin. Yet it was also very big - a lot of fabric. I draped the pillow pouch over the top of my mattress pad. After a couple of times turning left and right, I felt entangled. I turned my headlamp on and realigned it all. The silk liner consists of a lot of fabric and those lots of fabric seemed to be all around me at night. The next night was quiet and normal weather-wise, yet again a lot of fabric to get sorted out in the dark.
IMAGE 1
Sleep Sack neatly arranged inside sleeping bag

On my Henninger Flats trip, the nighttime temperature was warm 67 F (19 C). I unzipped my down sleeping bag completely, letting air in and staying tucked in by the Sleep Sack.

On the Purple Lake trip, I had to pack up my belongings after a night of thunder, lightning and heavy rain. It was really difficult inside my small one-person tent to fold up the Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack because the liner is so overly wide. While seated just inside the entrance area of my tent, with the silk liner spread out in front of me, I kept hitting the sides of my tent, trying to fold the wide liner fabric. That got the tent body in contact with the rain-soaked rain fly and got my tent body wet. I am perfectly happy with the length of the Sleep Sack, yet I feel it is too wide for my backpacking needs.

When I set up my sleeping components for the night, I always make sure to drape the Sleep Sack pillow pouch over the top portion of my mattress pad. On the majority of my recent trips, this has helped keep the Sleep Sack straight inside my sleeping bag. Then on the Little Jimmy trip, I woke up in the middle of the night with one hand looped through the drawstrings on the right side and the Sleep Sack half-way moved off the mattress pad and twisted around me.
IMAGE 2
Sleep Sack half-way shifted off mattress pad

Since its initial pre-use wash, I have hand-washed it twice and each time line-dried the Sleep Sack on my balcony. It shows no pilling following the uses and washes. Yet I noticed that a seam in the foot area is starting to tear.
IMAGE 3
Seam in foot area starting to tear

SUMMARY

+ The Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack fabric feels very pleasant on the skin.
+ I do sense that the Sleep Sack helps keep my body warmer than without liner.
+ I also like that the dust and sweat on my body after a day of hiking hit the easy-to-clean liner and not my harder-to-wash sleeping bag.
+ Silk hand-washes easily and air-dries quickly.
+ Pillow pouch fits over my mattress pad and helps keep the liner straight.
+ I like that the stuff sack is attached to the side of the Sleep Sack, as I do not have to go on a search for it on the day of packing up for the hike out.
+ The firmly attached stuff sack has also helped me figure out which Sleep Sack side is inside and which one outside on at least two trips.

- Instead of the drawstrings on the left and right side of the Sleep Sack, I can see myself sew closed the liner side opposite my sleeping bag's zipper and just leave the liner 32 in (81 cm) open on the zipper side to get in and out easily.
- For my body size, the Sleep Sack is rather wide: it could be 5 in (13 cm) less in width and I think I would still have enough room inside the mummy-shaped sleeping bag. The Sleep Sack has a one-size-fits-all design and those 34.5 in (88 cm) width that I measured seem a bit much for me.
- In the foot area, the seams are starting to tear.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Italian Sleeper Car Overnight Train Ride from Venice, Italy to Munich, Germany
September 2015
Compartment Temperature: 64 F (18 C)

Dobbs Cabin, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Camp Elevation: 7240 ft (2200 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 47 F (8 C)

Gould Mesa Campground, Southern California, USA
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Camp Elevation: 1500 ft (460 m)
Nighttime Temperature: 75 F (24 C)

Little Jimmy Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Camp Elevation: 7500 ft (2290 m)
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Nighttime Temperatures: 49 F (9 C)

Cooper Canyon Trail Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Camp Elevation: 6300 ft (1920 m)
2 days/ 1 night October 2015
Nighttime Temperature: 61 F (16 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

During an overnight train ride in an Italian sleeper car train, the Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack worked perfectly for a good night's rest. A pillow was provided which I tugged into the sack's pillow pouch. The compartment had a pleasant nighttime temperature and I felt comfortable inside my soft silk sleep sack.

On the Dobbs Cabin backpack, the temperature went down to 47 F (8 C) at night. In the morning, it got misty with a drizzle outside and while I switched from nighttime clothes to my hiking clothes, I noticed how much cooler my legs were once I pulled them out of the sleep sack. I truly believe this liner adds a few degrees of extra warmth to the temperature inside my sleeping bag.
IMAGE 1
Sleep sack over mattress pad inside sleeping bag

The Gould Mesa backpack had incredibly hot 75 F (24 C) nighttime temperature. I slept inside my tent without the rainfly on, enjoying every slight breeze, resting on top of my sleeping bag and inside the sleep sack.

On the morning of the Cooper Canyon backpack, our group had to pack up in a rush due to an emergency. I rushed folding and rolling the Sleep Sack and was impressed that despite my uncontrolled bundling, all that silk fabric fit into the small stuff sack. Really good.

SUMMARY

I have been a believer in liners for a good year now: I feel a liner adds several degrees of warmth to my night's sleep. This Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack is soft and comfortable, so I will keep using it on my future overnighters. Yet the seams keep expanding. At this time, I have one small seam hole and several stretched silk fabric areas. I am handy with thread and needle, so I will fix those areas.

Overall, I can 100% repeat my pros and cons from the Field Report.

Thank you to Grand Trunk and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Silk Sleep Sack.

Marina Batzke

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Sleep Gear > Summer Bags and Liners > Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack > Test Report by Marina Batzke



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