Gear Review: Sierra Designs Cloud 35
Earlier this year Sierra Designs put out a new line of sleeping bags that could become a new standard in the outdoor industry. The Cloud takes characteristics from their popular Backcountry Bed series, blending it with hints of top bag and quilt designs. This zipperless mummy bag features premium 800-fill power water resistant DriDown and comes in three flavors, 20F (1 lb 13 oz, $299) and 35F (1 lb 7 oz, $279) for men, and 20F for women (1 lb 12 oz, $299). The shell fabric for all is a 15d nylon.
Intrigued by the design, I picked one up and it quickly became my go-to for many of my 3-season solo and client-based trips for this year. With the light weight and down fill used in this bag, it was barely noticeable in my pack.
On a fastpacking trip on the Long Trail in Vermont, I also appreciated the bags ability to compress in a small sized Sea To Summit EVent compression sack along with a Therm-A-Rest Neo-Air X-Therm (reg size) and a Sea To Summit Ultralight Air Pillow. This allowed me to wear a preferred smaller running vest pack, without sacrificing safety and comfort while in the sometimes unpredictable Green Mountains.
The Cloud differs from a traditional mummy bag. Instead its zipperless design utilizes a comforter style quilt from the waist to the shoulders. This comforter hooks around the user's shoulder and tucks under the side insulation of the bag. The clever design avoids zipper snags, extra weight, restrictive movement and helps mitigate drafts (if any at all).
A sleeve on the non-filled underside of the bag allows the user to slide their favorite sleeping pad in for comfort and stabilization. With no insulation from the waist to the shoulders, the insulating value of your sleeping pad is what will do the work (see below).
The footbox of the bag has a unique design that allows for fast and easy increased ventilation on hot nights out. If cold, simply slide your feet back in. The combination of your lower body's weight and the sleeping pad apply pressure to both sides of the bag sealing off the opening.
I've really been enjoying this feature as it had helped during the oppressively hot and humid recent summer in New England, like during a kayak camping trip I took in mid-July pictured below.
I also used this sleeping bag on a few trips where my shelter choice was a hammock system. Mobility can be beneficial when your camping is elevated. The design of this bag provided me with a comfortable option of side sleeping during these hang-specific trips.
My 5'11", 155 lb frame fits inside of this bag without any issues and offers me just enough room to move around, yet not so much that I lose trapped heat. I've been extremely happy with the Cloud 35 and look forward to using it on many more 3-season adventures once the winter passes.
Have you used this bag or something similar? Drop a line below in the comment box below and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
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