Sierra Design Zissou 6 Sleeping Bag: $340
The Good: DriDown™ 700g insulation, soft ripstop fabric, plenty of room (for a mummy cut bag)
The Bad: Not much of a draft collar, and the cinch strings are a bit bulky
The Interesting: Just a slender weight savings compared to my synthetic bag, but packs down much smaller.
Down insulation has always been a natural when it comes to exceptional warmth. My first down vest wore out after hundreds of miles either stuffed deep in a pack or fighting off evening cold. However, a downfall of traditional down is an aversion to water. Soaked, the feather insulation loses loft and most of it’s warmth. Sierra Design’s DriDown™ insulation has a hydrophobic coating that repels water and retains the warmth-trapping loft. Sierra Design’s Award Winning (2012 Outside OR Gear of the Show) Zissou 6 is made with a smooth ripstop shell, external pocket, and sleeping pad lines for the restless sleepers out there. The bag weighs in at 3lbs, 1oz, with a temperature rating of 6° F / 15° C. The mummy cut of the bag is generous in the shoulders and hips, with a nice head box and thin draft collar adding comfort but also a bit of weight.
We took this bag out for a few nights in the Sierras and slept well through the night. The mummy bag is cut tight near the feet, but has a bit of extra room near the chest for nice movement during the night. The down stuffing regulated heat well, with no cold spots, but the draft guard on the zipper did fold up a bit and let in the cold. The slick material doesn’t stay put on a pad very well, so plan on using the pad loops to secure it if you’re a restless sleeper. We also left the bag out folded long-ways over a rail for 8 hours during a rain event to see how well the insulation performed wet. While a full dunk of the bag would have been a better reflection of the saturated materials, we feel that the prolonged exposure to the elements is more in line with what would be encountered on a wet trail. Surprisingly the shell material let very little of the moisture through the outer layers. The interior of the bag was about 95% dry with a few small wet spots that still stayed warm during the relatively mild night.
Overall, Sierra Design’s bag is a high performance sleeper with nice features in a generally small package. While there are smaller and lighter bags available, for most applications this bag is what you need for a good night’s sleep in the wild.