Owner Review - Slumberjack Zodiac (jamie)
- Thanks for giving us a review topic this month. Since I can't test
new gear right now I was looking for something to write an OR on.
Jamie in AZ
Owner Review of the Slumberjack Zodiac mummy style sleeping bag
Date: February 29th, 2004
31 year old female
Height: 5'11" (1.80 m)
Weight: 160 lbs (73 kg)
Shoulder width: 18 in (46 cm) as measured w/ a tape measure
State/Country: The Grand Canyon State - Arizona, USA
I've spent much of my thirty years hiking, camping, fishing,
backpacking, rafting, and more recently kayaking, all over my home
state of Arizona. I've also done a small amount of hiking in the
neighboring states of Colorado and California. In January of 1999 I
founded a local outdoor club called the Canine Hiking Club of
Arizona. I lead one or two single or multi-day hikes per month with
the club in various locations around the state. I also day hike in
local recreation areas near my home a couple of times a week and my
family and I sneak away for camping trips whenever possible.
My backpacking style definitely leans more toward lightweight, but I
wouldn't consider myself to be anywhere close to an ultra-light
hiker. I use a hammock instead of a tent most of the time and I try
to keep my pack's base weight below 15 lbs (7 kg). I'm always
looking for ways to stay comfortable in the field and for gear that
has more than one function.
Year of purchase: Not sure, I bought it new and know I've had it
since at least 1998.
Temperature Rating: Plus 20 degrees F (-6 C)
Listed Fill Weight: 32 oz (907 g)
Total Actual Weight: 40 oz (1130 g) as weighed on a U.S. Post Office
- Total length 82 in (208 cm)
- Width at shoulders 32 in (81 cm)
- Width at foot 22 in (56 cm)
- Rolled up with a compression sack 17 x 10 in (43 x 25 cm)
Product description: The Slumberjack Zodiac is a mummy style bag made
in the USA. The head end uses a drawcord closure to cinch the bag
around your head. The zipper is located on the right side of the
Zodiac and runs to just about 6 inches (15 cm) above the foot box.
There are two options for zipping, one tab at the head end and one at
the foot. The zipper tab at the head end has a hook and loop flap
that covers it when it's fully zipped up. There is an inch (2.5 cm)
long hang loop located just below the zipper at the base of the bag.
Both the outer shell and the inner liner are made of 100% nylon. The
fill material is Thermoloft, which is a polyester fiber made my
Dupont. The following qualities are posted on the Thermoloft tag at
the foot of the Zodiac. "Thermoloft is washable, odorless, durable,
compactable, and non-allergenic."
Field Information and Use Conditions
I've used the Slumberjack Zodiac in several different climate zones.
From lower Sonoran desert to snow covered pine forests and many
canyons, hills, and valleys in between. It's been with me on treks
at high as 8,000 ft. (2,400 m) and as low as sea level.
I've used it in a tent, a hammock, and on the beach. Just about
freezing is the lowest temperature I can recall sleeping in the
The Slumberjack Zodiac is the first mummy style sleeping sack I've
owned. My prior bags were all more camping style - rectangular,
heavy and not much good after about 40 F (4.5 C). I have owned both
down and synthetic bags but none with Thermoloft. I have not had any
problems with the insulation loosing its loft. When using it on the
trail I carry it in either an Ourdoor Research Hydrolite Stuff Sack
or in a compression sack. I haven't really babied the bag but when
not in use I do hang it from a hanger in my coat closet rather than
keep it bundled up. I have only washed it once or twice but so far
without any ill effects. I guess that means Dupont's claim that the
Thermoloft insulation is washable and durable is, at least at this
As for the Zodiac's power to be effective when wet, I have never had
any on trail situations where the Zodiac took on a significant amount
of water so I don't know for certain how well the synthetic
Thermoloft fill works. My only tests of its drying and post moister
insulation abilities have been two nights on a Mexico beach and one
night in a tent during some light snowfall. In the Mexico excursion
the humidity was pretty high and we'd awake in the mornings to damp
gear. The days were very sunny, however, so it was easy to let the
bag dry out before nightfall. Drying was quick in those conditions,
even with the humidity. I did not notice any change in warmth from
night to night.
On the snowy trip, we were caught off-guard a bit by the storm and
since I had only brought a light jacket I used the mummy as a blanket
while sitting around the campfire. It did get a little damp from the
snowfall but I wiped it down with a t-shirt when I turned in for the
night. This was also the lowest temperature in which I have tried
the Slumberjack. I don't know the exact degree but it was cold enough
to snow. At the time, I was using a 2 in (5 cm) foam pad wrapped in
a wool blanket as my ground insulation. It started snowing about an
hour before we all hit the sack so other than my outer layers I slept
in most of my clothes. I had on a thermal top and bottoms, a mid-
weight fleece jacket, and a fleece hat. I also had my dog with me,
in the bag, which does add some major body heat. I was slightly cold
on my underside and a little at my feet but the rest of me was warm.
As I recall, I was warm enough to stay bundled in the tent rather
than get up and face the chilly duties of breaking camp, well at
least until my friends started throwing pine cones at my shelter.
The nylon outer and inner shells have held up well. I usually look
the bag over quickly after each trek and although the bag is black
inside and out, which makes spotting damage more difficult, I haven't
seen any signs of wear. On trips I have often sat by the fire wrapped
up in the Zodiac on my pad or in a chair, which usually results in
the bag getting a little ashy and dirty where it touches the ground.
On the inside, I don't use any kind of bag liner for protection and
my dog, who accompanies me pretty regularly, usually sleeps in the
bag at my knees. In all of these cases, the dirt, ash and dog hair
seam to find their own way off the nylon. I wouldn't say it's self-
cleaning but one or two shakes and it's pretty good.
Malfunctions regarding any of the other Zodiac features are non-
existent. The bag is really simple though, not much to muck up. The
two zippers are smooth flowing and I don't recall ever having them
snag on any material. The drawstring hood closure has also been non-
problematic due to its simplicity. The string has not frayed or
knotted and the little push button cord lock still holds its place
when cinched up. I have never used the hang loop so I cannot say how
well it works or how well it's sewn into the fabric.
As I mentioned before, the Zodiac is the first mummy style bag I have
owned. I have used a few others prior to my Zodiac purchase that I
borrowed from friends but it still took me some time to get used to
the more confined feel of a mummy. Although I'm well above average
height for a woman, at 5' 11" (1.80 m) I'm the same height as the
average man and I would say the Zodiac is quite comfortable. It's
plenty spacious at the shoulders and through the body but not so much
that there is a ton of excess space. In fact, I'm shocked my dog can
fit in the bag with me and still breath. The one area where there is
some unnecessary extra room is in the hood. When the hood is cinched
up there is a little too much space above my head area. The face
hole also ends up lower than I would like, which makes me scoot down
in the bag, resulting in less foot room. I think if I was about an
inch or two shorter I wouldn't even notice this.
The Slumberjack Zodiac has served me well over the years and there
are many things I like. Specifically, its compact size when used
with a stuff sack, its weight, its "wash and wear" fabric, and its no
fuss features are my favorites.
My main gripe about this bag so far has been the location of the face
hole when I cinch the hood up. I feel like it should be a bit higher
so I don't have to slide down to the very end of the bag. It also
did not come with a stuff sack, or at least I don't recall it coming
with one, that would have been a nice extra.
- --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@h...> wrote:
> Thanks for giving us a review topic this month. Since I can't testHi Jamie,
> new gear right now I was looking for something to write an OR on.
> Edit away.
> Jamie in AZ
Thanks for your Owner's Review. Do not worry if nothing happens with
a few days. All our editors are volunteers and your report will be
to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a
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You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
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REVISED at the start of your re-post, if you take this route.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
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BGT Edit Moderator
- At 07:08 AM 01/03/2004, you wrote:
>Owner Review of the Slumberjack Zodiac mummy style sleeping bagHi Jamie
Thanks for your Owner's Review. Do not worry if nothing happens with it
for a few days. All our editors are volunteers and your report will be
subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a
response from an Edit Moderator via the list within this timeframe, please
let me know directly at apriest@....
You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group. These
edits and comments, while not official, should be considered carefully, and
if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your review. Incorporating
member edits and re-posting to the list will usually result in a better
review, as well as making things easier for the official editor. Please put
REVISED at the start of your re-post, if you take this route.
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