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Owner Review - Slumberjack Zodiac (jamie)

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  • chcoa
    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. Edit away. Jamie in AZ ...
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 29, 2004
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      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.
      Edit away.

      Jamie in AZ
      -----------------------------------------------------------------

      Owner Review of the Slumberjack Zodiac mummy style sleeping bag

      Date: February 29th, 2004

      Personal Information

      Jamie DeBenedetto
      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
      Email: jdeben@...
      State/Country: The Grand Canyon State - Arizona, USA

      Background/Experience

      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.

      Product Information

      Manufacturer: Slumberjack
      URL: www.slumberjack.com
      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
      scale
      Dimensions:
      - 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
      Zodiac.

      Product Review

      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
      point, true.

      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.

      Likes
      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.

      Dislikes
      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.
    • Graham Blamey
      ... Hi 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
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 29, 2004
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        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@h...> wrote:
        > 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.
        > Edit away.
        > Jamie in AZ

        Hi 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
        us
        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.

        If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
        the
        list or contact me directly.
        Regards,
        Graham Blamey,
        BGT Edit Moderator
      • Andrew Priest
        ... Hi 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
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 29, 2004
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          At 07:08 AM 01/03/2004, you wrote:
          >Owner Review of the Slumberjack Zodiac mummy style sleeping bag

          Hi 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.

          If you are new to the BackpackGearTest.org, welcome to the community! The
          editors will work with you, within their own time constraints, to get your
          first two Owner Reviews approved and upload in a timely manner. Once these
          first two Owner Reviews have been approved and you have submitted your
          Tester Agreement you will be eligible to start applying for Tests.

          If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via the
          list or contact me directly.

          Regards
          Andrew Priest
          Senior Edit Moderator


          Senior Edit Moderator and List Moderator
          http://BackpackGearTest.org : The most comprehensive interactive gear
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