Frog Sac FR - Rick
- Frog Sac FR - Rick
Product: Speer Frog Sac
Tester: Rick Allnutt
Monitor: Jack Corrigan
This is turning out to be a great little sleeping bag! I can't wait for colder
weather to see what its real limits are!
I uploaded a copy to the test folder here:
Jack, the html version has a photograph and uses different font colors to help
clarify several points. It may be worthwhile to take a look at it if there are
Multifunction Sleeping Bag
Field Report by Rick Allnutt
1 September 2004
PERSONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
51 Year old male
6' 0'' (183 cm) in height
198 lbs (90 kg) in weight
Personal Home Page: Risk's Ultralight Hiking
Email address: rick (at) BackpackGearTest (dot) org
I live in Dayton, Ohio
Over the last several years, I have become an ultralight camper with a
three-season base pack weight of about 15 lb (7 kg) and skin out weight of 23
lb (10 1/2 kg). I have completed many section hikes on the Appalachian Trail
(AT) in all four seasons, with a total mileage of about 525 miles (850 km). I
am a gearhead, a hammock camper, and make much of my own equipment.
Manufacturer: Speer Hammocks
Year Manufactured: 2004
Manufacturer's Link: http://www.speerhammocks.com/
Listed Weight (size Medium): 1 lb 10 oz (740 g)
Measured Weight: 1 lb 11 oz (770 g)
For a detailed description of the Frog Sac, please see my Initial Report. The
bag is described this way on the website:
PrimaLoft Insulation 1" (2.6 cm) Loft
Full Length Front Zipper w/ two Sliders
Contoured Hood w/ Draw Strings
Bottom Foot Opening w/ Draw Strings
Unique Locking Barrel Toggles on Draw Strings
Can be Fully Opened and used as a Blanket
45 F (7 C) Rating (Summer Weight)
Sized for Big & Tall Persons
Larger Girth and Length than most bags
Stuff Sack 11 X 7 in (28 X 18 cm) with Unique Double Draw String Closure
(metric equivalents added inside the quotation by the author for clarity)
I used the Frog Sac for several overnight testing sessions in my yard, with
overnight temperatures ranging down to about 50 F (10 C). These sessions gave
me the confidence to take the bag on an overnight trip in the Adirondack
Mountains and a week-long summer trip in the Smoky Mountains along the AT. On
these trips the night temperatures were as warm as 60 F (16 C) and as cold as
50 F (10 C). I experienced windy conditions, rain, and sleeping in 100%
humidity (dripping fog). I used the Frog Sac in shelters, hammock camping, and
in a hiker hostel.
Despite the luxury of The Standing Bear hiker hostel,
I chose to sleep in my Frog Sac for the comfort.
The Frog Sac has been warm enough to get good solid sleep every night. In
conditions that are cooler than I would have expected a sleeping bag only half
an inch thick to be effective, I have had good rest. Occasionally, in very
humid fog, I've need to wear long wool underwear to sleep in the bag, because I
began chilling. This was mainly true at altitudes above 5000 ft (1500 m) and
with clouds, rain, and wind.
I use the Frog Sac as both a quilt and a sleeping bag. Most nights, I unzip the
bag from the head down to my knees and use it as a quilt. I find this
practical in both hammock sleeping and in the shelters I used. Other nights I
zip the bag up to my chin and use it as a mummy bag. It is fairly tight around
me in this configuration, giving me little room to put my hands on either side
of my hips. I found the bag most comfortable, when zipped up, if I crossed my
arms in front of my chest, touching my clavicles. I found the bag to be
considerably warmer used as a quilt, when the insulation piled up as folds on
top of me. This was most pronounced when using the Frog Sac as a quilt in a
I love the foot end of the bag, which opens with a drawstring. On warm
evenings, it is very nice to let my bare feet stick outside the bag/quilt,
aiding me in keeping cool. Even better, on nights following rainy days, I am
able to wear my damp socks and let them dry without making the inside of my
sleeping bag moist. I have worn up to 4 pairs of socks at a time to dry them
on my feet at night.
On a recent week-long hike, I developed a blister on the back of my heel.
Getting air to that blister each night was essential to being able to continue
the hike the next day. The foot opening of the Frog Sac allowed me to get that
healing air to my feet all night.
I would have guessed that having my feet outside the bag would have made my feet
very cold. My experience has not confirmed this belief. Instead, my feet have
been warm. On the coldest of the nights, slipping a pair of dry socks on my
feet is comparable to slipping a balaclava over my head. The socks keep my
feet toasty warm.
I tend to keep the draw cord at the foot end tightened just a little. This
gives my toes purchase to pull the bag down if it begins sneaking too far up my
legs. It also allows me to cover my feet with the end of the sleeping bag if I
have a desire to do so for a short while. However, as time went on, I found
myself preferring the sensation of cool air on my feet. I have become a convert
to this kind of sleeping.
I experimented with using the Frog Sac as a jacket replacement on several cool
mornings. In one trial, I released the foot end drawstring and then unzipped
the bag about 2 ft (60 cm) from the foot end. I clipped the two ends of the
foot drawstrings to each other around my waist with the mating plastic
drawstring clips. The Frog Sac hung from my head and shoulders and then turned
up and inside itself where the drawstring was fastened around my waist. This
allowed me to keep the end of the sleeping bag off the ground (it hung about 18
in (46 cm) above my feet) while I walked around the campsite making breakfast
and packing. The only drawback to this method was a tendency for the two
drawstring clips to come apart from one another at inopportune times.
I found a better way to walk around with the sleeping bag used as a quilt/robe.
This was to strap my belt around the outside of the bag at my waist. Then I
could pull the bag up under the belt, making a long slit skirt of the foot of
the bag to wear around the camp.
I had some difficulty finding ways to keep the top of the bag on my head or
shoulders while using the bag as a jacket/robe, as there are no arm holes in
the bag. I also found it impossible to wear a backpack with the sleeping bag
on , because there was no way to slip my arms into the pack's straps. I did
attempt to put my pack on inside the sleeping bag, but this was not practical.
The Frog Sac takes up delightfully little room in my pack. It's size is about
half that of a lightweight down quilt I normally have carried. This allows use
of a smaller/lighter pack and increases the volume of pack space available for
TEST PLAN for LONG TERM REPORT:
As the Long Term Reporting period begins, the outside temperatures will drop and
the other uses of the Frog Sac will be evaluated. I will be evaluating the
lowest temperatures at which I can comfortably sleep. I will continue to
experiment to verify the temperature rating of the Frog Sac when it is used as
a top blanket or quilt. I will use the Frog Sac as a bag or quilt liner and
also see how well it performs as a robe while sitting outside in the cold.
I will make some temporary changes in the portion of the bag at my shoulders to
test the possibility of using armholes in order to use the bag while carrying a
Some specific items I advanced in my Initial Report have now been answered: The
following questions were asked. Updated answers are in red.
- How comfortable is the Frog Sac overall? Is it large enough, and does the
material feel good against my skin?
It is large enough to use well and its material does feel good against my skin.
- How well is the Sac constructed? How carefully are the seams sewn? What is the
specific method of construction?
The construction is holding together very well.
- Does the Frog Sac keep me warm? What is the effective insulation when over me
as a quilt... I expect it will be much greater than the inch of insulation
Speer Hammocks claims.
- How does the insulation perform when the bag is moist? When soaked and then
- Using an Infrared thermometer, what temperatures are obtained inside and
outside the Frog Sac in various configurations?
- How well does the system work as a robe? When it gets wet, can it be worn as a
robe to dry?
- How inconvenient will the Sac be without sleeves or arm holes?
I believe arm holes may well improve the use of the Frog Sac. Hence, I will
open temporary arm holes in the bag and evaluate their usefulness.
- How do the unique toggles at the foot and at the neck work?
Generally they work well, but occasionally they release quite easily - too
easily. More than once, when I had the foot end drawstring fastened around my
waist, and depended on the toggle to keep the bag from falling to the ground,
it released and I had to stop what I was doing to fasten it again.
- How well does the Sac work as a sleeping bag or as a quilt in a shelter
(without the hammock).
My experience in shelters and a hiker hostel has been quite positive.
WHAT I REALLY LIKE SO FAR
- Able to let my feet hang out of the bag to dry socks or just feel cooler on
- Small size and weight
- Keeps me warm, despite low bulk
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE
- Arm holes to allow wearing the Frog Sac as a jacket while carrying a pack
- --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, rick@b... wrote:
> Frog Sac FR - Rickwait for colder
> Product: Speer Frog Sac
> Tester: Rick Allnutt
> Monitor: Jack Corrigan
> This is turning out to be a great little sleeping bag! I can't
> weather to see what its real limits are!I couldn't agree more, Rick. I've been getting stares all
summer "wearing" the Frog Sac! I should push the low end this
weekend in the Adirondacks...
- Quoting tcoug7 <tcoug7@...>:
> --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, rick@b... wrote:Be safe and have fun!
> > Frog Sac FR - Rick
> > Product: Speer Frog Sac
> > Tester: Rick Allnutt
> > Monitor: Jack Corrigan
> > This is turning out to be a great little sleeping bag! I can't
> wait for colder
> > weather to see what its real limits are!
> I couldn't agree more, Rick. I've been getting stares all
> summer "wearing" the Frog Sac! I should push the low end this
> weekend in the Adirondacks...
- not an edit - I just noticed your FR lacks the MSRP (so does your IR,
Do you have any information on a winter weight frog sac? The
website's statement "summer weight" seems to hint tantalizingly at
the existences of a frog sac with s.th. other than "summer weight".
Another thing I wonder about - and please don't take this as
criticism, implied or otherwise, this is just a newbie asking -
wasn't there a rule against modifying gear before the end of the LTR
(I always felt that if you've clearly given the gear a good working
over in the field by the FR, being able to report on mods during the
LTR would be cool - about half the follow-up reports heralded at the
end of LTRs never seem to materialize...)?
It does seem as though having arm holes in that thing would be a no-
brainer. I can see on the website now that I was mistaken, but
somehow (even though I'd looked at the website) I had assumed it had
- Hi Andre,
MSRP is an optional field. But frankly, it was an oversight. I will
add it to the final draft. Thanks!
I know nothing about a possibility for a winterweight Frog Sac. Mr.
Speer makes the PeaPod, which is a down-filled covering for the Speer
hammock. He also makes several down filled pads which can be used in
various ways to insulate a hammock or a sleeping bag.
I think of the Frog Sac as a summerweight sleeping bag or a component
in a layered winterweight system.
On modifications: I would not permanently modify gear in any way
before the LTR is complete because it is not mine. For instance, I
would not cut fabric. I also would not modify it at all before the
Field Report. However, a temporary and reversible change, like the
opening of a (non waterproof) seam, is a type of modification which I
consider fair game during the LTR, especially if it has potential to
highlight a potential improvement in the product.
Frog Sac Tester
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, André Corterier
> not an edit - I just noticed your FR lacks the MSRP (so does your IR,
> Do you have any information on a winter weight frog sac? The
> website's statement "summer weight" seems to hint tantalizingly at
> the existences of a frog sac with s.th. other than "summer weight".
> Another thing I wonder about - and please don't take this as
> criticism, implied or otherwise, this is just a newbie asking -
> wasn't there a rule against modifying gear before the end of the LTR
> (I always felt that if you've clearly given the gear a good working
> over in the field by the FR, being able to report on mods during the
> LTR would be cool - about half the follow-up reports heralded at the
> end of LTRs never seem to materialize...)?
> It does seem as though having arm holes in that thing would be a no-
> brainer. I can see on the website now that I was mistaken, but
> somehow (even though I'd looked at the website) I had assumed it had
> them already...
- At 02:42 PM 2/09/2004, you wrote:
>not an edit - I just noticed your FR lacks the MSRP (so does your IR,It is not a requirement, only a recommendation.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Thanks for your report, test monitor EDITS/QUESTIONS are below:
humid fog, I've need to wear long
THIRD PARAGRAPH UNDER "REVIEW" (IN HTML) LOOKS LIKE IT BEGINS WITH AN
> Frog Sac FR - Rick--
> Product: Speer Frog Sac
> Tester: Rick Allnutt
Jack Corrigan, Cyber and Drager
18S 283312mE 4227231mN (NAD27)
- Jack Corrigan wrote:
>Thanks for your report, test monitor EDITS/QUESTIONS are below:Thanks for the edits Jack. Taken, and uploaded.
>humid fog, I've need to wear long
>THIRD PARAGRAPH UNDER "REVIEW" (IN HTML) LOOKS LIKE IT BEGINS WITH AN
>>Frog Sac FR - Rick
>>Product: Speer Frog Sac
>>Tester: Rick Allnutt