OR: Sierra Designs Calamity Jane Sleeping Bag
- Sierra Designs Calamity Jane Sleeping Bag (Women's Regular)
Name: Jennifer Williams
Height: 5 ft 3 in (1.6 m)
Weight: 120 lbs (56 kg)
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Date: February 15, 2005
I grew up horseback riding, camping, and hiking and developed a love of the outdoors and
respect for nature. I try to get outside as much as possible and am an avid skier and
snowboarded. I started backpacking about two years ago. All of my trips have been one or
two night stays. My trips normally range from coastal trails in the redwoods to
mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevadas. I tend to hike where I encounter rain and
dampness. This year I am looking forward to making some longer trips in northern
California and gaining more experience. I am not a lightweight backpacker yet, but would
like to reduce my current pack weight significantly.
Manufacturer: Sierra Designs
Year of manufacture: 2003
Listed weight: 2 lbs 13 oz (1.28 kg)
Weight as delivered: 2 lbs 12 oz (1.25 kg)
Fill: 550 Powerfill Down
Length: 66 in (1.68 m)
Width (shoulder): 29 in (.74 m)
Width (feet): 19 in (.48 m)
Degree Rating: +15 Farenheit (-9.43 Celcius)
Color: turquois (black lining)
The Calamity Jane is a women's specific down, lightweight sleeping bag. It is a mummy-
style bag with more width in the hip area to better fit a woman's shape. There is also extra
insulation around the torso area and foot box to accommodate women's lower sleep
metabolisms. It has a full-length zipper with a draft tube that runs the length of the zipper
to keep out cold air. The hood has a cinch cord around the opening to close the gaps
around your head. The bag also has 2 adjustable straps on the back to loop around a
sleeping pad to keep you from sliding off during the night.
When I received the bag the package contained the sleeping bag, a nylon stuff sack, and a
mesh storage sack. When the bag is packed in the stuff sack it measures 17 inches (43 cm)
by 7 inches (18 cm). The storage sack is much larger and allows the bag to remain loose
and inflated during storage. While the stuff sack is a nice size for car camping, I bought a
small compression sack that compresses the bag down to 6 inches (15 cm) by 8 inches (20
My first trip with this bag was a one night backpacking trip in the central California
Ventana Wilderness. My camp was near 4000 feet (1219 m) in elevation, the weather
was dry, and the temperatures overnight were between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (4
to 10 C). I used my compression sack that gets the bag to a very small, semi-round
shape that fit nicely in the bottom of my pack. I used the bag with an old Therm-A-Rest
sleeping pad, but did not use the straps on the sleeping bag to secure it to the pad.
Despite this, I did not slide off of the pad during the night. I am generally a pretty still
sleeper but I do turn on my side occasionally. I am also a very cold sleeper, particularly my
feet. I slept in shorts and a t-shirt and a pair of wool hiking socks. Since the temperatures
that night were relatively warm, I stayed nice and toasty in my bag, but I was pleased to
note that I didn't feel too hot or sweaty in the bag. The lining is polyester and I was afraid
it might feel sticky or clammy against my legs after a hot day of backpacking. However,
the lining was dry and light and did not stick at all. I left the hood open for ventilation and
remained comfortable all night. Even my feet were warm. I also won a "worm war"
(wrestling with your tent-mate while keeping all appendages zipped in your bags) the next
morning, although I don't know if I can attribute that to the bag.
My next trip in this bag was a three-night car camping trip in Sequoia National Park. My
camp was at 6800 feet (2073 m), with just a bit of dampness in the mornings and
temperatures near 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to 4 C) at night. This time I used
the stuff sack that came with the pack since size was not an issue in the car. The stuff sack
was easy to use and kept the bag at a manageable size. Again, I slept in a t-shirt and
shorts with wool hiking socks. Since the temperatures were a bit cooler I tightened the
hood around my face to keep the cold out. The cinch cord was easy to use, but did require
two hands, which can be awkward if you try to cinch it really tight. I was warm and
comfortable every night. I was able to sleep on my side and curl my legs up inside the bag
even though it is a mummy bag. I also used the straps this time to secure myself to the
sleeping pad. It was easy to slide the straps over the pad and adjust their tightness with
the buckles. I did not notice them restricting my movement, even when I slept on my side.
Although, the straps did prove to be my demise during a vicious worm war since I was
attached to my sleeping pad and could not defend myself.
My most recent trip with the Calamity Jane was near the coast in the redwoods of northern
California. I camped at 1000 feet (305 m) in cool, damp conditions. Temperatures
overnight were around 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 C). Because the weather was cool
and damp I wore pajama pants and a long sleeve shirt to sleep in. The lining of the bag
was nice and slick and did not cause the pants to bunch up when I moved around. Before I
got to sleep, my tent mate managed to spill a whole Nalgene bottle of water on the
bottoms of our bags. I was pleased to see most of the water roll off of my bag instead of
soaking in. The remaining water wiped away easily and I did not feel any moisture inside
the bag. That night I also found the zipper very easy to find and operate when I woke up to
find 8 raccoons ransacking our camp food. The zipper never snagged or got stuck even
though I was unzipping very quickly to get out and defend our food supply. Once I got to
sleep, I did find that I was a bit warm with pants on, even in the cooler temperatures. I was
able to loosen the hood and unzip about half way and then I was comfortable the rest of
Overall, the Calamity Jane Down Bag is a solidly constructed sleeping bag for women. I
have noticed a couple feathers poking out at the seams, but nothing drastic. Despite being
a cold sleeper I have always stayed warm and comfortable in it. The bag is functional for
backpacking or car camping and saves weight with its shorter design. It has a few nice
extras, like the straps to secure it to a sleeping pad and women specific insulation around
the feet and torso. I would recommend this bag (or it's new equivalent since I think they
have changed the name) to someone looking for a reasonably priced, cool weather bag.
Lightweight and compressible
Extra insulation in foot box
Drawstring around the hood- I would like to see a cinch cord with one-handed operation.
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