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REPOST: Owner Review - Mountainsmith Wisp - Stephen

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  • Stephen Blankenship
    Thanks for the edits. I have uploaded the html file and images to the test folder. Here is the address:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2005
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      Thanks for the edits. I have uploaded the html file and images to the
      test folder. Here is the address:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OWNER%20REVIEW%20-%20Mountainsmith%20Wisp%20-%20Stephen/#Packability

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      Owner Review: Mountainsmith Wisp Sleeping Bag
      April 30, 2005


      Tester Bio:

      * Name: Stephen Blankenship
      * Age: 21
      * Gender: Male
      * Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
      * Weight: 185 lbs (84kg)
      * City, State, Country: Huntsville, AL, USA

      Background: I have been a consistent backpacker for about 5-6 years.
      Most of my backpacking trips have been 3-5 days in the Appalachian
      mountain range. I backpack year-round, but I especially enjoy trips
      during the winter months. I have been fortunate enough to visit the
      Rockies, Alps, Pyrenees and the Himalayas. My pack weight (before food)
      is usually just under 20 lbs (9.07 kg) for a winter trip and at most 15
      lbs (6.80 kg) during the spring or summer.



      Product Information:

      * Manufacturer: Mountainsmith (www.mountainsmith.com)
      * Year of manufacture: 2003
      * Temperature rating: 30 F (-1 C)
      * Style: Mummy
      * Size: Regular = 84 in x 32 in (213 cm x 81 cm)
      * Stuff size (as measured): 6 x 10 in (15 x 25 cm)
      * Listed Weight: 1 lb 5 oz (.60 kg)
      * Tested Weight: 1 lb 6.1 oz (.63 kg), including nylon stuff sack as
      measured on a digital scale
      * Fill: 11 oz (312 g) 750+ goose down
      * Zipper length: 37 in (94 cm), half-length
      * Outer Shell: DWR Dimension Polyant Airnet fabric
      * Lining: 30d Ripstop nylon
      * MSRP: $249.95 US



      Product Description:

      The Wisp is a very light and packable 3-season sleeping bag. The bag is
      dark maroon in coloration, while the stuff sack is bright orange.
      Mountainsmith also includes a large cotton storage sack for storing the
      Wisp in between trips (pictured to the right). The bag has continuous
      baffles and a full draft tube filled with 750+ goose down. Also, the
      bag has a down-filled draft collar. This is one of the lightest
      sleeping bags on the market, and it is has been a great choice for some
      of my lightweight backpacking trips. Some extra features this bag
      offers are as follows:

      * Canted footbox ergonomically designed to fit feet
      * Wind proof fabric
      * DWR finish
      * Fill is strategically placed to maximize insulating efficiency
      * Draw cords are shape coded
      * Velcro closure at top of zipper
      * Lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects
      * External hanging loop


      Field Conditions:
      I have tested this sleeping bag in a wide variety of conditions. I have
      slept inside it in airports, on backpacking trips, and in a hammock.
      This past summer I took the Wisp with me on a trip throughout Thailand
      and India, where I mostly used it as a type of (very comfortable) hostel
      liner. Technically, I have used the Wisp in elevations above 17,000 ft
      (5,182 m) while I was in the Himalayas, but I must admit that I was
      usually sleeping with it on a bed (we decided to ride motorcycles
      through the mountains instead of trekking). The most grueling testing
      this bag has received has been on various backpacking trips in the
      Southeastern United States, including a week-long trip on the Pinhoti
      trail in Alabama. During backpacking trips I have mostly used the Wisp
      inside of a hammock, and in temperatures down to 25 F (-4 C).


      Product Review

      Comfort: Excellent
      - My main concern with buying a lightweight sleeping bag was whether I
      would have sufficient room to move around (girth). The Wisp definitely
      exceeded my expectations. For such a light bag, it has sufficient room
      to move around. While I am of fairly average size, I would expect to
      remain comfortable inside this bag even if I was 50 lb (23 kg) heavier.


      Packability: Excellent
      - The Mountainsmith Wisp will easily stuff in its included stuff sack [
      I measured it to be about 6 x 10 in (15.24 x 25.40 cm) ]. To define
      "easily", I will explain that it I can stuff the bag using only my hands
      (I have never had to use my knees for extra strength...). However, I
      don't believe that I would want to stuff the Wisp into a smaller stuff
      sack because it does fit nice and tight. For an example, this bag fits
      perfectly into the lower compartment of my Gregory Advent Pro which is a
      fairly small backpack made for adventure racing.


      Durability: Good
      - The issue of durability is my biggest concern with this sleeping bag.
      I have read in other product descriptions that it is a durable bag and I
      have not yet torn or punctured the bag, but I am constantly worried
      about it happening. This is because the outer shell feels about as
      durable as a standard trash bag. I am not saying that it is not a
      durable bag (it has survived my abuse on various backpacking trips), but
      the look and feel of the fabric makes me take special care of it
      wherever I go. Also, I should point out that the inner fabric next to
      the zipper has a laminate that should keep the zipper from ripping open
      the sleeping bag. Obviously, lighter sleeping bag equals thinner and
      usually less durable materials. This will most likely be a concern for
      me with any lightweight sleeping bag.

      As far as the Wisp's capacity to maintain loft, I would rate it as
      excellent. I rarely notice stray feathers that have escaped from the
      Wisp's shell. This is obviously a difficult aspect to compare to other
      bags, but I have noticed more loss of loft from my friend's bags than I
      have from my Wisp.


      Warmth: Good
      - I have slept with the Mountainsmith Wisp inside a Hennessy Hammock in
      temperatures down to 25 F (-4 C). This is definitely a good test of
      this sleeping bags warmth rating [which is 30 F (-1 C)]. I would say
      that this rating is accurate, but possibly a little too optimistic. I
      was comfortable in the bag down to 25 F (-4 C), but I was also wearing
      long underwear, thick socks, and a fleece jacket. Usually, when
      temperatures get around freezing, I am not comfortable inside this bag
      unless I am also wearing long underwear and definitely thick socks. I
      should also add that I do not get cold very easily.

      I am able to cinch the draw cords on the Wisp until only my nose is
      exposed. This, in combination with the draft collar, keeps chills from
      creeping in through the face hole. Also, I have never felt any drafts
      through the zipper because of the down-filled draft tube.


      Overview:
      - The Mountainsmith Wisp is a very light and packable sleeping bag.
      Also, the generous girth of the bag allows sufficient leg room. But, as
      with any ultra light sleeping bag, there could be a sacrifice of
      durability and possibly some warmth.


      Pros:
      + Very light
      + Easily packs to a small size
      + Sufficient room to move around inside the bag
      Cons:
      - Feels very non durable



      Best wishes,

      Stephen Blankenship (stephenrb@...)


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