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REPOST: OR - Wild Bill 20 F Sleeping Bag

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  • laurence kirschner
    The html version of this REPOSTed review can be found at:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2006
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      The html version of this REPOSTed review can be found at:

      Sierra Designs Wild Bill 20 F Sleeping Bag
      Date of Review: 3-Oct-2006

      Biographical information
      Name: Larry Kirschner
      Age: 42
      Gender: M
      Height: 5� 9� (1.75 m)
      Weight: 195 lb (88 kg) and falling (I hope)
      Email address: asklarry98@...
      City, State, Country: Columbus, OH USA

      Backpacking Background:
      I�ve been an intermittent camper/paddler since my teens, but now that my
      kids are avid Boy Scouts, I�ve caught the backpacking bug. I typically do a
      few weekend hikes per year, and have just spent 2 weeks backpacking at the
      Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmarron, New Mexico. I like to travel �in
      comfort�, so I often pack a little heavier than needed, but I�m trying to
      cut down. With all of my investment into this trip, I expect my wife and I
      will continue to trek long after the kids are gone�

      Product information
      Manufacturer: Sierra Designs (www.sierradesigns.com)
      Model: Wild Bill 20 F (-7 C) synthetic fill sleeping bag
      Size: Regular
      MSRP: US$99.95 (US$109.95 for the long version)
      Year of manufacture: 2005
      Listed weight: 3 lb 0 oz (48 oz, 1.36 kg)
      Weight as delivered: 3 lb 1 oz (49 oz , 1.39 kg)
      Fill weight: 27 oz (0.76 kg)
      Inside Length 78" (98 cm)
      Zipper Side Left
      Shoulder Girth 60" (152 cm)
      Hip Girth 57" (143m)
      Footbox Girth 39" (99 cm)

      Insulation type: Polarguard 3D
      Shell Material 70D Nylon
      Liner Material 75D Polyester

      Stuffed size listed: 9 x 19 in (23 x 48 cm)

      Product Description
      When I decided to increase my backpacking action, I wanted to find a fairly
      inexpensive bag that would be suitable for a variety of short trips but
      would hold up on a few extended trips. I had decided early on to get a
      synthetic bag because of concern about the bag getting wet, and I was
      willing to pay the cost in extra weight. I had read about the Wild Bill bag
      in Backpacker magazine, and was impressed because they rated it as a very
      comfortable bag (and I�m all about the comfort).
      Compared to other similarly rated and priced bags, the Wild Bill appears to
      have a significantly better loft, and had a much sturdier appearance. It
      also has a number of other features which I liked, including the full length
      zipper which zipped easily from top to bottom. From the company literature,
      it also has the following features:
      � Glow-in-the-dark zipper pull.
      � Chest pocket:
      � Pad locks:
      � Pillow pocket:
      Like most bags, it comes with a nylon stuff sack and a cotton storage bag.
      Lastly, although it lists for US$99, I was able to find it on sale for
      US$69, which made it a really good choice for my budget.

      Field information
      This has been my primary sleeping bag over the past year, and I have taken
      my Wild Bill on many weekend campouts, including 3 weekend hiking trips in
      Ohio where the temperature was in the 50�s and 60�s at night (10-15 C).
      This was also my bag on my 2 week backpacking excursion in the Sangre de
      Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, elevations from 6000 to 12000 ft (1800-3600
      m). Sleeping temperature ranges for the trip ranged between 50 F (10 C) at
      lower altitudes to the mid-30�s (2-3 C) higher up.
      In general, the bag has been a great asset for my trips. It is extremely
      comfortable--roomy and warm. When the weather is cooler, I pull the mummy
      hood tight and sleep well. The draft tube keeps the cold air out, and the
      no-snag zipper, although not perfect, was certainly better than zippers I
      have had in other bags. I like the fact that the bag has a full length
      zipper, although this adds a slight bit of weight. The bag has also gotten
      wet on a few occasions (although never soaked) and has kept me warm while
      drying quickly. Because it is synthetic, it also is easy to clean, and has
      been in the washer a number of times without any problem.
      The major downside to this bag is that the stuff size is very large, much
      larger than in comparable bags. I was using a fairly large internal frame
      backpack (5600 cubic inches, 92 L), and this bag took up a substantial
      portion of my room.
      Regarding the extra features, here are my comments:
      � Glow-in-the-dark zipper pull. Yes, it glows in the dark, and is easily
      visible at night. However, I never actually needed to open my eyes to see it
      while I was in the bag, so I�m not sure of its importance.
      � Chest pocket: It�s there, but I never used it. Kept valuables in my pack
      or my pocket, but it could be useful for small stuff in other situations
      � Pad locks: These are straps on the bottom of the bag which are supposed to
      prevent the sleeping pad from slipping out from under the sleeping bag. I
      tried them once, but felt like their major effect was to prevent me from
      moving around in the bag. I�m a restless sleeper, and I just reposition
      myself on my pad when I roll over. For those who don�t move, they might be
      worthwhile. Another interesting feature of questionable value.
      � Pillow pocket: Loved it! This is a small area under the hood with a
      pocket and Velcro fasteners. I stuck my fleece in there for a pillow, and
      had no problems with a sore neck. VERY useful.

      Overall, I really like the Wild Bill bag. It is warm and comfortable, with
      all the benefits of a nice synthetic bag. It is heavier than a down bag,
      but comparable for other synthetics and at a very reasonable price. It is a
      great bag for weekend camping and for backpacking, as long as space isn�t an
      issue. I haven�t taken it down to its rating at 20 F (-7 C), but it is
      certainly plenty warm at 30 F (-1 C). If I take the bag on another long
      trip, I may try to get a better compression stuff sack and see if I can make
      it smaller.
      Things I like about the Wild Bill
      Roomy, warm, and comfortable
      Pillow pocket is very useful
      Full length zipper
      Things I don�t like about the Wild Bill
      Stuffs to very large size

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