REPOST: OR - Wild Bill 20 F Sleeping Bag
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Sierra Designs Wild Bill 20 F Sleeping Bag
Date of Review: 3-Oct-2006
Name: Larry Kirschner
Height: 5� 9� (1.75 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg) and falling (I hope)
Email address: asklarry98@...
City, State, Country: Columbus, OH USA
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�
Manufacturer: Sierra Designs (www.sierradesigns.com)
Model: Wild Bill 20 F (-7 C) synthetic fill sleeping bag
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)
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.
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
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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