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REPOST: Owner Review TNF Aleutian bag Chad Poindexter

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  • Chad
    Richard, Thank you for the kind words! Ray has been very helpful and encouraging to me during this review, I m very thankful to him. Thank you for your edits
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2009
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      Richard,

      Thank you for the kind words! Ray has been very helpful and encouraging
      to me during this review, I'm very thankful to him. Thank you for your
      edits as well. I have corrected the errors and have uploaded the
      corrected review to the tester folder at BGT. It can be found here at
      this link: http://tinyurl.com/yg47axe <http://tinyurl.com/yg47axe>

      Following is the text version as well.

      Thank you again for your time (and edits!)

      Chad Poindexter "Stick"


      THE NORTH FACE ALEUTIAN SLEEPING BAG
      BY CHAD POINDEXTER
      OR
      October 31, 2009

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Chad Poindexter
      EMAIL: cg-77 (at) hotmail (dot) com
      AGE: 32
      LOCATION: Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
      WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

      I started backpacking this year and have hiked a section of the
      Appalachian Trail in north Georgia and in a few state parks in northeast
      Mississippi and Alabama. As a new backpacker I have collected mostly
      heavy gear, but want to go light. I use a tent at this time. I like a
      warm drink in the morning and a warm meal at night. Since I'm still new
      my distance is around 10 mi (16 km) or less per day, depending on
      terrain. I haven't done any solo hiking because either my fiancé or
      my son is along for company.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION


      Manufacturer: The North Face (TNF)
      Year of Manufacture: 2008
      Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
      "http://www.thenorthface.com/catalog/index.html?cm_mmc=Google-_-Brand%20\
      Terms-_-Brand%20Terms-_-The%20North%20Face" LINK TEXT =
      "www.thenorthface.com">>
      Size: Regular
      MSRP: (US) $89.00 (Also available, Long: (US) $ 99.00)
      Temperature Rating: 20 F (-7 C)
      Listed Weight: 3 lb 6 oz (1545 g)
      Measured Weight: 3 lb 4 oz (1474 g)
      Fill Weight: 2 lb 1 oz (930 gm)
      Insulation Type: Heatshield Optimal Technology (H.O.T. SL) synthetic
      insulation
      Max User Height Listed: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
      Shoulder Circumference Listed: 62 in (157 cm)
      Hip Circumference Listed: 58 in (147 cm)
      Foot Circumference Listed: 40 in (102 cm)
      External Length Listed: 84 in (213 cm) (Length Verified Accurate)
      Compressed Size Listed: 8 in X 17 in (20 cm X 43 cm)
      Actual Compressed Size: 8.5 in X 16 in (22 cm X 41 cm)


      PRODUCT DETAILS:
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2">>
      The Aleutian sleeping bag (hereafter referred to as "Aleutian" or "the
      bag") is a mummy-shaped bag and has a "The North Face" logo
      screen-printed on the center front of the bag just below the face
      opening (see picture below right) as well as a tag stating the name of
      the bag, insulation type, and temperature rating sewn in near the top of
      the bag just on the inside next to the zipper (see picture below left.)
      There is a consumer tag which states basic product information and
      cleaning instructions attached to the outside and located on the foot of
      the bag, as well as two hang tabs on either side of the foot box.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 9">>
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4">>The Aleutian features a 100%
      polyester Enduralite shell fabric on the outside of the bag and a silky
      polyester taffeta fabric that lines the entire inside of the bag. The
      bag features straight sewn overlapping shingle construction and is
      filled using H.O.T. SL synthetic insulation. Quoted from the North Face
      web site "Comprised of Heatshield Optimal Technology synthetic
      insulation, this sleeping bag won't lose its softness, warmth or
      loftiness when compressed and shoved into a daypack for transport." The
      bag lofts up to 5 in (13 cm) at the foot of the bag and 3.5 in (9 cm)
      throughout the rest of the bag.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 8">>

      The bag also features a draft tube measuring 3 in (8 cm) wide that runs
      the entire length of the zipper, which stops 12 in (30 cm) from the
      bottom of the bag. It also has an easy grab zipper pull which is a 2.5
      in (6 cm) gray-colored flat piece of nylon looped through the zipper and
      sewn together. There is an external zippered chest pocket that measures
      3.5 in X 5.5 in (9 cm X 14 cm) and has a small flap covering the zipper
      located on the upper right hand side of the bag. The Aleutian also
      features a gray-colored rounded elastic drawcord that runs perpendicular
      to the zipper around the hood as well as across the chest and exits on
      the side opposite the zipper to cinch the hood around my face with a
      cord locking mechanism. The zipper runs from the opening at the face to
      12 in (30 cm) from the bottom of the bag. There is a hook-and-loop
      zipper stay near the hood of the bag that is able to attach to either
      side of the zipper. The bag was accompanied by one 100 % nylon stuff
      sack and has a single handle on the bottom end for ease of removing the
      bag from the stuff sack. It is closed with a simple nylon pull cord that
      cinches the opening together and a cord locking mechanism. The stuff
      sack has a label inside the sack stating size "SM" and weighs 2 oz (57
      g). Here is a picture of the bag in its stuff sack next to a gallon jug.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1">>



      FIELD USE

      I have used the Aleutian this past September on a 40 mile (64 km) hike
      on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in North Georgia (GA). The temperatures
      reached 85 F (29 C) during the days and as low as 61 F (16 C) at night.
      Elevations ranged from 1,770 ft (539 m) where we began our hike to 4,450
      ft (1356 m) where we made camp for our last night out. We set our tent
      up on a rocky / sandy bald atop Blood Mountain and I used a size regular
      REI Lite-Core 1.5 Self-Inflating Pad beneath the bag inside the tent.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "Blood
      Mountain, elevation 4,450 ft (1356 m)">> <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT =
      "IMAGE 7">>

      I have also used the Aleutian closer to home on overnight trips to Big
      Hill Pond State Park (BHPSP) multiple times since late spring this year.
      The elevation is listed at 500 ft (152 m) and the lowest temperatures
      that we experienced were around 50 F (10 C) during the spring of 2009.
      The picture to the right is from a trip to BHPSP and it had drizzled
      rain on us through out the entire day and as night time came more rain
      came with it! Again I was inside a tent and I used the size regular REI
      Lite-Core 1.5 Self-Inflating Pad beneath the bag inside the tent.

      REVIEW:

      The Aleutian was one of my very first backpacking purchases when I
      decided I wanted to give backpacking a go this past April! I did not
      know a lot about sleeping bags when I made this purchase and I thought
      that since it was "The North Face," then it had to be a good bag.
      Sometime after the purchase I did more research on sleeping bags for
      backpacking in general, and found out that this bag was not
      top-of-the-line. But I was still going to give it a chance.


      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3">>And I did. The day I got it I
      was waiting on the UPS driver to arrive with the bag at the house so I
      could go out for the night car camping, so when he got here at 7:00 PM I
      immediately loaded it up and drove to the campsite and set up camp for
      the night, with my brand new bag (see picture to the left)! This was my
      very first night in a mummy bag ever. I used a blue closed cell foam pad
      beneath the bag, inside my tent. The ground was very hard. It had lots
      of ruts in it from just previously being bulldozed so I was somewhat
      uncomfortable from the uneven ground beneath me, so it was an
      interesting night for my first time in a mummy bag! The temperature was
      around 47 F (8 C) that night and I did get a little chilly, but I think
      that was due to the selection of clothing I was wearing inside the bag.
      I remember lying in the bag and thinking "Wow, I have no room for my
      feet to stretch out, but this is cool!"

      It took me quite a few nights sleeping in the bag to get used to
      sleeping in a mummy style sleeping bag, but I have gotten quite used to
      it, and I have actually come to enjoy sleeping inside of it. The size is
      really not an issue for me anymore. I have learned to roll inside the
      bag and I can manipulate the bag very easily to become comfortable
      whether lying on my back, side, or my belly. Also, in my opinion it is
      not that noisy of a bag either, sure I can hear the rustle of the fabric
      whenever I move but it does not bother me anymore than moving around
      under the covers in my bed. I have found that the zipper does stick some
      of the time, but it seems that it's mostly when zipping up the bag, as
      in towards the head and closing the bag up. However it can be easily
      avoided if careful as to the way that the zipper is pulled on while
      zipping. So far it has not caused any damage to the bag, or the zipper,
      during any of the times that the zipper has become stuck, and it has
      been easy enough to back the zipper out of the snag and get it going
      again. Also, I have found that it can be a little difficult to get back
      in the stuff sack while in smaller areas, such as inside a tent with
      another person. It can be done obviously, and the downside is that if a
      bigger stuff sack were involved then it would just take up more room, so
      it's just something I must get (and have gotten) used to, however this
      really isn't a real big deal to me. So far this bag lofts up to its full
      loft pretty much immediately after removing it from its stuff sack. At
      home I keep it in a large nylon bag that I already had since the
      sleeping bag did not come with any kind of storage sack.

      Some other things that I have found while using the bag is that I like
      the external zippered pocket because it gives me a place to keep my ear
      plugs while not in use and not lose them. I am really happy that the
      Aleutian's zipper zips down so far because the majority of my nights in
      it has been real warm, 50 F (10 C) or more, which makes it easy to get
      hot in the bag so I usually just keep it unzipped and just kind of
      thrown over me. I haven't used the hook-and-loop zipper stay located
      near the hood of the bag because I don't like having to fool with it
      just to get the zipper undone, so I just leave it attached to itself so
      it won't get in my way. And only during colder times, less than 40 F (4
      C), have I felt that I needed to use the cinch cord around the hood and
      chest area. The bag keeps me plenty warm enough without having to cinch
      up the bag around my face unless in I am exposed or in direct winds.
      Also, I am very happy with the feel of the bag against my bare skin, it
      is soft and silky just as advertised. This is also nice because it feels
      that while keeping me warm on a chilly night it is also keeping my
      immediate skin slightly cool so as not to overheat and start sweating!


      SUMMARY

      There are a few things that I have found I would like different in this
      bag. First is a draft collar. While changing positions inside the bag
      while in cooler weather, warm air escapes around the face opening, and
      cooler air makes its way in. I have felt no cool air drifting in between
      the baffles so the overlapping construction is effective. I have,
      however, noticed that while stretching the bag to change positions, some
      cool air can sneak in around the draft tube, but once settled back down
      again, it's not a problem!

      Also, I would like the shell to be more waterproof. I have found that
      with a heavy enough dew / condensation the bag will wet through. I have
      also found that during these times the temperature inside the bag does
      feel slightly cooler. The weight of the wet bag is more noticeable
      pressing down on top of me during these times as well. On a good note
      though, it does dry out in just a few short hours!

      Overall, I am quite happy with this bag, even though I feel like it
      wouldn't take me to the proposed 20 F (-7 C). However, I'm not so sure
      that the temperature ratings indicate a comfort rating, but rather a
      survival rating. It's not an overly priced bag, in my opinion, for what
      it is. I was excited when I bought this bag, then a little worried
      because of comparisons I had made to other bags, but then after my own
      personal experiences with the bag, have come to be very happy with it!

      I have a trip planned for Thanksgiving weekend (late November) this year
      and I'm hoping / expecting the temps to be pretty low as well as some
      wet conditions. I am very excited to be taking this bag out again to see
      how far I can continue to push it!


      THINGS I LIKE

      1. I like that the zipper runs (almost) the full length of the bag.
      2. I like the external zippered pocket for my ear plug storage.
      3. I like the price of the bag.
      4. I like that it dries out fast if and when it gets wet.
      5. I like that it is soft and comfy against my skin.

      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      1. I don't like the weight.
      2. I don't like the fact that it's a 20 F (-7 C) sleeping bag without a
      draft collar.
      3. I don't like the stuffed size.
      4. I wish it had a more waterproof coating.
      5. I cannot understand why the bag does not come with a storage sack.

      SIGNATURE

      Chad Poindexter "Stick"



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.



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