REPOST: Owner Review TNF Aleutian bag Chad Poindexter
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
October 31, 2009
NAME: Chad Poindexter
EMAIL: cg-77 (at) hotmail (dot) com
LOCATION: Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, USA
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.
Manufacturer: The North Face (TNF)
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
Terms-_-Brand%20Terms-_-The%20North%20Face" LINK TEXT =
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
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)
<<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">>
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 =
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.
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!
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
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.
Chad Poindexter "Stick"
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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