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FR - Exped DreamWalker Syn 133 - Coy Boy

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  • Coy Boy
    Hello Christopher, below you will find my FR for the Exped DreamWalker. BTW, I meant to make my section dates clickable but I m headed out for some kayaking.
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 28, 2010
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      Hello Christopher, below you will find my FR for the Exped DreamWalker. BTW, I meant to make my section dates clickable but I'm headed out for some kayaking. Will fix that along with any edits. TIA for any edits and or comments. Enjoy!

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR - Exped Dreamwalker syn 133 - Coy Boy/

      or here http://tinyurl.com/26fu282


      Field Report: September 28, 2010

      Testing Locations and Conditions
      I have used the Exped DreamWalker Syn 133 on two overnighers so far. Both times were on short 4 mile (6 km) hikes on some local trails near my home here in northeast Alabama. AKA the holler. I used the bag in my hammock both times. The first night using the bag was on 9/7/2010 and saw a low of 67 F (19 C) but it was 84 F (29 C) when I turned in around 9 PM. The next night was on 9/27/2010 and it was much cooler with a low of 54 F (12 C) but around 68 F (20 C) when I first laid down in the bag. It did not rain either night but there was a lot of wind on the second night.

      Field Test Results
      For about the first month and a half after getting the bag my area experienced very hot weather, with highs over 100 F (38 C) and lows each night of around 80 F (27 C). I had read the bag was rated comfortable up to 70 F (21 C) so I waited patiently for a chance to use it in temperatures that matched the bags rating. And even on the first night I used it the temperature did not get all that cold until well into the night. In fact, I had planned to use the bag as a jacket to see how well I could move around while setting up my hammock. It only took about a minute in the near 90 F (32 C) air for me to decide this was not a good idea. But I did discover that getting into the bag from a standing position was a little more difficult with my size 12 hiking boots on as apposed to barefoot like I previously did in the house when checking the bag out. I just had to kind of work my first foot down to the ground, making sure I was not standing on the lower section of the bag. Once I had one foot inside and on the ground it was easier to get the other foot in, but still a tight fit with my boots on. I then zipped the bag up slightly higer than my knees and hoisted the bottom end up to the inside and tightened the drawstring snugly around my waist. Anyways, I waited a couple of hours before trying it on again and this time it was still hot but I was not immediately sweating like a pig. I had also changed into my camp slippers (cheap water shoes that fit snuggly on my feet and are not bulky at all) and getting my feet down into the bag and on the ground was a lot easier. I snugged up the lower section at my waist again and proceded to walk around a bit. I found it very easy to walk around camp. I was also trying to get a few pictures and I had to hurry to get around some brush to get in front of my camera before the timer triggered the shutter. Here is one of the pictures I managed to take but being by myself I did not get many good shots before it got too dark.

      After this I retired to my hammock to see how it worked as a sleeping bag. Since I already had the bag on in the jacket mode it was a simple matter to sit in my side entry hammock, pull my slippers off and lay down. My immediate thought was, WOW!!!! that was easy. Of course I had to then undo the waist cord and work the foot end down and pull that drawstring tight again. This was really not hard but I'm not the most flexible person so it did take a little grunting to get everything adjusted properly.

      At 84 F (29 C) I really was too warm with the bag zipped up, even with my arms sticking out the arm holes, so I unzipped the bag down to just above my knees and pulled my arms back inside the arm holes. In other words, with the bag open like this it was only covering my lower legs and feet. It was a good thing I had a long sleeve bug shirt on since my upper body was exposed so much, but I drifted off to sleep fairly easily and had no bites during the night. I had to get up shortly after midnight but I did not wear the sleeping bag as a jacket since it takes a few minutes to get it set up in coat mode and then back to sleeping bag mode. But this also makes it a little more difficult getting back into the bag in my hammock. However, it was still much easier than with a traditional mummy bag, especially one with a very short zipper. I had the bag already unzipped down to near the foot end so I got in on top of the bag and had to scrunch around a bit to get the bag stretched back out under me. I slept until around 4 AM and when I woke up I was feeling a tad chilly so I poked my arms out the arm holes and zipped the bag up, then pulled my arms back inside and zipped the arm holes up as well. The bag is plenty roomy inside and doing this is not all that hard. It wasn't long until I was getting hot so I opened the center zipper up slightly and the arm hole zippers all the way but kept my arms inside the bag. This gave me adequate ventilation and I slept another two hours before getting up shortly after daylight. Since it was much cooler now I used the bag in jacket mode and was able to strike camp without overheating too much. But even at 67 F (19 C) I was a little warmer than I would have preferred. but I think this was due mostly to all the moving around I was doing. I did not cook breakfast, but if I had, I think I would have pulled it off because it was not really needed.

      My next opportunity to use the Dreamwalker was just over two weeks later but the weather was vastly cooler this time. In fact, it has been the coolest night so far this fall. My experience was similar to the first night as far as getting in and out of my hammock but I did keep the bag zipped more so than previously. I did need to keep things open a little the first few hours but by midnight I was zipped up completely with my arms inside the bag and I had the hood on. I would even go so far as to say that at 54 F (12 C) which I experienced late in the night the bag was perfect. I was a tad warm early during the night and even had my arms out the arm holes the first several hours. I also used my reflector pad on this trip, someting I did not need on the first night.

      I did want to comment a little more about the hood. It is very big, too big in my opinion. When worn as a jacket or when used as a sleeping bag the hood pretty much covered my eyes when I tightened the draw cords at either side. Without the drawcords pulled snug it was so big that it just flopped around and if I looked to one side or the other, one of my ears would end up facing out instead of my face. However, later on when it gets a lot colder I may appreciat it being big as I can easily see wearing some kind of winter hat under the hood. Of course by then I may need additional insulation for the bag as well but the bag fitts loosely enough that wearing thicker clothes or even fitting another bag inside it should be no problem. Of course I will have to contend with getting inside the inner bag so it won't be as easy as getting in just the DreamWalker but I'm sure I will try this out some once it gets cold enough. I have not used the hand pockets very much so far but I also expect to need them more as it cools down.

      Summary Thus Far
      I had very high expectations that this sleeping bag might be one of if not the best solutions to all the problems I have experienced over the years when using a sleeping bag in my hammock. And while not perfect, I will have to say that so far it has been close, and certainly a big improvement over my regular mummy sleeping bags. It just makes getting in and out of my sleeping bag with the hammock so much easier. I'll have to wear the bag in jacket mode more before making any hard conclusions but so far it has been promising. The bag does not pack down as compact as my down mummy bags but to be fair, Exped does offer this bag in a down version, but it is also a warmer version rated at 20 F (-7 C).

      This concludes my Field Report. I would like to thank Exped and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the DreamWalker Syn 133. Please stay tuned for the Long Term Report which should be forthcoming in about two months.
    • thebootfitters
      Coy, Thorough report on an interesting product! It looks like something I may have to try at some point. I have a few items for your consideration in the
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 5, 2010
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        Coy,

        Thorough report on an interesting product! It looks like something I may have to try at some point. I have a few items for your consideration in the standard EDIT/Edit/Comment format. Please feel free to upload after these item are addressed to your satisfaction.

        Cheers,

        Christopher


        EDIT: Typo. Missing a 't' in "overnighters."
        > I have used the Exped DreamWalker Syn 133 on two overnighers so far.

        Edit: I read this as a colloquial spelling referring to a nickname for NE Alabama, "The Hollow." If you feel this is important enough to identify, you may wish to include slightly more than a paranthetical statement. At a minimum, I suggest you enclose "The Holler" in quotes to make it more clear that it is a colloquial name.
        > here in northeast Alabama (AKA the holler).

        EDIT: The classic lay/lie issue. The verb "to lay" is transitive and needs a direct object. The correct verb to use here is "to lie." The simple past form of this verb is "lay." Thus, this should read, "...when I first lay down in the bag."
        > ...when I first laid down in the bag.

        Comment: Ouch! That's just to hot for backpacking, period!
        > For about the first month and a half after getting the bag my area experienced very hot weather, with highs over 100 F (38 C) and lows each night of around 80 F (27 C).

        Commen: I like this! Too funny!
        > It only took about a minute in the near 90 F (32 C) air for me to decide this was not a good idea.

        EDIT: Spelling/typo. Should be "opposed."
        > But I did discover that getting into the bag from a standing position was a little more difficult with my size 12 hiking boots on as apposed

        EDIT: Spelling/typo. Should be "higher." Also, it appears you have two spaces between 'and' & 'hoisted.'
        > I then zipped the bag up slightly higer than my knees and hoisted

        Edit: Technically, "anyways" isn't proper. "Anyway" should be used in this instance. However, "anyways" does fit your style of writing and adds a little color, so I'll let you make the call whether you wish to edit.
        > Anyways, I waited a couple of hours before trying it on again...

        Comment: Where's the smile, Coy? :-)
        > Here is one of the pictures I managed to take but being by myself...

        EDIT: Spelling/typo. Missing the 'e' in "appreciate."
        > However, later on when it gets a lot colder I may appreciat it being big...

        EDIT: Spelling/typo. One too many 't's in "fits."
        > but the bag fitts loosely enough...
      • Coy Boy
        Thanks Christopher. I ll take care of these next Monday as I am no longer home. On the Anyway vs Anyways, I do prefer anyways but it is no biggie. It s just
        Message 3 of 3 , Oct 6, 2010
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          Thanks Christopher. I'll take care of these next Monday as I am no longer home. On the Anyway vs Anyways, I do prefer anyways but it is no biggie. It's just that when I read someting written as anyway I have to stop and read it again it sounds so wrong.

          Coy Boy

          --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "thebootfitters" <thebootfitters@...> wrote:
          >
          > Coy,
          >
          > Thorough report on an interesting product! It looks like something I may have to try at some point. I have a few items for your consideration in the standard EDIT/Edit/Comment format. Please feel free to upload after these item are addressed to your satisfaction.
          >
          > Cheers,
          >
          > Christopher
          >
          >
          > EDIT: Typo. Missing a 't' in "overnighters."
          > > I have used the Exped DreamWalker Syn 133 on two overnighers so far.
          >
          > Edit: I read this as a colloquial spelling referring to a nickname for NE Alabama, "The Hollow." If you feel this is important enough to identify, you may wish to include slightly more than a paranthetical statement. At a minimum, I suggest you enclose "The Holler" in quotes to make it more clear that it is a colloquial name.
          > > here in northeast Alabama (AKA the holler).
          >
          > EDIT: The classic lay/lie issue. The verb "to lay" is transitive and needs a direct object. The correct verb to use here is "to lie." The simple past form of this verb is "lay." Thus, this should read, "...when I first lay down in the bag."
          > > ...when I first laid down in the bag.
          >
          > Comment: Ouch! That's just to hot for backpacking, period!
          > > For about the first month and a half after getting the bag my area experienced very hot weather, with highs over 100 F (38 C) and lows each night of around 80 F (27 C).
          >
          > Commen: I like this! Too funny!
          > > It only took about a minute in the near 90 F (32 C) air for me to decide this was not a good idea.
          >
          > EDIT: Spelling/typo. Should be "opposed."
          > > But I did discover that getting into the bag from a standing position was a little more difficult with my size 12 hiking boots on as apposed
          >
          > EDIT: Spelling/typo. Should be "higher." Also, it appears you have two spaces between 'and' & 'hoisted.'
          > > I then zipped the bag up slightly higer than my knees and hoisted
          >
          > Edit: Technically, "anyways" isn't proper. "Anyway" should be used in this instance. However, "anyways" does fit your style of writing and adds a little color, so I'll let you make the call whether you wish to edit.
          > > Anyways, I waited a couple of hours before trying it on again...
          >
          > Comment: Where's the smile, Coy? :-)
          > > Here is one of the pictures I managed to take but being by myself...
          >
          > EDIT: Spelling/typo. Missing the 'e' in "appreciate."
          > > However, later on when it gets a lot colder I may appreciat it being big...
          >
          > EDIT: Spelling/typo. One too many 't's in "fits."
          > > but the bag fitts loosely enough...
          >
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