A warm and comfortable down sleeping bag with a new zipperless design that makes this bag amazing.
I just got back from a weekend trip chasing fall colors in the mountains of West Virginia. It has been a VERY warm fall in the Mid-Atlantic region, and as a result, the leaves are 2 to 3 weeks behind when they historically peak. We finally got some fall temperatures this past week and as a result, the leaves at the higher elevations are finally turning colors. With it being mid-October, the weather in the Appalachian Mountains can change very quickly. Saturday night, the temperature dropped to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground. Knowing the weather can change quickly, I decided to pack gear that would keep me warm no matter what the weather decided to do. So I packed my Sierra Designs Cloud 800 Sleeping Bag and I’m so glad that I did because even though the weather dipped to the bag’s 20 degree limit, I was still nice and warm all night and got a good night's sleep.
For years, I used synthetic sleeping bags because I wanted to make sure I stayed warm even if my bag got wet (check out Should You Buy a Synthetic or Down Sleeping Bag? for more on that). Living in the Mid-Atlantic, one of the main reasons why I used a synthetic bag was because of the humidity. As a landscape photographer, my pack is usually heavier than I would like because of my camera gear, so I decided to reduce the weight and got my first down bag since the warmth-to-weight ratio is amazing. The Cloud 800 DriDown filling has been treated with a water-resistant polymer, which helps the bag continue to insulate even during humid nights when I’m out on the trail. I have used a bunch of traditional mummy bags over my 25+ years of camping, and one thing I have never really liked was the fact that I don’t have room to roll onto my side. Sierra Designs’ zipperless feature allows me to have the ability to not only sleep on my side, but I was easily able to switch sides without rolling off my pad. The top of the bag reminds me of a down comforter on my bed at home. I am able to wrap it around me to seal the bag and to keep out any drafts. Sleeping on your side facing away from the opening takes a few tries to learn how to keep the quilt top portion of the bag over your back; however, once you learn how to do it, it is very easy.
On the back of the bag is a sleeping pad sleeve. This is the first bag I have used with this feature. Even if I don’t find the most level ground, I don’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night only to find I had slid down or off my pad. It also keeps the pad below me as I roll from side to side throughout the night.
Another feature I like about the Cloud 800 bag is the self-sealing foot vent. I don’t like to have my feet outside my bag when I sleep, but the reason why I love this feature is because it allows me to put on my socks in the morning without getting out of my bag. I know it’s a small detail, but getting a few extra moments in my toasty warm bag before I have to fully get up into the crisp morning air to photograph the sunrise is wonderful.
I really love this bag. The only issue I have with the Cloud is really not with the bag itself but with stuff sack that comes with it. The stuff sack fabric is very thin and feels like it might fail on the trail after a few uses unless you’re really careful when you pack and unpack your bag. Because of this, I bought an aftermarket stuff sack, which works great.
REVIEW BY: Brandon Dewey Richmond, Virginia I am a Father, Photographer, Adventurer, and World Explorer (26 countries and counting). I'm from the Bay Area but I'm currently living outside of Richmond, Virginia.