KUIU Super Down vs. Western Mountaineering Badger, 15-degree bags

sneaky

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
5,143
Location
ID
No. Didn’t know that was possible.
I’ll look at that.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah, it has continuous baffles so you can shift down around from top to bottom or vice versa.


Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

sndmn11

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
1,285
Location
Littleton, Colorado
No. Didn’t know that was possible.
I’ll look at that.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
http://www.westernmountaineering.com/product-details/
Continuous Baffles
A 3-season bag needs to serve in a wide range of temperatures. You will expect it to provide comfort during the heat of summer through the cooler temperatures of fall or early spring. To ensure a broad temperature range we build our 2 and 3-season bags with continuous baffles which encircle the bag from zipper to zipper. This allows you to shift the down insulation from one side of the bag to the other. During hot summer nights, you could shift the down from the top of the bag to the bottom so there is less insulation on top of you. When the weather is cold, you can move the down to the top of the bag. Just open the bag flat and push the down with your hands from one side to the other. This adjustment allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your bag. We sew continuous baffle bags with 5 1/4″ baffle spacing so that unintended down migration during the night is kept to a minimum. Our continuous baffles are fixed to the material in a “slant box” configuration because it provides the best distribution of down across the width of the bag given the differential cut.
 
OP
robby denning

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
9,215
Location
SE Idaho
http://www.westernmountaineering.com/product-details/
Continuous Baffles
A 3-season bag needs to serve in a wide range of temperatures. You will expect it to provide comfort during the heat of summer through the cooler temperatures of fall or early spring. To ensure a broad temperature range we build our 2 and 3-season bags with continuous baffles which encircle the bag from zipper to zipper. This allows you to shift the down insulation from one side of the bag to the other. During hot summer nights, you could shift the down from the top of the bag to the bottom so there is less insulation on top of you. When the weather is cold, you can move the down to the top of the bag. Just open the bag flat and push the down with your hands from one side to the other. This adjustment allows you to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your bag. We sew continuous baffle bags with 5 1/4″ baffle spacing so that unintended down migration during the night is kept to a minimum. Our continuous baffles are fixed to the material in a “slant box” configuration because it provides the best distribution of down across the width of the bag given the differential cut.
Well that’s good to know. Thanks for sharing. I will try that when I get in that bag. Tonight is the KUIU


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
OP
robby denning

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
9,215
Location
SE Idaho
Went to bed at 10 o’clock at 21°, and got the neck baffle snapped up, and then noticed there was a drawstring on it so I could tighten it down around my neck. I put the pillow on the outside of my bag rather than trying to get it on the inside. This made all the difference as I could go full mummy mode.

KUIU has designed that hood so it fits around your head snuggly, but the bag doesn’t rest on your mouth so that you’re condensing all night long—it leaves you plenty a room to breathe.

Although the other night I didn’t noticed any drafts at all without using the collar, having it all buttoned down definitely conserves heat better.

So any results I attained the first night, should only be used on how not to use the bag, or if you’re in warm weather and need to ventilate.

I didn’t get chilled and I was warmer than I was the other night. This is due to the bag being used correctly, but we only got to 21°, versus 19° the first night.


It was supposed to get down to 14 but it clouded up. So I still haven’t got the bag down to its rating.

And by the way, I had on my base layers, my First Lite Brooks sweater, and my Obsidian pants, and wool socks.

Tonight’s headed for near zero. Unless they change that forecast, not planning on testing tonight as that’s too far below the rating.

If you’re just tuning in, remember this is a journal-type test that I’ll be adding to over the next month. So don’t draw any conclusions on either bag until I’m done with the test. As you can see, I’m still learning too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

passinggas33

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2017
Messages
217
Location
Pullman, WA
Like you Robby, I sleep super cold and have a hard time staying warm. I have to often look more at the T “comfort” level rather than T “l limit” when I’m looking for a bag with an adequate rating FOR ME. Because of this I treat the WM Badger as a 20-25 degree bag as per their website, though it’s called their 15 degree bag. This review that you are doing will be great for me to see some other opinions and maybe some tricks on how to change my set up. Thanks for the review! Eventually I would love to hear your opinion on how these compare to your experience with the stone glacier from last year.
 

chasewild

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Messages
431
Location
San Juans
The Apache 15 MF would be a bit more snug. Might help with the draft. Also the baffle really helped me bring the bag up a few degrees.
 

HMP25

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
16
OK, I’m alive. When I went to bed it was about 23°. Got into the cold bag (KUIU) and it warmed up nicely. To note, my pillows a little too big to go full mummy mode on either bag. I can’t pull in the face opening all the way tight, so keep that in mind as that can affect the temp rating. Although, to be clear there were no drafts that I could feel coming into the bag. I just may have been able to retain heat a little bit better with the bags closed around my face.

Also, if you followed my bag tests last year, I am a cold sleeper, most people sleep warmer than I do, so keep that in mind.

By about 3 AM it dropped into the teens and my thighs started to get cold. I turned on my side and curled up a little bit thinking that would warm me up, but it didn’t. I slipped on my lightweight FL Obsidians but was still chilled on my thighs an hour later (rest of me—torso, head, feet—were fine).

So I decided it was a good time to jump in the Western Mountaineering Badger, and see if it did any better. It did not.



In the temp department, it was a virtual tie between the two bags and I was only able to get to 19°. No I wasn’t freezing by any means, just at the point of discomfort. If I would’ve pulled a jacket into the bag and covered my thighs, I would’ve been just fine. My feet were NOT cold. But I’m obviously nearing the limit of the bags in these conditions for a cold sleeper.

To note, I’d eaten lentil soup at 530 PM but didn’t go to bed till 1230, so pretty much an empty stomach. This affects temp ratings for most people with hunger lending to less heat generated.

A note on conditions, we had high winds all night, with gusts in the 30s. (In fact most of the schools are closed today.) You can see above the wind chill was -2° and was rarely below 20mph

That certainly played into the warmth of the tent, as the wind comes up underneath the fly, and creates a draft in the tent that wouldn’t normally be there.

Hoping on the next night I get to test there’s no wind and the temperatures are similar and I’ll see if it makes any difference.

Also, I was sleeping on my Exped Megamat Lite MW. It’s R-value is 5.3 and rated for -4°, but from what I understand, air pads are not as warm as sleeping with no air underneath you, like on the ground or in a cot with a foam mattress. So that will be my next test on the night we have these same temperatures.

For my size, 180 lbs, 5’9”, the KUIU fits a little snugger, as in a good way. The Western Mountaineering bag had more room, and a little more dead airspace to fill. I’ll edit this post to reflect the actual bag sizes as soon as I can, but whatever they are, they were ordered for my size and they fit me.

The draft collar on on the KUIU is really easy to use although I never snapped it up because it almost doesn’t need it. I struggled with the zipper a little bit more on the KUIU , only because the draft flap gets in the way a little bit as you’re zipping it up and down. Just takes a little more learning to use, and it has a tag on it so that I was able to grip with gloves.

With the Western Mountaineering bag, there’s no tag so you have to feel around on the zipper until you get a hold of the metal tab, but it zips up and down very smoothly and doesn’t snag easily. I did not test the draft collar on this bag, simply because I got into it in the dark and didn’t really have a chance to figure out how to best use it. However, the bag seals up nicely around the neck just the way it was.

As mentioned, my pillow may be impeding the best use of both these bags, so I’ll consider that on the next test.

And if anyone cares, the KUIU is a better looking bag overall.

So I have some test parameters I need to work on next night out as described above.

I’ll also make sure I go into full mummy mode on the next night of testing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Awesome test! It’s good to hear this kind of stuff to help us other hunters out on what to consider. Thank you
 

sneaky

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
5,143
Location
ID
The Apache 15 MF would be a bit more snug. Might help with the draft. Also the baffle really helped me bring the bag up a few degrees.
I think the only thing that's going to help with the draft problem he was having is a tent fly that goes all the way to the ground. 30mph winds with an off the ground fly are gonna make for some drafts. Tonight we should get a pretty good answer as it should be the Badgers turn again.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 
OP
robby denning

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
9,215
Location
SE Idaho
Hey guys, I pulled the plug on sleeping out last night because it was supposed to get down to 10°, pretty certain either of these bags aren’t going to make it that far. So just waiting for another night with lows around 15°. I’ll be at the expo the next three or four days so I know those nights are out. Check back soon.
 

chasewild

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2016
Messages
431
Location
San Juans
I think the only thing that's going to help with the draft problem he was having is a tent fly that goes all the way to the ground. 30mph winds with an off the ground fly are gonna make for some drafts. Tonight we should get a pretty good answer as it should be the Badgers turn again.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

"The draft collar on on the KUIU is really easy to use although I never snapped it up because it almost doesn’t need it. I struggled with the zipper a little bit more on the KUIU , only because the draft flap gets in the way a little bit as you’re zipping it up and down. Just takes a little more learning to use, and it has a tag on it so that I was able to grip with gloves.

With the Western Mountaineering bag, there’s no tag so you have to feel around on the zipper until you get a hold of the metal tab, but it zips up and down very smoothly and doesn’t snag easily. I did not test the draft collar on this bag, simply because I got into it in the dark and didn’t really have a chance to figure out how to best use it. However, the bag seals up nicely around the neck just the way it was."
 
Last edited:

Blockcaver

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2012
Messages
1,135
Location
BC
I've had my KUIU 15*F Superdown bag since they came out in 2014...retirement gift from co-workers! It has performed very well for me. I've slept in it down to around 0*F, with a lot of layers on including Attack pants and Superdown zip-off pants. This was on top of an R3.4 Thermarest pad and did OK.

I have over 200 nights in the bag todate and it is holding up well. I really like how quick it dried when I woke up in a puddle of water once on a moose hunt due to a leaky water jug. The only caution I'd offer is if you are an XL on top it is snug around the chest in the regular length bag. I don't mind that but some might be claustrophobic in it.
 
OP
robby denning

robby denning

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
9,215
Location
SE Idaho
I've had my KUIU 15*F Superdown bag since they came out in 2014...retirement gift from co-workers! It has performed very well for me. I've slept in it down to around 0*F, with a lot of layers on including Attack pants and Superdown zip-off pants. This was on top of an R3.4 Thermarest pad and did OK.

I have over 200 nights in the bag todate and it is holding up well. I really like how quick it dried when I woke up in a puddle of water once on a moose hunt due to a leaky water jug. The only caution I'd offer is if you are an XL on top it is snug around the chest in the regular length bag. I don't mind that but some might be claustrophobic in it.
Hey man, you're the reason we do these journal-type reviews that allow member feedback. Seems like there's always someone out there with way more experience, that really helps guide our reivews, plus it' pretty hard to comment on true durability on a product you don't really get to "hunt" with. 200 nights! Now we're talking. Thanks for chiming in

I'll be doing a soak test on these bags too, just like last years test.
 

Ryan Avery

Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
5,813
I am interested to see how the badger does when wet. The SG did awesomely:) I would bet the Kuiu does fine. But the badger is the only one with untreated down. Guess we will see if treaded down is overrated or not. Good stuff ROBO.
 

sneaky

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
5,143
Location
ID
adfadfafd



"The draft collar on on the KUIU is really easy to use although I never snapped it up because it almost doesn’t need it. I struggled with the zipper a little bit more on the KUIU , only because the draft flap gets in the way a little bit as you’re zipping it up and down. Just takes a little more learning to use, and it has a tag on it so that I was able to grip with gloves.

With the Western Mountaineering bag, there’s no tag so you have to feel around on the zipper until you get a hold of the metal tab, but it zips up and down very smoothly and doesn’t snag easily. I did not test the draft collar on this bag, simply because I got into it in the dark and didn’t really have a chance to figure out how to best use it. However, the bag seals up nicely around the neck just the way it was."
"That certainly played into the warmth of the tent, as the wind comes up underneath the fly, and creates a draft in the tent that wouldn’t normally be there."


"Although, to be clear there were no drafts that I could feel coming into the bag."


"Although the other night I didn’t noticed any drafts at all without using the collar, having it all buttoned down definitely conserves heat better."

Seems interesting how he mentioned multiple times he wasn't feeling a draft in the bag, but inside the tent, because that SG Skyscraper is one of the few, if only, 4 season tents that has an outer fly that doesn't come all the way down to the ground. 30mph winds + elevated fly= a drafty tent. No one is disputing that sealing up the draft collar will help with heat retention, but he made a point to mention several times that he felt no drafts inside the bag, his head, torso, and feet were fine, only his thighs were cold. He's a cold sleeper as well. We'll have to wait til next week at least for the next round of tests, Robby is gonna be in SLC instructing the flat bill masses on how to kill big deer.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 
Top