Kevin's Passions

Hiking & Camping

kd7kmp1007865 wrote a review of on December 15, 2010

4 5

This looks to be an excellent all-around sleeping bag. It's a long (the only size currently offered) and with the included compression stuff sack weighs 36 ounces. The stuff sack appears to be made of Pertex Quantum (the same as the shell fabric) and comes in at 3.8 ounces. Subtract that from the combined weight and the Somnus 15 weighs 32.2 ounces. This is less than the advertised weight of 33 ounces and is refreshing to see in a day and age where many manufacturers will inflate (or in the case of camping gear, deflate) the weight to appear more competitive.

The Somnus 15’s zipper is centered on top, runs approximately half the length of the bag, and is of the two-way variety with a small length of cord attached to the top zipper pull tab. There is no flap with which to secure the top zipper tab when the Somnus 15 is zipped closed. A draft tube underlies the zipper to prevent drafts. The hood contains two substantial drawstrings with large spring-loaded cord locks. Each drawstring cinches down half the hood. It is possible to get the hole small enough to only have your nose and mouth exposed to the outside. A small zippered compartment at the foot of the Somnus 15 allows the use of heats packs or a hot water bottle to help keep feet warm on especially cold outings.

The advertised shoulder/hip/foot circumferences are 66/52/30 inches, respectively. The length is said to accommodate a person up to 6 feet 6 inches tall. This is longer than I need (I am 5 feet 11 inches tall and run around 165 pounds), but I occasionally lend gear out to family and friends. I have some family who are around 6 feet 3 inches tall who will find the extra length a welcome feature.

This is my first piece of equipment with a Pertex Quantum shell. The fabric feels very soft, is slightly translucent, and has a slight crackle to it when handled. It's not noisy, per se, but it caught my attention. I don't know if the noise will subside with use. The lining appears to be light weight nylon taffeta, though Stoic doesn't specify what they use for the lining.

Due to the translucent nature of the shell fabric, I can see, with some degree of clarity, the down inside the Somnus 15. Stoic gives a fill weight of 19 ounces of 800 fill down and I have no reason to doubt this. The tag states the mixture is 90% down and 10% feathers. I have not experienced any down poking through the shell or lining as in some other down sleeping bags I own. The overall weight appears to agree with the specified amount of down fill. The Somnus 15 is not as ‘puffy’ as my REI Halo 10 or my Sierra Designs Nitro 30.

The baffles on the Somnus 15 are vertical on the top half and horizontal on the bottom half. Stoic claims the “vertical torso baffles ensure the down insulation stays put even when you sleep on your side.” Personally, I’ve never had any trouble keeping down insulation in place in similar sleeping bags with all horizontal baffles.

I’ve spent about 10 nights in this Somnus 15 in temperatures ranging from 30 to 55 degrees F. Each night has been spent sleeping out under the stars. I use a rectangular Big Agnes Insulated Air Core air mattress for all my camping/backpacking needs. I typically sleep in a light-weight base layer with medium-weight cotton sleeping socks (I tend to get cold feet). I’ve not had any trouble staying warm at the lowest temperatures I’ve encountered.

I’m a side sleeper but will typically wake up on my back only to roll onto my side to fall asleep again. There is plenty of room in the Somnus 15 for me to sleep on my side while the top remains oriented up. However, this can be slightly uncomfortable as the hole in the hood is not lined up with my face. Because of this I like the Somnus 15 to roll with me. This is one situation in which the front zipper makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep…there is no zipper under my body. However, being that there is no way to secure the top zipper pull tab, it will fall into my face when lying on my back. This is quite irritating and uncomfortable. The pull tab is rather cold on my warm face. This is a situation that requires a remedy with future versions. The drawstrings also tend to fall near my face though they don’t bother me nearly as much as the zipper pull tab.

The Somnus 15 breathes quite well and the shell fabric appears to be quite water resistant. Each morning I wake up with condensation beaded on the exterior while the interior is completely dry. Additionally, the exterior dries quickly with a bit of sun on it.

Overall the Somnus is a good value (I got it for about $180 on SAC) and a worthy addition to my equipment arsenal.





kd7kmp1007865 wrote a review of on April 24, 2009

5 5

I have had this pad for over 4 years now. I have used it in subzero temps in the snow, desert during canyoneering trips, mountain backpacking trips and general camping. It has never lost any air nor does it show any real wear anyplace. But, I always sleep with some type of ground cloth--it only adds a few ounces and keeps the pad and sleeping bag off the pokey things that cause holes.

The pad is a bit slippery, but not bad. My bag is an REI Downtime 0 degree and as long as I'm not on an incline, I don't slide off the pad. I will be picking up one or two more of these pads for my wife and oldest son.