Meticulous design for temperature isolation during Rocky Mountain winters.
Sure, backpacking in the Rocky Mountains isn't as intense as camping at Everest Camp III, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice a top-quality sleeping bag because you aren't on top of the world. That's why Valandre went through years of painstaking research to give you the highly innovative Expedition Shocking Blue Down Sleeping Bag. With premium 850+ gray goose down insulating this bag, the folks at Valandre feel that you can sleep soundly in below-zero temps. The Shocking Blue is shockingly durable and light thanks to its nylon ripstop shell, and the polyester ripstop lining only complements its light strength. Plus, both the shell and lining are treated with DWR so you'll stay dry when water seeps through your tent.
Valandre's hard work is shown through the Shocking Blue's baffle, hood, and draft collar construction. The complexity in assembling ninety-one pieces in a 3D baffle construction is quite baffling, but Valandre succeeded that feat to give you a sleeping bag with baffles that vary in height in different areas depending on where you need warmth and movement most. For example, the "Pyrenean" foot box contains a lot of baffles so you don't have black toes in the morning, and it's designed to follow the flex of your foot so you can move naturally while you sleep. Its static drawcord allows you to tighten the hood down over your head and across your neck so no wind blows down your body. And you can zip the Marie Antionette draft collar so you can sit up comfortably to play a game of cards with your friends while you wait out some storms.
- EN comfort rating: -9.4°F
- 850+ gray goose down
- Nylon ripstop shell with DWR treatment
- Static drawcord integrated in hood
- Zip-away Marie Antoinette draft collar
- Stuff and storage sacks included
- Item #VLN0002
- Q & A
Solid piece of kit.
Awesome bag but make sure you understand it's design before purchasing/using. It is cut very generously to accommodate wearing a down suit or multiple layers. I paired it with down parka, pants and booties on Mt Washington in January and couldn't have been warmer. In milder temps, 0-20dF, it allows larger users like me to really stretch out. I'm 6", 225 and even with my down layers on there was ample room to stick additional clothing items inside to dry overnight. If you are the "average" size person opt for the smallest size possible. Didn't give the fifth star due to the overly complicated draft collar and the main zipper which I found difficult to open/close. Packs down well in a stuff sack (the supplied sack is not wp) and is one of the lightest warmth to weight thanks to the premium French grey goose down. Get this on sale and you've got a great bargain!
Best of the best
was tired of being cold on trips and so I forked out the money and bought this toad. It's pretty much magic. Packs down like you would expect from a down bag but the real trick is in the baffle design. Once you get inside this bag it lofts up so much that it hardly touches the front of your body. It's like it inflates. I had enough room between the bag and my body that I could slide my hand in between and not be touching anything but air. I am an average size person 5'11" 170lbs and bought a regular size bag. They say that this bag was designed to use in combination with Valandre's expedition suit and has a "bigger" cut than other bags which may lead to a thermal inefficiency. I say that the insane construction of this bag more than makes up for this "inefficiency" and the touch extra room makes for a whole lot more comfort. The other bonus of this "extra" room is that like valandre intended, you can layer up if need be which in turn means carrying less weight overall as opposed to having a heavier duty bag. I haven't had it in insanely cold temps yet but feel that with layers you would just about never need a warmer bag. the neck draft collar is awesome and I no longer have to stuff down mitts around my neck to seal out a draft. BOOM!
Nice to get what you pay for
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I don't like to shell out money, but when I do I want the best. This is really the Mercedes of bags. This isn't a small bag for skinny folks however. There is a lot of bag when you get the long, and it is nice and wide in the shoulders for people who would feel trapped in a smaller bag. I used mine in the German Alps and had a couple of nights of -10C (about 14 F), and woke up in the morning like I was in a hotel room. The neck baffles takes a little getting used to, but half the time I don't need to close everything up tight to stay warm. When you take it out of the stuff sack it's like a magic trick when you see the down start to expand and turn into a huge lofted sleeping bag. We had a lot of moisture in our tent and some ice on the bag due to the extreme cold, but after a week the permatex kept shedding moisture like a champ. This is simply the best bag I've ever had and except for summer I will bring it wherever I go. It has a full size zipper and me and my girlfriend use as a comforter to cover ourselves when we car camp. The fabric is beautiful, the down is some of the best in the world, and to get something this good that is this light and that packs down this small is just a wonder. I would give it 6 stars if I could. Way to go Valandre!
Excellent Sleeping Bag
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
So the last few months I decided to live out of my car, in Denver, Colorado, and needed a bag to keep me warm. I did my research and filtered through 50 bags or so and decided on the Valandre Blue. I've been sleeping nearly every night for 4 months in this bag and it is a near flawless bag. Plenty of space for layers or a liner, it has a very pleasant smell, a huge plus, the stitching is tight and the loft is fantastic, I spent a week at -5 to 0 degree weather and slept soundly and at no time felt cold, cool definitely, but not uncomfortable. This bag is large and hard to pack, and has some weight to it, but when it comes to tough weather, I trust this bag. It will take time getting used to the bag, it has some confusing velcro and draw strings, but in due time it all makes sense, when it got down to -5, I sure was happy to have them to tighten the hood around my head and to block the cold from entering into the body of the bag. This bag is the creme de la creme, the master of the elements, the king of cold weather. This bag is worth its weight in gold and is well worth the 4 months of rent and utilities it saved me. I've got only good things to say about this bag.
Valandre Shocking Blue Sleeping Bag
Hi, why is the EN rating a lot higher than...
Hi, why is the EN rating a lot higher than the stated rating for the bag? If the EN rating is an independent rating then it makes the bag much less useful for the stated purpose.
The EN rating is a way to compare bags from different companies. It is meant to standardize sleeping bag ratings so that customers can purchase a bag with a true understanding of how it will perform. The comfort rating will equate to the temperature that most people will be comfortable at while sleeping for 6 hours. The lower limit rating will equate to the temperature that you can stay at for up to 6 hours without needing additional insulation. There is also an extreme rating which would be lower than the lower limit rating and would indicate the temperature that which you could sleep for up to 6 hours without getting hypothermia. The -15 temperature rating on this bag is the rating that the company provides the bag and is not the extreme rating. I hope this helps.
The EN rating is a standardized, independent rating system which in my experience has been very accurate. In this system the tester wears a baselayer and a beanie, with a 1" foam mat underneath the bag. The caveat is that each person sleeps comfortably at different temperatures, so the EN rating is just an average. Based on how you use the bag, it could be pushed far lower, such as with a thick liner and baselayers, which is likely what Valandre is reaching for with their rating.
Actually, the EN rating comes from a "robot" type sensor, dressed as a person, so EN ratings from bag to bag will be accurate (relative to each other) ... but human buyers might find they are better with "comfort" or "lower limit" depending on whether they are cold or warm sleepers.
Do note that "Comfort" is rated for a woman, while "Lower limit" is rated for a man -- regardless of whether the sleeping bag in question is designed for a man or woman.
Wikipedia has a good description (excerpted below..): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EN_13537
EN13537 requires a thermal manikin test which produces four temperature results ? upper limit, comfort, lower limit and extreme. These temperatures were worked for normal consumers.
The standard measures four temperature ratings:
Upper Limit ? the temperature at which a standard MAN can sleep without excessive perspiration. It is established with the hood and zippers open and with the arms outside of the bag.
Comfort ? the temperature at which a standard WOMAN can expect to sleep comfortably in a relaxed position.
Lower Limit ? the temperature at which a standard MAN can sleep for eight hours in a curled position without waking.
Extreme ? the minimum temperature at which a standard woman can remain for six hours without risk of death from hypothermia (though frostbite is still possible).
For the purpose of these measurements, a "standard man" is assumed to be 25 years old, with a height of 1.73 m and a weight of 73 kg; a "standard woman" is assumed to be 25 years old, with a height of 1.60 m and a weight of 60 kg.