Feb 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm #1299560
The goal was to have 20 degree bag that weighed 20 oz. Feathered Friends came through, plus some.
The loft was totally unexpected…and a nice surprise. It varies from 6.25 near the head to 6.5" in the mid section…and goes up to 7" near the footbox!
The design of the footbox is incredible. I can see no loss in loft at all from my feet. I can't even say that about my WM Summerlite.
It's the longest 74" version with 900+ fill. The actual weight is 20.69 oz. With the GooseFeet hood (10d shell, .34 cuben liner), total weight is 21.79 oz. The craftsmanship is as good as I've seen and I find an element of beauty in this bag's simplicity.
Lastly, Feathered Friends was awesome to work with. Huge kudos to Andrew!Feb 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm #1957276
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
no zipper huh. is it roomy enough? hard to get in and out of?Feb 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm #1957279
Looks awesome. How tall are you?Feb 22, 2013 at 6:24 am #1957333
Correct, Jason. No zip. Took me a long time to rationalize going this route. It came down to realizing that I rarely used the zip in my bag for anything more than ease of ingress/egress. Getting in and out definitely takes more effort….but the wide shoulder girth of 64" makes it easier than one might believe…and I'm sure that with a few uses, I'll have figured out ways to ease it more.
A note on the 64" girth: I was afraid it would be way too wide for my thin frame and nearly spent a big bill having FF cut it down to 60-62". I now see that would have been a big mistake. The bag is highly tapered (ie, not much of the bag is 64")…so by the time I get it cinched snug around my neck, most of that extra width is taken up. I still have room though to wear my WM Flash jkt. Very happy with the overall fit. Reminds me a bit of the regular Zpack cut…perhaps a bit narrower feeling at the hips.
Ozzy….I'm 6' tall and 150 at the moment.
To clarify for those not familiar with the Vireo…in stock form, the upper half is rated at 45 degree and the bottom half 25. Now the entire bag has the loft of a 10 degree bag. Hope I don't roast in this thing!Feb 22, 2013 at 7:26 am #1957348
Was this the standard UL 74inch Vireo or did you ask for custom fill?Feb 22, 2013 at 7:31 am #1957350
It's a standard 74" Vireo UL that I asked to be overfilled.Feb 22, 2013 at 7:38 am #1957355
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
That is one nice looking bag.Feb 26, 2013 at 8:10 am #1958828
Thanks, Raymond. Pretty stoked to try it out. Took me two or more yrs to figure a bag out. My Summerlite just wasn't warm enough for my needs…and I was tired of getting lost in the hood of the typical mummy. Yet, I wanted something that wasn't any heavier than my Summerlite…that was nicely crafted, wasn't too snug and with a good footbox….that didn't cost me an arm and leg. On my paper, this set-up is the perfect solution…but time will tell.Feb 26, 2013 at 8:13 am #1958829
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Very nice, I know folks often overlook Feathered Friends custom work.Feb 26, 2013 at 9:39 am #1958870
Very nice looking bag with impressive loft. How many ounces of 900 down does it have?Feb 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm #1958938
Thanks, Stephen & Katy.
Re FF custom work, yes, I agree. Also, I don't know if I caught them at a slow time or what but they had it to me within 2 wks.
Re the ounces of fill, I'm sorry but don't know.Feb 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm #1958940
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
That was a good turn around from them, I have a pair of down trousers and they are spot on.Feb 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm #1958973
i wonder if ff would install a zipper at the bottom or a draw string. if it got a little warm, i'd love to be able to stick my feet out.Feb 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm #1958995
I spoke with them about this (drawcord) and, if I remember correctly, was told they would. I don't remember why I chose not to though. Perhaps it was more $ than I wanted to spend, a time thing, or extra weight. I suspect it was all of those. But yeah, it would definitely add some versatility.
I do remember that doing a customization such as mine was easy as nothing had to be changed to their existing pattern. Just add desired amount of fill and bingo!Feb 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm #1959019
@mrmuddyLocale: No Cal
Mr experience with FF is that they will do almost any kind of custom work that you want to have done ..on the bag.
For example, I had them sew in a little sleeve ..at the hood . to stick my down jacket in .. and use as a " built in pillow"
works GREAT !Feb 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm #1959061
Katy, the standard Vireo has 8.7oz of down and weighs 15oz total, this version weighs ~20.7oz. If they didn't increase baffle size that's an extra 5.7oz of down, but from the sound of it they increased baffles a little. I'd say conservative bet is around 13oz of down total for the custom.
For comparison the the Swift UL (Wide cut like vireo) which has a hood and is rated 20F has 18.8oz of down and the narrower cut hummingbird 20F has 14oz of down (also with a hood).Feb 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm #1959078
I don't know how much difference it makes but the 68" version has 8.7oz of fill. My Vireo is the 74". Another variable is the 48" hip circumference. That's the narrowest hip cut of any bag I'm aware of.Feb 26, 2013 at 6:48 pm #1959080
the top is cut wide so that you can wear your jacket inside and not reduce the loft. in the stock model it has less down (45* rating) in the wide area than in the foot (25* rating) in anticipation of the jacket you’d be wearing. it starts out wide, but quickly constricts to one of the narrowest circumferences of a sleeping bag i've ever been in. it's almost like a tube. it gets so skinny so that it can be both light and warm. this bag is not for everyone.Feb 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm #1959086
@tomlikeLocale: Pacific Wonderland
Looks nice! I guess the obvious question (to me anyway) is why not just go with a quilt? For example a large 20 degree Nunatak Arc Alpinist has 12oz of down and weighs 22oz (I suppose it does cost an arm and a leg though). All of that 12oz. will be on top of you unlike the Vireo, not to mention much easier to get in/out of. Seems a shame to be sleeping on top of all that lofty goodness when it isn't lofting…Feb 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm #1959094
the bag is designed for the alpine environment. I don't think you'd do as well with a quilt in a sitting bivy. you can easily pull the viero up under your arms, snug it with the draw string and sit up and cook or make coffee. no gaps in the back. Not as easy in a quilt.Feb 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm #1959113
Thanks, Tommy. I pondered a quilt early on. I'm a tossing and turning sleeper though…all over the place, all night…and I decided a quilt would leave me chilled with drafts. The Vireo goes with me when I turn…so, regardless of which way I'm sleeping, I'm surrounded with at least 3.25" of loft. No gaps, ever.
So, for me, I saw this bag as a warmer option to the Arc and it was a good bit less $, for better fill. And, it's lighter….even with the GooseFeet hood included. I will fully acknowledge though that the Arc, and other quilts, will be much easier to get in and out of…and offer more flexibility.Jun 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm #1993016
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
After reviewing this post, chatting with Rusty via email, and working with Feathered Friends, I took the plunge and ordered a custom Vireo. Went with 5oz of overfill for the top half in a size long. Looks like weight should be around 21oz. I am 6'0" and 210 lbs and, as I live close to the Feathered Friends store, I was able to try the bag out on several occasions. I found the bag to be very comfortable and really like the wide girth at the top. I do suggest sizing up, and I am usually a size regular in a bag. The extra length helps with this bag when you cinch it closed as it gives you a bit more room. I did not find the narrower bottom half to be uncomfortable, but only time will tell. No zipper but, with the wide girth, entry and exit is not hard.
Like Rusty, this bag checked a lot of boxes for me. I am a side sleeper who tosses and turns, so I was wary of a quilt. The shell is Pertex Endurance UL and will let me dispense with a bivy under a tarp. Cost was significantly less then Katabatic and Nunatak. I expect it will be a true 25 degree bag, with room to add a down jacket to push it even lower. I sleep warm, so I expect this will handle shoulder season in the PNW.
FF has been great to work with so far. I dealt with Todd Budden who works in the retail store, and he talked to the guys in the shop who will build the bag. As they already had several Vireos built waiting to be stuffed, he said it should take a week or two for my bag to be ready for pick-up. I would say the Zpacks bag is about the closest in features and cost (size long, wide), but I liked the Vireo's shell material better, so that, and the local angle, broke the tie for me.Jun 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm #1993020
"surrounded with at least 3.25" of loft"
Are the baffles at the top of the bag smaller than at the foot?
I tried several times to get Feathered Friends to increase the baffle height
at the top of the bag but each time the salesman refused to do it.Jun 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm #1993023
I don't know, Anthony. All I know for sure is the loft I measured….between the baffles as shown in the photo in my first post.
EDIT: To clarify, I did not ask that the baffles be changed…and they did not mention changing them. I just told FF that I wanted the bag to be good down to 20°.Jun 3, 2013 at 10:04 pm #1993060
Thanks that is helpful.
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