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Choosing to construct my sample Cloud 15 as they did was a ballsy move. The electric blue stitching visually jumps out on the stark white background; there's no room for sewing imperfections. There's a REASON people usually sew with color-matched thread: it helps hide little flaws. But the sewing of this bag is top-notch, with no call for camouflaged seams. Some of the seam allowances used in the Insotect baffles are tiny, too… say a millimeter or two, so the slightest variances would announce themselves.

Although the longitudinal baffles are parallel from the waist down, the baffles widen and flow outward in a sort of fleur-de-lis. The chest section might make you wonder if Martha Stewart and beaten egg whites were involved in any way, the baffles mound so nicely. There is slightly less loft in the legs, then the footbox vaults upward. The hood is DEEP and fluffy and heavenly. It fits like the best of winter parka hoods. Many of you know how profusely I sing the praises of Western Mountaineering bags: the Sierra Designs Cloud 15 hood makes Western hoods seem nearly like second-rate afterthoughts. Yeah, it's that nice. The hood drawcord is superfluous for the majority of conditions. If the temps really plummet, though, there is a single drawcord adjustment that will batten down both the top and bottom borders of the hood. There is a slight puckering where the fabric and insulation sort of "fall" as the hood joins the body, but in practice I did not find that to be an issue… and it is the slightest of nitpicks. The half-length zipper is backed by an electric blue burgeoning marshmallow poof of a tube. The weight my sample Cloud is 27.8 ounces, 0.2 ounces under spec.


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