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April 2020 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Sleeping Bags

Sierra Designs Cloud 20 Sleeping Bag

Notice the lack of insulation on the bottom - this bag is best paired with a sleeping mat.

Price:

$650

Our Rating:

At a glance
Pluses:Lightweight, warm bag with great ventilation options
Minuses: Best paired with a sleeping mat, zipperless design may hinder versatility

Weight 820g

Features: Filled with 419g of 800-loft DriDown carrying the Responsible Down Standard certification. Tapered below the hips with a 3D footbox. A draftless slit at mid-calf allows users to slip their feet out, and the zipperless design has overlapping flaps which wrap around the torso. It has a mattress sleeve on the bottom to prevent roll-off and the hood has a single drawstring. The bag is EN tested to -3°C (comfort). 

Fit: The tapered design isn’t too claustrophobic, and the overlapping flaps will ensure unrestricted comfort for torsos of all sizes. 

Comfort: The bag’s 15D nylon ripstop lining is soft to the touch. The back segment with the sleeping mat sleeve is uninsulated, and users may miss the feeling of soft down between them and their mat or bunk mattress. The hood fits snugly, and doesn’t encroach on the face when pulled tight.

In use: With its zoned insulation, this bag is designed to be paired with an insulated sleeping mat. My inflatable mattress had no problem fitting into the sleeve, which kept the bag centred all night. However, there’s nothing to stop the uninsulated side rolling to the top if you use the bag without a sleeping mat – for example, in a hut. Sleepers who toss and turn may wake to find the back segment shifted to the top or side, leaking warmth.

The big drawcard of this bag is its zipperless design, which can take some getting used to. Once oriented correctly, the flaps can be wrapped tightly or loosely as required. But with no buttons or velcro to hold the flaps in place, the bag can open in the night and expose your torso to the cold, which happened to me – a restless side sleeper. Not having to deal with zips, however, is a liberating experience, and it’s nice to be able to simply spread the flaps wide and let cool air in. The slit at mid-calf is easy to poke hot feet through for shuffling around the hut or temperature regulation, and it stops drafts when closed. As somebody who loves unzipping the bottom of my sleeping bag to cool down, I rate this feature highly and in terms of temperature regulation, it’s the best bag I’ve used. The zip-free design also cuts weight. 

Value: With its sub-zero temperature rating, easy temperature regulation options and low weight,this bag is great value and should find use year-round if paired with a four-season mattress.

Verdict: An affordable and versatile bag offering a middle ground between a restrictive mummy shape and a quilt. 

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