Product Review: Kelty’s Eclipse 30 Double Sleeping Bag

As you may have noticed, we like our Kelty products here at ACK and sleeping bags are no exception. Before we were set to experience the arrival of the first frost of winter in central Texas, my wife and I decided to get out of the house and into the woods for a one night camping trip. Our first goal was to get away from civilization but we also wanted to be prepared with a few of the creature comforts we enjoy at home. What we needed was a sleeping bag that provided durability, comfort and warmth for the BOTH OF US— the Kelty’s Eclipse 30 Double Sleeping Bag fit the bill.

Kelty Eclipse 30 Double Sleeping BagWe had almost everything we needed for a one night camping adventure including our tent, change of clothes, lamp, firewood, food and some casual reading. All that was left was the sleeping arrangement so a quick purchase at the ACK Austin Store got us locked and loaded for a relaxing evening under the stars.

As the fire burned down and the chill of night crept in it was time to kill the flames and retire for the evening. As I slipped into the Eclipse I immediately noticed the plush feel of the sleeping bag’s CloudLoft insulation. It was more than inviting especially after we slipped our pillows into the zippered slots at the head of the bag. The roominess of the Eclipse was impressive, yet not excessive, leaving enough elbowroom to toss and turn without causing too much of a ruckus. We were expecting a much colder night, but our anticipation was met with uncomfortable warmth. My wife wasn’t having any of it and decided to open up the foot vents at the bottom of the sleeping bag — a night saver with nothing but zzz’s.

I would not recommend taking this sleeping bag on an extensive multi-day hiking trip due to its size but it is ideal for the casual camping couple that just needs to get away for a few nights. It’s versatility as both a warm and cold weather sleeping bag makes it a great multi-season sleeping bag. I give this one two thumbs up!

Specifications:
Length: 80 in. / 203 cm
Weight: 14 lb. / 6 kg
Packed Size: 38 x 17 in. / 97 x 43 cm
Shell Fabric: 40D Polyester Ripstop
Shoulder Girth: 136 in. / 345 cm
Fill Weight: 100 oz. / 2.9 kg
Temp Rating: 30° F / -1° C
Brand: Kelty

For more information about this and other sleeping bags, click here.

Robert
ACK – Austin Store

Lightweight Sleeping Bags and the Devils River

Devils River, Texas

RIO DIABLO…that was all the subject line of the email said…from “Steve”, one of three  guys I meet with every Thursday morning. Rio Diablo or Devils River is a remote river in west Texas that feeds into Lake Amistad, a huge lake that borders the US and Mexico.  It consists of Class I through Class IV rapids and for paddlers is considered a Devil when it runs at low or high flow rates.  It is also said to be crystal clear and a great fishing river.

That initial email kicked off a series of responses that birthed a 48 mile kayak trip down the Devils River…so now the fun begins of getting outfitted for the trip.  So I’m going to be talking to my teammates here at Austin Canoe and Kayak to get suggestions and I’ll post my product decisions along the way.

First decision is a lightweight sleeping bag.  My 20 degree bag is way too big and hot and I’d wanted to add a lightweight sleeping bag to my gear collection anyway so I grabbed a Kelty Light Year summer-weight sleeping bag off the shelf and gave it the once over.

The bag is only $119 ($20 bucks cheaper than REI plus free shipping)…and it packs down into a 11” x 7” stuff sack which is great when trying to save room in  a kayak.  It only weighs 28 ounces too…another bonus on the kayak.  The bag has loops to keep my pad in place and of course I get my employee discount…very nice.

So for my summer sleeping bag I’ll opt for the lightweight Kelty Light Year.  And the great thing is I think I can combine the sleeping bag with a shell/bivy and bump up the rating enough for my fall backpacking trip in Big Bend.

-Clayton

Update: Between writing the blog and posting it I was advised by more experienced paddlers to consider a synthetic bag over down due to the potential of it getting wet.   I’d appreciate any other thoughts about bag specs for water related camping.