KUIU Super Down Sleeping Bag 15 Review

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KUIU SUPER DOWN SLEEPING BAG 15 REVIEW


Editor: RANDY JOHNSON
iReviewGear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
www.highdesertsheepguides.com
Alti2ude Outdoors Pro Staff


BASIC DESCRIPTION:

KUIU’S Super Down sleeping bag line is a major game changer for mountain hunters or outdoor enthusiasts of any kind! Water resistant, these Super Down sleeping bags are the most technically advanced on the outdoor market today! Each sleeping bag in KUIU’s Super Down line is certified by the International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory (IDFL) for a Fill Power of 865, 95/5 down-to-feather ratio, and an EN Lower Limit Rating of 0º, 15º, or 30º. “High tech” is the best description I can use for KUIU’s new sleeping bags as their “ultralight bedrolls” have taken backpacking to another level. Utilizing superior ingredients manufactured by Toray, who has established the standard in the textile industry for unrivalled technology developments, KUIU has designed a sleeping bag conceived specifically with the hunter in mind. Available in 0º, 15º and 30º temperature ratings the Super Down bags are offered in regular and long sizes.
It should be noted that KUIU, based in Dixon, California, was founded in 2011 with an encompassing vision to provide customers with the world’s most advanced hunting layering system and equipment on the market. KUIU provides remarkable apparel and equipment that is light, packable, and dependable. By eliminating retailers and selling their products exclusively online, KUIU drives the ultimate shopping experience. They provide superior customer service, lower pricing, and the highest product quality.
For additional information on this company visit www.KUIU.com or call 1-855-367-5848 Monday-Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM PST.


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FACTS AND FEATURES:

KUIU performed rigorous testing with the IDFL, an independent laboratory to validate and certify the bag ratings.
The results are nothing short of fantastic.
You can count on this bag meeting up with the listed specs!

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As I stated in my opening “description,” KUIU’s Super Down has taken a giant step forward with a remarkable change in the theoretical approach/design to the down gear market. Better defined, KUIU has teamed with Toray to capture a technologically advanced process to treat down so that it will repel water. A complicated procedure, each KUIU Super Down bag is filled with “Quixdown” by Toray, that originates from geese in the finest down producing region of the world, Eastern Europe. By separating the largest high quality down clusters the feather content is minimized, thus producing an 850+ ­fill power with a 95/5 down-to-feather ratio. Through “state of the art” nanotechnology, each individual plum of the down cluster is then treated to repel water with the most durable, longest lasting water repellant treatment on the market. With the use of
“Quixdown”, KUIU’s Super Down Sleeping Bags retain both warmth and loft, even when wet from rain, sweat, and condensation.
An outer shell that encapsulates the down is highlighted by Toray’s “Stunner Stretch”, a stretchable, unique microripstop 12 Denier textured nylon fabric that provides a soft, comfortable feeling against your skin as well as unrestricted movement. Each individual thread of Stunner Stretch is treated with Toray’s industry leading Kudos® Durable Water Repellent to keep the bag dry as well as extending its life. The unique vertical baffle design of the Super Down Sleeping Bag utilizes flow gates to keep the down from shifting, thus eliminating cold spots and maximizing loft.
There’s no doubt that KUIU may have developed the most technically advanced water-resistant down sleeping bag available today. Their Super Down Sleeping bag line simply stated, “combines an unmatched list of the worlds most advanced ingredients to create a sleep system that is incredibly light, warm and water resistant.” KUIU’s Super Down bags resist water and dry as fast or faster than a comparable synthetic bag at a fraction of the weight and size, solving a huge problem for backpack hunters who sacrifice weight and bulk when using a synthetic filled sleeping bag.

It should be noted that there are a few other companies who have also initiated this process but the vast majority of manufactures of down gear have take a backseat to wait and see if the treated down truly works! It does and KUIU is a step ahead!
KUIU obtains the most technically advanced treated down from Toray. The Easter European Polish down is treated on a nano level for water repellency with a proprietary cutting edge process. Applied to the down clusters in the Super Down bags at the factory, the water repellant treatment is not only durable but will provide lasting protection. Extensive lab research has shown this process protects the down from the internal condensation that occurs naturally from your body. However, more importantly, it protects the insulating factors of the down from external moisture. Previously, one reason many people stayed away from using down was the fact that they couldn’t get it dry once it became wet. Now, with Quixdown, water repellant treatment tests show that KUIU’s Super Down products absorb much less moisture than other leading manufacturers with a greater loft retention and drying time up to 60% quicker than traditional down. Getting your Super Down bag dry is not an issue.
I’ve personally always been impressed with how well down compresses but KUIU’s Super Down will compress even smaller. A convenient stuff sack that comes with all of the Super Down bag line is provided. Remarkably, even after compression these bags will retain their warm loftiness once you remove them from the stuff sack. Now, that is an extremely nice feature on backpack hunts.
KUIU’S SUPER DOWN SLEEPING BAG COMPRESSED IN STUFF SACK!

I’m a cold sleeper because of a slow personal metabolism but on several expeditions this spring in the high alpine terrain of Utah’s Tushar Mountains and high deserts I have stayed warm and comfortable in KUIU’s 15 degree bag. In fact, I have actually had to leave my KUIU bag partially unzipped on some cold nights. It’s amazing how the Super Down does such an incredible job in the retention of your body heat.
Since I spend countless nights sleeping out on the mountain each year I’m used to mummy style bags so the design of the regular cut in my KUIU Super Down bag is just perfect for me. In fact, this bag with its flexible nonrestrictive “Stunner Stretch down proof fabric” forms a comfortable, uniform cocoon around my body that allows the vertical layered baffles of Super Down to keep me cozy yet relaxed without feeling constricted in any way. The halo, shoulder and zipper baffles insulate me from the cold while the water-repelling Stunner Stretch fabric of the outer shell provides me with comfort and keeps me warm. Basically, the KUIU Super Down sleeping bag line’s flexibility and compressibility plus the ultralight weight are factors that anyone will find extremely impressive.


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KUIU STORAGE BAG – ALLOWS FOR RETENTION OF SUPER DOWN LOFT

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KUIU FINAL TEST REPORT and Summary:

SUPER DOWN BAG FEATURING HOOD, SHOULDER AND NECK BAFFLES

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KUIU’S SUPER DOWN FOOT BOX
(It should also be noted that the foot area tapers outwards and forward in these bags to accommodate the natural angle of your feet. KUIU’s design team knew exactly what they were doing with this “architecture.”)

With all my sleeping bags I like to use a silk nylon liner to sleep in as I feel this keeps my bag much cleaner and protects the material from body oils, salt and odor. When I get home I simply toss the liner in the laundry and I’m ready for another trip out on the mountain. For a sleeping pad, my preference has been the Therm-A-Rest Neo Air or Neo AirLite. Keep in mind that I spend most of my time backpacking and hunting in the high desert plateaus of southern Utah where you have to deal with a lot of sand and debris in your tent. I can assure you that after extended use, my KUIU 15 degree Super Down bag still looks like new as the Toray Stunner Stretch Mico Ripstop 12 D nylon has withstood any issues in regards to tears or snags.
KUIU’s 15 degree bag is very capable of providing outstanding service throughout the year, even during winter months as long as the temperature doesn’t dip too low. This incredible bag’s combination of Toray’s Quixdown featuring 865-fill Eastern European Polish Goose and Toray’s Stunner Stretch outer shell “breathes extremely well”. Any body moisture you generate will pass through the lining as the moisture flows outward, passing through the outer shell instead of being trapped in the the down as we have been used to in the past.
KUIU’s innovative Super Down Sleeping Bags have many “extra features” such as the Duraflex cinch pulls on the hood, YKK Zippers, internal flow gates and an adjustable collar to regulate air temperature. I also found the hidden reversible zipper pull-tabs very effective for the elimination of fabric snags.
For the readers convenience I’ve highlighted the comprehensive Technical Features of KUIU’s Super Down bag below. These specifications are impressive and will demonstrate why this bag is one of the most innovative, technical designs on the outdoor market. Please review these specs and you will find why I have been so impressed with these new sleeping bags. KUIU’s goal is to ensure that the gear they produce is ultralight, durable and comfortable, enabling mountain hunters to go further and faster

KUIU SUPER DOWN BAG TECHNICAL FEATURES
SIZING
• Regular (up to 6ft) or Long (up to 6ft 5in) Fits User Length: 72 in. (Regular) 78 in. (Long)
• Shoulder Girth: 62 in. (Regular) 64 in. (Long)
• Hip Girth: 57 in. (Regular) 59 in. (Long)
• Foot Girth: 43 in.
• Zipper Length: 65 in. (Regular) 71 in. (Long)

INGREDIENTS

BAG ELEMENTS
• Toray Water Resistant QuixDown
• Toray Stunner Stretch Micro Ripstop 12 D nylon
• Toray Kudos DWR
• Duraflex Cinch Pulls
• YKK Zippers

SPECIFICATIONS

• Fill Weight: Long – 20.8 oz. | Regular – 19 oz.
• Final Weight: Long – 2 lb 1.7 oz | Regular – 1 lb 7 oz
• Down clusters treated for water repellency
• Premium 100% Polish Goose Down
• Stunner Stretch down proof fabric
• Toray KUDOS DWR
• Full Hood to minimize heat loss
• Mummy bag design


BAFFLE CONSTRUCTION
• Unique vertical baffle design
• Halo, Shoulder & Zipper Baffles prevent heat loss
• Internal flow gates
• Minimal down shift
• Eliminates cold spots
• Optimized down loft and thermal efficiency
• Maximized warmth to weight ratio


ZIPPERS
• YKK #5 Coil Zipper
• Full length double slider
• Reversible pull tab slider 


CERTIFIED SPECIFICATIONS
(by the International Down & Feather Testing Laboratory (IDFL))
• EN Lower Limit Rated – IDFL Certified
• 865 Fill Power – IDFL Certified
• 95/5 down to feather ratio – IDFL Certified

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STORY:

When my KUIU Super Down sleeping bag arrived I immediately noted the Stunner Stretch Micro Ripstop 12 D nylon material comprising the outer shell as well as the added details and features. I was extremely impressed with how lightweight the bag was. It was evident that KUIU’s design team had spent a great amount of time in researching and detailing the components of this bag. I always appreciate a company that goes the extra mile with extensive planning to ensure cutting edge technology.
Every item of gear a mountain hunter chooses is critical but their choice of a high quality sleeping bag is one of the most important decisions that they will make. If you have ever slept in a bag that wasn’t designed properly or didn’t live up to its temperature rating then you know exactly what I’m talking about. There have been hunts and many backpack adventures over the years where I have darn near frozen my butt off at night trying to get some “critical shuteye.” Of course there have also been those sleeping bags that were just too bulky and heavy to pack. I’ve also had to deal with zipper malfunctions that completely ruined my well planned backpacking trip as I struggled to keep the cold air out while suffering through some very long, cold nights.

Yes, our outdoor manufacturers have made tremendous progress as there are now many quality, lightweight, packable sleeping bags on the market today. If you do your research there is absolutely no excuse to not be able to purchase a premium sleeping bag that will accommodate the demands of mountain hunters, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. With KUIU’s new Super Down sleeping bags I have definitely discovered exactly what I have been dreaming of, an ultra light down sleeping bags that can be kept dry. For months now I’ve been reading about the ability of QuixDown by Toray, and its remarkable ability to retain the insulating qualities of Polish down when wet. Well, this sleeping bag lives up to all the hype and promise.

Late last winter I had the opportunity to wear an incredible, lightweight QuixDown jacket with basically the same properties as KUIU’s Super Down sleeping bags. The jacket, also manufactured by KUIU, was warm, water resilient and extremely compressible. That led me to my investigation of KUIU’s Super Down sleeping bags and an anxious couple of months waiting for the shipment of bags to arrive! I’ve been extremely pleased with how efficient my new 15 degree Super Down bag has performed.

The water resistant Toray QuixDown treatment coating of the premium East European Polish 865 down has lived up to every one of my expectations. At just 1 pound 14.7 ounces, the regular bag is “feather light” and compresses down to practically nothing, thus allowing for extra packing space within my backpack. The warmth-to-weight ratio has been absolutely outstanding.
I have also found it nice to find a sleeping bag with YKK #5 zippers that I know is not going to blow out. With KUIU’s anti-snag system of poly cloth pull tab sliders I haven’t experienced an issue with material getting caught in the zippers and have appreciated the reverse pull. Now, that is a plus compared to the other sleeping bag zippers that I have used over the years.
It’s very important to note that not all down comes from the same source! KUIU’s use of IDFL Certified Polish Down sets the standard. Featuring 865 Fill Power and 95/5 down to feather ratio the down cluster are certified premium Polish down. Highlighted with their Toray’s QuixDown water-repellent treatment these bags actually repel moisture. QuixDown ensures that the down in your bag will dry faster when wet, retain its loft much quicker and will help to assure the longer life of the sleeping bag itself. This combination of features is why I believe KUIU’s bags to be the best on the market for mountain hunters today.
The vertical baffle design construction of KUIU’s Super Down bags reduces the shifting of down around your body. This equates to greater warmth-to-weight ration. Add to this feature the innovative internal flow gates that also reduce the down from shifting and you have a sleeping bag that is capable of maintaining equal distribution from top to bottom.
You pay for innovation and the best in quality as KUIU’s 15 degree bag will cost you around $579 dollars when ordered in a regular. The 0 degree bag is $699 and the 30 degree $449. I love the Phantom /Steel Grey color of my bag as it doesn’t show the dirt like a some of the bright colored sleeping bags you see being sold by other companies. Don’t let these prices scare you away. If you are truly serious about hunting, mountaineering and other outdoor activities then take a long, hard look at KUIU’s sleeping bags. I am a true believer in KUIU’s revolutionary changes to Mountain Hunting gear and can attest that it truly is “cutting edge” relative to ultralight, high performance gear. I highly recommend the purchase of this bag!
If you have a warranty issue with a KUIU sleeping bag the first step should be to contact their offices directly. KUIU has an outstanding lifetime warranty and will address any problems you have per their Return and Exchange Policy. Of course, as with all customer-oriented vendors, the exception of normal wear and tear should always be considered. I am a strong believer that outstanding companies will stand behind their products and I have found that KUIU has always met my expectations in this regard.


WHAT KUIU COULD DO BETTER:

I have to be honest, the Stunner Stretch Fabric and Toray QuixDown treatment blew me away. I own a lot of sleeping bags but this particular bag is the one I reach for when I’m taking the “road less traveled” on my hunting/backpacking adventures. Yes, the bag is expensive but in this case you get what you pay for.
I am very “picky” when it comes to gear so KUIU may think this is a trivial suggestion but I would like to see them add a couple of compression straps to the compression sack that comes with the bag, thus enabling the user to compress the bag down even smaller. Also, a small Velcro type pouch on the inside of the bag that you could store your earplugs or even a cell phone in would be an additional feature that I personally would appreciate.


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