SEA TO SUMMIT TALUS TsII SLEEPING BAG REVIEW
Editor: RANDY JOHNSON
iReview Gear Lead Field Editor
HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
ALTI2UDE OUTDOORS PRO STAFF
SEA TO SUMMIT’S Talus TsII ULTRA-DRYDOWN -10C/14F sleeping bag is one of the best on the market. Inclusive with its relaxed mummy style design the Talus TsII offers some extremely innovative features that add to the overall comfort of mountaineers, hunters and anyone who just enjoys the outdoors.
Designed for spring, autumn and early winter excursions the Talus TsII compresses down to 7.1 liters in the regular sized bag, weighing only 2lb. 5 oz. Offering some of the best warmth to weight bags anywhere the Talus series’ innovative, detailed features sets the standard for Ultralight DRYDOWN sleeping bags that are changing the face of the outdoor market!
SEA TO SUMMIT is an Australian company with its North American operation based in Boulder, Colorado. One of the founders is Tim Macartney-Snape, a mountain climber who completed one of the most challenging ascents of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world. In 1984 as a small group of climbers from the world’s flattest continent pulled off a challenging ascent of Mount Everest where they put a new route up the north face in lightweight style with no oxygen or sherpa support. Six years later, one of the summiteers, Tim Macartney-Snape, decided to return to Everest after he realized neither he nor any other person who had climbed the mountain had truly climbed the entire 8,848 meters, as that would have meant starting from sea level. That is, no one had yet climbed it from “sea to summit”.
In the spring of 1990 Tim had a swim in the tepid waters of India’s Bay of Bengal then set off on foot across the Gangetic plain toward the distant Himalayan foothills. Four months later, after climbing alone from Base Camp and without the assistance of oxygen, he set foot once again on the highest point on earth. Tim’s solo ascent of Mt. Everest was named the “Sea to Summit” expedition.
Back in Australia, Tim joined forces with climbing friend, sewing enthusiast and design guru Roland Tyson to build a business that could make use of their knowledge of the outdoors to create truly ingenious, well-made but affordable outdoor equipment. They named their company Sea to Summit after Tim’s expedition and the business prospered. Today the Sea to Summit brand continues to provide innovative gear and serves a growing band of outdoor enthusiasts all over the world.
FACTS AND FEATURES:
When I received my Talus TsII sleeping bag I was totally blown away by the details and features. I received a storage bag, wash bag, compression sack, detailed instructions and a Final Report document on the content analysis of the bag. Wow, needless to say I was extremely impressed and appreciative of Sea to Summit’s extensive planning and attention to detail.
SEA TO SUMMIT WASH BAG, FINAL TEST REPORT, WARRANTY
As I stated in my opening descriptive paragraph, Sea to Summit’s Ultra-Dry Down is changing the conceptual approach to the down gear market. Simply stated, they are utilizing a technological process to treat down so that it will repel water. There are a few other companies who have also initiated this process but many companies who manufacture down gear are simply waiting to see if the treated down truly works!
Sea to Summit incorporates a repellant polymer treatment that is applied to the down used in their sleeping bags directly at the factory. Research has shown this process not only protects the down from the internal condensation caused naturally from your body but importantly protects the insulating factors of the down from external moisture. One reason many people have stayed away from using down in the past is the fact that they couldn’t get it dry once it became wet. Now, with the polymer treatments tests showing that Ultra-Dry Down absorbs 30% less moisture, retains 60% more loft and dries 60% faster than traditional down that is not an issue.
I’ve always been impressed with how well down compresses but the Talus’ Ultra-Dry Down will compress into a small stuff sack that comes with the Talus bag to just 7 x 7 inches, yet it retains its warm loft once you take it out of the stuff sack. Now, that is a very nice feature.
I’m a cold sleeper but on my expeditions this fall I have stayed toasty warm in the Talus as I have actually had to leave this bag partially unzipped on some nights. It’s amazing how this little bag does such an incredible job of retaining your body heat. I
Since I spend countless nights sleeping out on the mountain each year I’m used to mummy style bags so the narrow cut in the Talus TsII felt just perfect for me, forming a “cacoon” around my body to allow the layered baffles of Ulta-Dry Down to insulate me from the cold while the water-repelling shell of the bag also sealed in heat. Some people may find this factor a little restrictive and uncomfortable as they like to move around a lot to sleep. For me, however, this snugness was not an issue. Basically, the bag’s compressibility and the light weight of the bag are the features that I am interested in.
The outer shell of the Talus has a fabric constructed of 2D NanoShell™ technology,20 Denier nylon fabric with a highly water repellent breathable polyurethane coating and you have a great bag which will keep you warm and protected from external moisture (such as condensation from a tent wall). Notice that the foot area tapers outwards and forward to accommodate the natural angle of your feet. Sea to Summit knows what they are doing.
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. For a sleeping pad, my preference has been the Therm-A-Rest Neo Air. Keep in mind that I spend most of my time backpacking and hunting in the high desert plateaus of southern Utah where you have a lot of sand and debris to deal with in your tent. I can tell you that after extended use my Sea to Summit Talus still looks like new as the tough polyester shell has withstood any issues in regards to tears or snags.
The Talus TsII 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 little bag’s combination of 750-fill Ultra-Dry Down with the 30-denier nylon shell, “breathes well” as any body moisture you generate will pass through the lining. With the polymer coating of the down moisture flows outward, passing through the shell instead of being trapped in the feathers as the down we are used to would.
Exhibiting many extra features, the Talus TsII’s hood has an adjustable collar that allows the sleeper to adjust the air temperature that he/she prefers with a draw cord that is not even noticeable. I found the hidden zippered pocket near the chest to work just perfect for my cell phone or valuables. Also, hidden within the draft tube is Sea to Summit’s anti-snag zip system of super high-density 210D poly cloth that is lightweight and durable yet demonstrates a stiff finish that provides outstanding zipper anti-snag. I just love that feature.
TALUS TsII’s Large Hood and Wide Shoulders Are Very Comfortable
For your convenience I’ve listed below a comprehensive list of Technical Features and Specifications that sold me on Talus TsII and the entire series of Sea to Summit sleeping bags. These specifications demonstrate so well just what a great all around bag the Talus is. When reviewing the Sea to Summit TsII’s specifications you will quickly find that this company doesn’t take any short cuts. Their goal is to ensure that the sleeping bags they produce are as durable and comfortable as any bag you have ever slept in. The design and features do not leave a stone uncovered. Every detail is addressed.
• High loft, premium 750-fill-power European duck down offers superb warmth with minimal weight; Ultra-Dry Down™ water-repellent treatment protects down from moisture.
• Ultra-Dry Down is a water-repellent polymer treatment applied to the 750-fill down;
• Ultra-Dry Down retains 60% more loft and absorbs 30% less moisture than untreated down
• With a European Norm (EN) lower-limit rating of 14°F, the TsII bag will help keep you warm in all seasons, including mild winter temperatures
• Security pocket near chest area for valuables differential cut patterning in Hood Design to form a shape that will trap warmth where it is essential for comfort
• YKK #5 reverse zips, allowing for un-zipping of bag from top and bottom for temperature regulation
• The shell’s fabric is constructed of 2D NanoShell™ technology, a fabric with a highly water-resistant breathable polyurethane coating and a durable water repellent (DWR) finish on the outer face.
• Full-length side zipper allows bag to be joined to other Sea to Summit sleeping bags
• Innovative shell technology manages condensation, thus moving moisture vapor through the down and siliconized barrier outward. The shell repels water and protects the loft of the sleeping bag
• Lining is a breathable, durable 20-denier? polyester fabric, soft to touch
• Relaxed mummy shape is cut with a large hood, broad shoulders and large chest for a more comfortable sleeping bag while maintaining thermal efficiency
• Upper side of bag features a differential cut (inner layer is cut smaller than the outer layer to create consistent thickness of insulation) to help prevent cold spots
• Reverse differential cut on lower side; inner layer is cut larger than the outer layer to allow down to loft up, filling spaces around body so warmth wraps around you
• Oversize draft tube backing the zipper keeps the warmth in and the cold out; zipper is backed by stiff, anti-snag tape for smooth operation
• Interior zipper security pocket is great for stowing small essentials, alleviating middle-of-the-night fumbling and preserving battery performance in cold weather
• Oversize collar drapes comfortably over neck and shoulders, sealing out drafts; dual elastic adjusters
• Foot area tapers outwards and forward to accommodate the natural angle of your feet
• Preventing cold air from seeping in, offset baffle construction allows the duck down to remain fully lofted and keeps it from shifting
• Sea to Summit Talus TsII bag comes with a Ultra-Sil® compression sack, a a large oversize mesh storage cell and a large cotton sack for laundering
• Talus TsII Ultra-Dry Down 750+ loft bags are sold with an International Down Feather Laboratory (IDFL) certificate identifying exact Fill Power of the down used
Your choice of a sleeping bag is one of the most important gear decisions that you will make. I’ve slept in bags that didn’t live up to their temperature rating where I darn near froze my butt off. Then, there were those bags that were just too cumbersome to pack. I’ve also had to deal with zipper and hood malfunctions that allowed cold air to filter in around my body throughout some very long, cold nights.
In today’s high tech world, lightweight, packable sleeping bags have come a long way. There just shouldn’t be an excuse to not be able to find a quality sleeping bag that will fit the backpacking needs of mountain hunters, climbers, trekkers and outdoor fanatics. That’s where Sea to Summit with their new Ultra-Dry Down stepped into my complicated world of separating lightweight, top-notch sleeping bags from the rest of the field. For months now I’ve been reading about the ability of Ultra Dry Down, QuixDown by Touray, etc, to retain the insulating qualities of down when wet.
Late last winter I took the opportunity to wear an incredible, lightweight QuixDown jacket with basically the same properties as Sea to Summit’s Ultra Dry Down. The jacket, manufactured by KUIU, was warm, water resilient and extremely compressible. That led me to investigate and purchase Sea to Summit’s Talus TsII Ultra Dry Down sleeping bag. I’ve been extremely pleased with how efficient the Talus bag has been.
The water resistant Ultra Dry treatment of the down has lived up to all my expectations. At just 2 pounds 2 ounces, the Talus TsII is “feather light” and compresses down into practically nothing, thus allowing for extra packing space within my backpack. The warmth-to-weight ratio has been absolutely outstanding.
Let me tell you how nice it has been to find a sleeping bag with 2-way YKK #5 reverse zips that I can access from the top or bottom of the bag. With Sea to Summit’s anti-snag system of poly cloth I haven’t experienced an issue with material getting caught in the zippers. Now, that is nice compared to other sleeping bag zippers that I have used over the years.
Full Length YKK #5 reverse zips, allows for un-zipping of bag from top and bottom for temperature regulation. Very nice feature!
I’ve very particular when choosing the quality of down that I purchase in my sleeping bags. Believe me, not all down comes from the same source! In my research on Sea to Summit I found that the Ultra-Dry Down insulation they use in their Talus TsII features +750/90% down cluster premium European goose that is highlighted with their permanent Nano-level water-repellent polymer treatment to repel moisture. This treatment ensures that the down will dry quicker when wet, retain its loft much quicker and help in assuring a longer life of the bag itself. The quality of the down in combination with the water-repellant treatment is so important.
Many mummy style sleeping bags have very narrow chest areas that feel too constrictive when sleeping. I was pleased to find that the Talus TsII bag was designed with a larger chest area for overall comfort. Add to this the differential cut shell of the inner lining so that the outer shell’s fabric/insulation can expand outward to provide ultimate loft as well as to reduce cold spots and you have a well designed sleeping bag.
I can’t end my story here without mentioning that this top of the line Ultra Dry Down bag will cost you around $389 dollars to purchase on most websites. Don’t let this price scare you away. If you are truly serious about hunting, mountaineering or other outdoor activities then I believe that Sea to Summit’s Talus TsII should become part of your gear. It is well worth the money you spend. With features such as the internal zip chest pocket, a single hand adjustable hood, anti-snag zip, the cushioned internal hood draw-cord and other high-end technical specifications you simply can’t go wrong. I highly recommend this bag!
If you have a warranty issue with any of Sea to Summit’s gear the first step should be to contact the shop you purchased it from. Sea to Summit has an outstanding lifetime warranty and should address any problems you have that occur with the exception of normal wear and tear. I’ve always believed that outstanding companies will back up their products.
What they could do better:
It’s difficult for me to find anything wrong with the Talus TsII for it is an incredible lightweight sleeping bag, displaying outstanding warmth-to-weight ratio, quality and excellent durability. Some individuals may find the narrow cut too restrictive. In these cases perhaps Sea to Summit could manufacture a larger cut to address the concerns of some. For me, however, this bag met my demands for compressibility, Ultra Dry Down, warmth, and lightweight. Great job Sea to Summit.
Sea To Summit Talus TsII Sleeping Bag Review