Outdoor Vitals Summit Down 30 Degree Sleeping Bag Review

IIn my experience, ultralight gear is a tricky investment. It’s easier to go faster and farther when you have the luxury of not being weighed down by heavy gear. On the other hand, reducing gear weight is expensive. Versatile gear options that aren’t too heavy but don’t break the bank are key to making hiking fun and accessible to more people, which is why I was excited to test the Summit Down 30 Degree Sleeping Bag by Outdoor Vitals.

It’s a bit heavier (3-5.5 ounces) than ultralight packs from popular companies like Feathered Friends and Western Mountaineering, but with hydrophobic down, it’s considerably lighter than popular synthetic packs like the Nemo Forte 35 without losing much versatility. The Summit Down 30 is a solid choice for someone looking to lose weight without dropping too many dollars.

Outdoor Vitals Top Down 30 At a glance

MRSPR: $245 (regular length)
lester: 1lb 11oz (regular length)
Materials: Shell-10 Denier Ripstop Polyester with VitalDry™ DWR coating; Lining – 10 Denier Ripstop Polyester
Genre: Unisex
Fill power: 800-Fill Power StormLoft™ Water Repellent Down

Intended use

The Summit Down 30 is designed for backpacking in nighttime temperatures as low as 30°F. Hydrophobic down makes this pack suitable for travel in both dry and wet conditions, including snow, rain and snow. ‘humidity.

Circumstances of the examination

I tested the Summit Down 30 during spring and summer hiking and camping above 6000 feet in western North Carolina. As a 5’2″ female, I tested the regular length bag (and wish Outdoor Vitals had been a shorter length).

Top Down 30 Features

  • Hybrid deflector design
  • Additional shoulder deflectors
  • DWR coated shell
  • DWR treated down
  • Central zipper
  • Responsible Down Standard sourced and certified down

Additional shoulder deflector with velcro closure.

Versatility and durability

I slept comfortably almost every night I tested the Summit Down 30. The coldest temperature I tested was around 30°F and the warmest around 52°F. In my opinion , as a cold sleeper, around 45°F was the most comfortable; 30°F was absolutely the low limit, and 52°F was a bit too hot. One thing to note is that due to the middle zipper/closed foot box design, I couldn’t easily ventilate my feet to cool down when the temperature was too hot, which is a downside of versatility in my opinion. More information on the central zip below.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the bag performed in significant humidity. I used a double-walled tent on each test trip and would be curious to see if the pack would have been wetter if I had used a single-walled tent; in any case, the DWR coating has done its job. I unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to hike out west this year so I can’t comment on the performance of the pack in dry conditions but I really can’t imagine there would be any problems.

So far the bag is holding up well and I haven’t had any durability issues. I would be curious to see how a bag like this would perform on a hike, which is certainly very hard on the gear.

Summit Down 30 Benefits

Price point. In exchange for a sleeping bag that weighs a few ounces more and doesn’t have a hugely popular brand name, you can save at least $200 or even more, depending on the comparison bag. That’s a lot of money, if you ask me.

For an expert backpacker with established preferences, well-defined needs, and a small window of tolerance for anything that deviates from those preferences and needs, the money saved may not be worth the risk of trying the Summit Down. .

But for a relative beginner trying to get into hiking, a first-time hiker looking to go light but save money, or even an advanced hiker who just wants to try something new, the Summit Down 30 is the an affordable addition to the equipment. cupboard.

Center zip. I haven’t been able to find the story of why Outdoor Vitals decided to build their bags with an enclosed toe box and 7/8 center zipper, but I’m certainly curious.

If you’re unfamiliar, most sleeping bags close either on the left side (so a right-handed person reaches into their body and closes easily) or on the right side (so a left-handed person leans over on his body and closes easily). easily). I guess the idea of ​​the central zip is to remove the need for this distinction and thus simplify design and manufacture, while making the bags generally more accessible to everyone, whether right or left handed.

If that’s the concept behind the center zip, then this part of the center zip is a “pro” in my opinion. (Cons below.)

Spacious. Maybe it’s just because I’m a very small person who could probably sleep comfortably in a kid’s sleeping bag, but the Summit Down 30 felt very roomy to me. The height differential between me and the maximum suitable height for the bag (6ft) was definitely part of that space and I had plenty of room at my feet. But the width was also part of it; I felt like I had room to turn from side to side and change positions without getting tangled in the pack, and that was good.

Ethics. Outdoor Vitals appears to be a company that values ​​sustainability, pays attention to its environmental impact, and uses materials that are ethically and sustainably sourced. For me, this is an essential part of what makes me ready to endorse a product. If you’re not doing what you can to protect the wild places you send people to… what are you even doing? Outdoor Vitals uses Responsible Down Standard sourced from down (although I wish they included a down tracker like Feathered Friends), the LofTek insulation they use in some of their other sleeping bags is 100% recycled, and they seem to be listening to fair work. I would always prefer to support local businesses and suppliers, but paying attention to fair labor is a good start if you outsource. They also donate 1% of proceeds to Charity: Water, a non-profit organization aimed at providing safe drinking water to developing countries.

Top down 30 cons

Center zip. While I appreciate what I assume is an effort to simplify customer choices, I don’t think the functionality of the center zipper matches that of the side zipper. I actually found the Summit 30 a bit squishy and difficult to zip up, and I didn’t like how the center zip felt on me while I slept. For those of you who like nighttime cuddles, it was also not possible for my partner to stretch his arm over me without losing a lot of heat, as a large part of the bag had to be pulled down for him to reaches me.

Spacious. Part of what I like to do in equipment testing is efficiency. I’m a real sucker for things that fit as perfectly as possible, are as streamlined as possible, etc. If you’re a person who really doesn’t care about finding the optimal equipment setup, then feel free to skip this part. But for me, as nice as it was to have the extra space to move around in, I couldn’t help but recognize that it also meant I was wearing the extra space. As I said above, I wish Outdoor Vitals had a “short” and/or “thin” version of this bag to better fit a smaller person. In fact, I want this for most outdoor clothing and gear, so don’t take this downside too seriously.

Additional shoulder deflector. Outdoor Vitals says the extra shoulder deflectors should allow you to have your pack open around your mouth and nose to breathe better without losing heat, as cold air will be blocked by the deflectors and unable to enter. the rest of the bag. I think conceptually I understand this, but functionally it wasn’t my experience. Part of that could be down to the space I mentioned above – the bag just wasn’t that tight to begin with. On top of that, I found it very difficult to place the deflectors to accomplish what they’re supposed to accomplish, and generally felt like they flipped over my face and actually had the opposite effect to the desired effect.

Additional chicanery threatening to swallow my face.

Globally

Overall, I think the Outdoor Vitals Summit Down 30 is a solid investment, especially for someone just getting into trail riding. This would be a perfect 3 season starter bag, comfortable from mid-late spring to mid-late fall, depending on the climate and you as the sleeper. If you’re a warm sleeper, you could probably get closer to the lower range of the degree rating and get more 3-season use; if you are a cold sleeper like me this might be more of a summer bag for you.

Shop the Outdoor Vitals Summit Down 30 Degree Sleeping Bag

Comparable sleeping bags

Nemo Disco 30

MSRP: $259-279
Lester: 2 pounds 5 ounces

REI Coop Magma 30

MSRP: $349
Lester: 1 pound 6.5 ounces

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