We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jason Hairston and Patrick Mayer of KUIU for a Q&A session on their new Superdown Sleeping Bags. We truly believe KUIU has hit a homerun with this new product addition…..after reading the article, we think you will agree.
Do the bags come with a waterproof compression/stuff sack like The North Face and Sea to Summit bags do?
Each Super Down bag comes with a standard stuff sack and storage sack. For additional compression and waterproofness, we sell a variety of sized roll top dry bags.
A lot of bags on the market are equipped with a small compartment in the hood to slip in a small pillow. Do these bags have this feature?
No, the Super Down bags do not have a small compartment in the hood for a pillow. We suggest adding some clothing to the stuff sack to use as a pillow.
The exterior shell fabric used is the Toray Stunner Stretch Micro Ripstop 12 denier nylon, is this material abrasion resistant enough for this bag to be used inside bivy sacks for backpack hunting?
Yes. The Stunner Stretch 12D fabric is actually a heavier weight shell fabric than what a number of high end competitor’s use. We wouldn’t recommend against using the Super Down bags on a pad only with no bivy sack.
Is there an amount of time needed after sleeping overnight in these bags to allow body moisture and tent condensation to air out before putting it back in your pack?
In a perfect world it is always best to completely dry the exterior of your bag before stuffing it. However, because of the water repelling properties of the DWR treated Stunner Stretch Fabric and the water repelling Quixdown, the Super Down sleeping bags don’t absorb moisture from a night’s sleep and the down retains its loft. While the bag dries out quickly due to their water repelling properties, if you store the bag for a mid-hunt move with some moisture on the bag, you won’t hurt it.
Does Kuiu plan to make a merino bag liner to help with odor elimination on long trips, easy removal and cleaning, and also to add warmth to a bag?
There are no plans to incorporate a Merino bag liner at this time. We suggest wearing merino base layers in the bag to reduce skin to bag contact keeping body oils and dirt off the fabric.
It was stated that the quality of down used, the waterproof treatment of the down, and then the amount of down used are the main factors that set the Super Down bag apart from other bags. Can you please give us more information on the down and the water resistant treatment that is put on it?
The best down in the world comes from Eastern Europe. Toray, our down supplier, sources 850+ fill down from Poland, it has a 95% down content and we had it independently tested at a fill power of 865. A water repellant chemical, called their Quixdown treatment, is put on the down to keep it from losing its loft if you would accidentally get it wet, allowing these bags to be used in wet environments that would normally require a synthetic bag. We have third party testing data showing the Toray treated Quixdown resists wetting out longer than many of our competitors water resistant treatments. The Toray Quixdown is also highly resistant to washing, keeping it’s water repellency after repeated washing. Throughout the development process we used EN testing data from an independent lab to get the down fill amount to match the temperature rating we wanted.
KUIU has stressed the importance of EN testing throughout the development of the Super Down bags. Can you please explain the EN testing process and why you feel it is so important?
With the intense push for companies to reduce weight there is a strong incentive to reduce fill amounts and eliminate features such as hoods from their bags. There was no way to objectively measure how this would affect the warmth of the bag. So in 2005 the Europeans came up with a test to standardize sleeping bag warmth rating. A thermally heated dummy covered with sensors is placed in a temperature controlled room, insulation values are measured at 13 body zones and an average rating is produced. EN testing played an important role throughout the development process. The International Down and Feather Laboratory in Salt Lake City did our initial tests and found the left arm of our dummy was getting cold. We redesigned the zipper baffle and brought the temperature rating back to what we expected based on the fill weight. Our goal was to match the EN lower limit rating to the temperature rating of our three bags. The lower limit rating corresponds to the temperature at which the standard man can sleep for 8 hours in curled up position without waking from the cold.
The Super Down Sleeping bag has a different baffle design, can you explain why it was used?
Traditional sleeping bag design uses horizontal baffles that run across the body. With this baffle design down can shift around your body creating cold spots. Vertical baffles have recently become popular in the outdoor industry, and offer many advantages. Vertical baffles eliminate down shift around your body, and keep seam weight to a minimum. With this design heat is also transferred more efficiently along the length of your body. Internal barriers are put into the vertical baffles to keep the down from shifting head to toe. While we are talking about design, we have also increased the girth of our bags above the outdoor industry standard to accommodate our average customer size and provide a more comfortable sleep. Our stretch fabric also increases sleep comfort by reducing the fabric binding that can occur while moving in your bag at night.
Once the bags become dirty after a long season of hunting what is the recommended process for washing?
We recommend washing bags in a large capacity front loading washing machine, gentle cycle, cold water and a down specific detergent. Never use fabric softener or bleach and don’t dry clean. Tumble dry on low heat with a few tennis balls to more quickly loft the down. Like all down products, we recommend minimizing the number of times it is washed.
What happens if I have a zipper pulls apart? Do you repair or exchange the bag for a new one?
KUIU stands behind all of their products. KUIU has a lifetime warranty that covers any manufacturer workmanship defects. This warranty applies to the original consumer and is null and void if the product is used in a manner it is not intended for. If a warrantied product can be repaired, it will be repaired to “like new” condition. If it cannot be repaired, it will be replaced.
How does Kuiu recommend storing the Superdown sleeping bags?
Long term compression of down will reduce its loft, it’s critical that the bags be stored in the large storage sack that is provided with each bag or by hanging. There are webbing loops on the end of each bag for hanging.