A sleeping bag equipment review must be for the best features and the delights of this important piece of hiking.
And it does not hurt when there is someone who has money for the sleeping bag with her hard earned money and then threw it in a backpack for weeks of outdoor adventure.
If you agree with this assessment of a trustworthy sleeping bag equipment, they are right with us!
After a thorough research of my options, I settled on the REI Co-op Joule Women’s 3-Season Mummy Sleeping Bag.
As always, I simply share knowledge about trails with all those who need it in this review of sleeping bags.
If you are a geek of science, you will notice that the name “joule” is a nod to a unit of energy dissipated as heat. Subliminal advertising, perhaps? That made me laugh!
If the intelligent name is passed in front of you, do not be afraid. There are many other ways to understand what is important in this review of sleeping bags.
How warm is it?
I guess heat is your first choice in a sleeping bag. This is the first thing I want to know when I read a review of the sleeping bag gear.
Why do I calculate the “top importance” of heat?
After a long day on the trail, you have to sleep deeply to face the trail again in the morning.
Throwing and rotating and shaking in a cold sleeping bag is not an option.
That’s why I searched for a bag that was rated “three seasons”. Embracing in a hot sleeping bag toast from spring to fall is one of my top priorities as a backpacker.
This REI Co-op Joule Sleeping Bag is rated at 23F (European Standard) which is -5C, but I warn you to accept any number of sleeping bag layer with a bit of skepticism.
Because your conditions might be a little different from the test conditions.
If you sleep in wet and cold conditions, the bag might not work as well as when the wind does not blow.
If you bring back in the wet and exhausted bag, your central temperature might not be the task of completely warming the bag.
In addition, women’s bags are valued differently than men’s bags, and at different stages of life, women run “warmer” (menopause or pregnancy) or “colder” than women who have tested the bags.
Bottom line: add a few degrees to the temperature index, somewhere around 28 degrees F (or 32F, freezing, just to be extra safe).
If you know that you only camping in dry and dry conditions, do not bother with this bag – this is an excessive victim.
The bag is uniquely constructed to ensure you will have a cool night:
Style “Mom”, ie conical across the torso and legs, wider at the top; this traps the heat against your body and does not waste the body heat by warming up the “empty” space;
Coated duck (fill 700) to create “loft” – think of it as waterproof insulating spaces;
Vertical and horizontal defects for thermal efficiency. This creates a feeling of “wrapped in a blanket” that I love.
The water-repellent 700-fill-power duck in this sleeping bag really does the trick!
Winter flood with snow piled on rocks like fluffy pillows
The Joule sleeping bag is not designed to withstand winter conditions.
How heavy & bulky is it?
Every sleeping bag alarm clock must respond to this important hiking problem.
After heat, weight is the most serious concern.
Lugging along a very heavy but warm sleeping bag is a mistake, I see a lot of women. You have to find a balance between the weight and the heat that suits you.
This REI Co-op Joule Women’s Sleeping Bag has a dry weight of 2 pounds, 2 ounces for the “regular” length. Extreme backpackers will be scandalized by this heaviness!
There are other sleeping bags that are lighter, so if you need ultra-light hiking equipment, do not look at this bag.
Also, if you are a really small woman, the normal length could be too much for you. At 5’3 “, I find it just for my needs because the extra fabric is used to cushion my legs and feet while I sleep.
This bag does not pay extremely small – about 6 liters.
However, using this compression bag and good planning, it moves well in my package without accumulating too much space.
I can live with weight-vs- heat exchange, for sure.
How comfortable is it?
The REI Co-op Joule Women’s 3-Season Mummy Sleeping Bag is lined with ripstop nylon.
I have really come to appreciate nylon ripstop during my hiking career, and here it is especially valuable to prevent tears and nicks in the fabric.
Why? Because feather loss will degrade the bag’s ability to keep you warm.
In a tent it is almost impossible to avoid sharp edges, grain, roots of trees and rocks, so a durable fabric is really important.
But again, there is always tape!
The outside of the bag is nylon taffeta. It’s a bit on the slippery side, makes rustle sounds when you move, and maybe not play well with your sleeping cushion.
However, in a small tent, where are you going to slip?
And will not you have a symphony of sounds to enjoy the outside of the tent? Hooting owls, rushing streams, whispering wind … or the force of the wind rage (ha!).
There are waterproof fabric panels that are “breathable”, which is a good way to allow moisture to come out of the bag without accumulating on your body.
They were placed lower in areas where women are the cooler, following the design of “wider frames and narrower shoulders” that mark a woman’s sleeping bag.
I had no problem falling asleep in this bag.
I am a lateral sleeper when I first drift, a sleeper in the middle of the night. I’m not sure how a stomach sleeper would be good.
The right zipper was in the right place for a quick exit. It has not yet blocked!
I bring it because, sitting with a muffled zipper in a cold tent, trying to undress it by a projector, is NOT FUN.
The hood is a nice feature because even though I sleep in a fleece hat (unless it’s really, really warm on the outside), I like the option of added softness and warmth around my neck.
Another idea: knit additional clothes into the hood, like a pillow.
The pivotal question for a sleeping bag gear review:
What price is it?
This is where things take an interesting turn in this review of sleeping bags.
The price is a mobile target for a hiker:
A beginner hiker is all about the price: the cheapest price usually wins.
But more miles connect you on the trail, and the longer the rains you sit in your sleeping bag in your loyal tent, the longer you enjoy a long-term relationship with your hiking gear.
Cheap = fast decision and short life.
Paying more is a commitment to your comfort and safety, as well as your investment in assuming the equipment.
If you will only be a few hikes that require a sleeping bag, buy a cheaper bag.
But if you are looking for a bag that will withstand many years of difficult use, this bag is the case.
How reliable is it?
A sleeping bag should keep you warm and provide a good environment for sleeping.
This bag achieved both goals, even when the weather was stormy and the inside of the tent was soggy. No trembling for me!
The “coated polymer” filler appeared to stand against wet cooling and accidental water spills (Hey! You are trying to pour cold water from your metal water bottle into your mouth in the middle of the night without Moon).
The waterproof exterior was greatly appreciated when I found myself wound up against the diving wall with rain.
Transporting the equipment from the rain quickly decreases the tent real estate!
Like muddy and wet boots near the door.
Sleeping Bag Gear Review:
I recommend this REI Co-op Joule Sleeping Bag for you if you:
- plan three season hiking trips where moisture is a given,
- don’t count every last ounce of weight,
- are an average sized woman, and
- appreciate sleeping warm without having to wear lots of layers.
Loving the color pink is a bonus!
Remember, you sleep with your eyes closed 🙂