The Western Mountaineering Kodiak bag is part of the Western Mountaineering micro fiber series. This bag is rated at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and despite having 7 inches of loft and a full 30 ounces of Goose Down fill, this bag weights only 2 pounds, 12 ounces. This bag is also large enough to fit the largest outdoor enthusiast, as it has 66 inches of shoulder girth and 41 inches of foot girth and is manufactured in lengths of 6 ‘0”, 6’ 6” and 7’0”. This bag contains continuous baffles throughout, has a full down collar and draft tube, which are three dimensionally sewn into the bag. The shell of the bag is made from MicroLite XP, which according to Western Mountaineering makes it stand firm in any weather. This bag was a dark gray in color with a black interior and was a length 6’ 6”. The bag also ships with two stuff sacks, one being a large storage sack and the other being a smaller stuff type sack. You can also special order any Western Mountaineering bag with “Overfill”, which will inject a higher level of Goose Down into your bag than normal manufacturing.
Upon receipt of this sleeping bag, I was immediately surprised by the amount of loft that the bag contained, approximately 7 inches and at the same time was impressed by the bags lack of weight. As I started to pack the bag into a regular sized compression sack, I was concerned that it would not fit, but discovered that it compressed extremely well and did fit completely into the compression sack. Once inside the compression sack, I was able to compress the sleeping bag even smaller and subsequently was able to store it in the sleeping bag compartment of my backpack, along with other items.
After 8 to 10 hours of backpacking, I removed the sleeping bag from the compression sack and found that the sleeping bag’s loft quickly returned. While sleeping in the bag, I found the bag to be extremely warm and very comfortable. I did use a light silk liner inside the bag to keep the bag clean and protect the bag, as I do with all my sleeping bags. This bag was so warm, that I was able to sleep comfortably, while wearing just a base layer, in temperatures nearing 15 degrees Fahrenheit. In these temperatures the bag performed well enough that I did not have to zip the sleeping bag up completely or use the draw cord to enclose the sleeping bag around my head and neck.
While using the Kodiak in temperatures near 10 degrees Fahrenheit, I did completely zip the bag and tighten the collar chord to enclose the top portion of the bag. I found the zippers to work well from inside or outside the bag and especially liked the stiffening tape along the zippers that ensured snag free performance. I found the draw cord around the collar to be easily accessed and utilized from inside the bag. I continued to find this bag warm and comfortable, even after finding the outside of the bag covered in condensation, that had subsequently turned into ice. I then proceeded to shake the bag out removing most of the ice and then hung the bag on a line in the sun allowing it to dry. The outside lining of the bag seemed wet from the condensation and the ice, but quickly dried in the sun. I then packed the sleeping bag back into the compression sack and continued to store it in my backpack during the day and use it at night.
Over the next several days, I continued to find that this bag continued to be warm and stay dry, even after finding ice on the outside of the bag, due to the cold temperatures and condensation. I just continued to shake the ice off the sleeping bag, gave it a few minutes to dry out and the bag was ready to use.
During the next several months, I continued to use this bag in cold temperatures, snow and ice. I continued to find this bag extremely comfortable, with plenty of room to move around inside the bag. I found this bag to have more shoulder room then any previous bag I have used and with my size of 6’ 2” and 210 pounds, I was able to roll over inside the bag, use a liner inside the bag and still had plenty of room to wear more layers of clothing. While using the bag, there were times, as with all down bags, where leakage from the down inside the bag, would push through the outer fabric. This leakage would usually manifest itself in a single feather of down pushing its way partially through the outside of the fabric. This leakage is not uncommon in down sleeping bags, as the outside fabric is porous, thus allowing it to be breathable.
I remedied this leakage by reaching behind the fabric and pulling the down cluster back into the down chamber. When doing this, the spaces between the threads will close and reposition themselves. I then gently massaged the area to promote a sealing of the outside fabric. It is important to know that this leakage is not caused by a hole in the fabric, but rather by a spine of down passing in between the threads.
I found this bag easy to clean and did so by washing the bag by hand in my bathtub utilizing soap and water. I found the outside fabric easy to clean and dried the bag via a dryer set to the “No heat setting”. Prior to drying the bag, I checked the inside of the dryer to make sure there were no burrs or sharp edges that might rip the fabric of the bag and I added 3 tennis balls to the dryer to help promote loft to the bag as it dried. I found that is took at-least 2 hours for the bag to dry, probably because the bag contains such a large amount of down. When storing the bag, I did not keep it in the provided storage bag, but proceeded to hang it in my gear room, allowing the bag to hang from the ceiling.
Overall, I really liked this sleeping bag and found that it performed very well in a variety of winter conditions. This bag is very warm, comfortable and packs easily. My only concern with this sleeping bag would be that while on an extended trip, the condensation and ice build-up that I experienced could hurt the bags down performance, by causing the bag to get damp or wet over a period of time. Western Mountaineering attempts to eliminate this concern, but offering this sleeping bag with a Gore Wind stopper fabric that performs better in wet weather and by offering a vapor barrier liner that can be purchased and used inside the bag to prevent body vapor from developing into condensation and ice and degrading your insulation. Unfortunately, both these options would be an added expense.