Traversing the Nepali Himalayas in winter meant we were in for some really rough stretches where we would be at the end of our wits as fatigue struck us hard. In an expedition such as this it becomes imperative that we get a decent nights sleep to regain some strength. We would also encounter some very cold nights and in order to make sure that I would be able to endure these nights without feeling the cold and without adding too much weight to my pack I opted for the Mountain Equipment Kryos down winter sleeping bag.
Good Night’s Sleep Temperature: -20°C/-4°F
Comfort Limit: -18°C/0°F
Total Weight: 1225g / 43oz(reg) 1275g/ 44.97oz(XL)
Fill Weight: 743g / 26oz (reg) 770g/ 27.16oz (XL) of Russian goose down with a minimum 800 fill power
Pack Size: 29cm x 25cm x 23cm
DRILITE® LOFT™ XERO 10D outer shell is ultra-light, highly breathable and water-resistant
Alpine fit with EXL® system improves loft and maximises thermal efficiencency
Ground level side seams with V-side baffle
7 baffle low volume anatomically shaped hood
6 baffle anatomically shaped and offset foot-box
Full length Gemini™ zip baffle and integrated neck collar with Lode Lock™ closure
DRILITE® LOFT™ XERO 10D inner foot-box and hood lining
Supplied with waterproof roll-top stuff-sack and storage cube
Ultrasoft™ 20D and DRILITE® Xero™ 10D lining fabric
The bag is constructed with trapezoid baffles running horizontally throughout the whole body, Mountain Equipment has added to the construction a full EXL system which runs both at the top and the bottom. So, what does this actually mean? The trapezoid baffles help maximise the retention of down in position and to overlap minimising heat loss.
The Kryos bag has Ground level seams and a V-side baffle, resulting in the top sheet of the bag wrapping right over your body, increasing insulation. The EXL® elasticated stitching on the baffles hug the bag close to your body, increasing thermal efficiency, loft and comfort.
I found the bag to be extremely comfortable and I truly enjoyed how snug the bag got around me without ever making me feel closed in or claustrophobic as it stretches perfectly making it possible to sleep on the side. When it comes to the bags ability to retain the heat inside it does a remarkable job, especially after having tightened the collar, which is stitched with the EXL system as well, resulting in a tight fit. I must admit that at first I wasn´t too excited about the closing system of the collar. It consists of two small magnets inside small plastic covers which ME call Lode Lock, and I feared it would not hold agains me moving throughout the night. I was then pleasantly surprised when I woke up morning after morning with the collar still neatly tucked around me.
The hood is constructed of seven baffles providing excellent insulation and has less deformation when contoured around or over the face. I usually struggle to get comfortable if I have to tighten the hood to much around my face, however, surprisingly I did not experience it with this hood. I found it to be surprisingly comfortable and exceptionally warm as there were times where I had to undo the hood to feel some fresh cold air on my head.
WATER RESISTANCE & DURABILITY
I have also found the sleeping bag to be quite sturdy with its DRILITE LOFT XERO 10D outer shell as well as it is extremely water resistant. On numerous occasions during breakfast or dinner I would find myself spilling boiling hot water onto my sleeping bag without it ever leaving a trace of damage to the down. On the morning of our coldest night out on the trail I was covered with a decent amount of frost and quite some ice around my face, a few hours later I unpacked it and left it in the sun for 20 minutes to dry and it had completely dried up. There was not anything stating that this bag had been covered in a fair amount of frost and ice a few hours earlier, better yet, the down showed no signs of lumpiness. A truly exceptional result from such a lightweight bag which doesn´t have hydrophobic down.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
As much as I love this sleeping bag I must admit that there are certain improvements to be made. To me a winter sleeping bag should have one key important feature, a big inner pocket where you can store some of your electronics, a beanie, some mitts/gloves and a head torch. The fact that the Kryos bag does not have this is unfathomable to me. Don´t get me wrong, I absolutely understand this is a minimalistic bag meant for the gramhunter, nonetheless, a mesh pocket wouldn´t add any significant amount of weight or bulk. I found it quite annoying having to fumble around in my sleeping bag in search for my head torch which had slid down in my sleep before I could venture out to the toilet in the middle of the night.
Secondly Mountain Equipment state that the bag has a full – length zipper, I can tell you that this is not the case. The Kryos sleeping bag has a 3/4 length zipper making it a bit more of an effort getting in and out of the sleeping bag. This of course isn´t any major crisis. You simply get used to lifting your legs and shifting your position slightly in order to make your entry or exit, however, I do think that this matter of information should be corrected as some might be specifically looking for a winter sleeping bag with a full – length zip.
This sleeping bag has been my shelter from the bitter cold nights for the past few months and I absolutely love it. The amazing warmth to weight ratio that this bag offers is simply brilliant and I haven´t actually seen any other bag in this weight class offering this much warmth. The Kryos bag is highly durable and water resistant and extremely comfortable, if an inner mesh storage pocket would be added to the bag I don´t see how you would ever want another winter sleeping bag