Archive for March, 2009

Zippers and Velcro

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

In a discussion on equipment and clothing on Facebook, Elaine K. mentioned in December the products from Ocean Sleepware to be the ultimate in sleeping bags for the marine environment. After extensive review of the information on their site and on the Web, I decided in February to place an order for an Volvo Ocean Race Bag. I wrote an email to Clare, the contact person listed on the web site. It took a week to get a response in which she cautioned on the VOR bag because of its size and assured that the regular Ocean Sleepwear bag should be fully appropriate as well. Luggage size being a real concern for me as I will have to do four trips by plane, it didn’t take me long to change my mind.
On the phone with Clare two days later, she explained the dimensions of the sleeping bags and reassured me that the “extra long” option would not be necessary for me being 185cm (6’1″) tall. I finalized the order by deciding on Navy as the color of the sleeping bag and by adding the Waterproof Microfleece Pillowcase. Clare said that the bag will be made in the subsequent week. It got shipped on 3/2 out of Slovakia and arrived ten days later at my door.

For transport the sleeping bag is rolled up and goes into a red bag which seems to be made of the same material as the sleeping bag’s waterproof outer layer. It’s about 73cm (29″) long, 30cm (12″) in diameter and weighs about 3.7kg (8.2lbs).

rolled up sleeping bag

rolled up sleeping bag

The outer layer is attached to the inner layer with two long zippers on either side of the main zipper, plus with 17mm wide velcro stripe all around the sleeping bag’s opening seam. Detaching and reattaching the outer layer works smoothly. Only when reconnecting the velcro one needs to watch out that everything ends up evenly.

outer layer attached

outer layer attached

The inside has an additional inner layer attached to the main layer by velcro along all seams. While removing the inner layer is quick, putting it back takes longer. In particular in in close quarters it can be a bit tedious to make the velcro align evenly along its full length. There’s an extra small bag made of waterproof material to take the rolled up inner layer when it is not needed.

inner layer

inner layer

Being inside the sleeping bag feels comfortable. I can’t wait to try it out in real conditions. There’s a chance of rain tomorrow, maybe I’ll take a nap in the sleeping bag on the patio.