Sleeping Bag FAQ  
 

How did I get here? I want to learn about the Arc line.

Okay, then this is where you want to go. But you better read on a bit here for more general information about all our sleeping bags, including things pertaining to the Arcs.

What is down, and how is it rated?

Down is a fluffy, intricately formed material found under the feathers of birds, where it insulate the carrier from extreme temperatures. It is all natural, long lasting, very light and breathable. Mother nature at work doing her best.
Goose down is especially fine and the most commonly harvested type for use in sleeping bags and garments.
Quality can be quite variable, and largely a function of the balance between feather and down content. More feather: Heavier, bulkier. More down: Warmer, lighter.
A scale illustrating the expansion of the mixture tells the consumer of the insulating properties, with a low number such as 550 relating to down of average quality, and 850-900 close to the limit of what the finest bird can grow.
Nunatak is only using down rated 800 or higher.

Down seems like a very fragile material, and expensive. Can I expect much life from it?

Despite its ephemeral appearance, down is actually quite tough and durable. If you don't abuse it beyond just plain hard use, it will easily outlast all synthetic fills on the market! See here for more on care and maintenance.

But there must be drawbacks to having down in my sleeping bag as opposed to synthetic fill?

Okay, it's time to list the pros and cons of these two options. First synthetics: Quality is predictable, with computer controlled manufacturing equipment rolling out acres of uniform material. It does not absorb much moisture, and dries quick. On the other hand, synthetic fill is heavy, bulky and its high loft life is relatively short. It breathes poorly, and can feel very unpleasant in warmer conditions.
Down: Its hygroscopic nature is the main drawback. During prolonged damp conditions, down will slowly absorb moisture and loose loft. If down gets really wet, drying it out in the backcountry can be difficult. But to most users the light weight, compressability, pleasant feel and long life makes up for this issue.

Does Nunatak make products with synthetic fill?

No, not at this time.

What are my custom options on Nunatak sleeping bags and what do they cost?

The most common custom feature we provide is overfill. This mean boosting the chambers with additional down to meet a customers need for a warmer sleeping bag. We charge $15.00 per ounce for this service.
We can also make a bag even warmer by building it with taller baffles (the light scrim material that separates the down chambers). This increases the loft and allows for substantial overfill. It is best combined with a differentially cut liner and other features, so now we're talking about a major rebuild and pricing is applied on a case by case status.
More moderate customizations that happens on a regular basis are adjustments in size, i.e. length and width of the bag, to accommodate different body sizes. These are often accomplished without any cost increase.

How far apart do you space the baffles on sleeping bags?

Baffle spacing, which is the horizontal distance between the individual down filled chambers, is standard 5" on all bags including the Arc Line.
Baffle height, on the other hand, determines the vertical size, or thickness of the insulation and is also known as loft. This measurement can vary from bag to bag.

All your bags are kind of different from what I've seen down at REI or EMS. Why?

We make innovative products that stems from years of experience in the back country and a desire to improve the norm!
Big companies produce large batches of bags. This makes it very risky for them to break the well established parameters for certain products. What if it fails in either design or mass appeal? Big loss for the stockholders.
Nunatak on the other hand being a small business with an even smaller inventory can take advantage of this by experimenting. Many of these radical concepts are still too exotic to market but the ones that really work are represented here on this site.

I'm just looking for a regular old sleeping bag. Do you have any?

Well, most of our designs are yet far from mainstream, but if you're looking for something that comes reasonable close, check out the Alpinist. With its sculpted hood and center zip it is still a bit of a fringe product, but it does have some commonly recognized features.

Do you try out your designs yourself?

Oh yes! We spend countless days dragging these products around the mountains before they are published here.

Is that foot box on the Raku and Back Country Blanket with the draw cord closure really warm enough?

It is. We have full confidence in that method of sealing off the opening to the point of offering the Raku in a custom 0 degree F and -30 degree F version. When the cord is pulled tight the liner fabric bunches up and inwards, creating a really fat down filled barrier.

It sounds like you really like using the Akula Half Bag and Torre Parka together as a sleep system. Sleeping in a jacket? No Thanks!

Yes, it is not for everybody. It is primarily an age old mountaineering concept for cramped, sitting bivouacs, using a bivy bag. After some further refinement of the involved components we also adopted it as a great winter camping set-up on fast and light trips in the nearby hills. The Torre Parka has incredible loft and is plenty warm for sleeping in. It goes inside the Akula, which then cinches tight around the torso. Arms can stay in sleeves or you can drag them inside. We typically leaves them in the sleeves and keep the hands warm inside the Half Bag.

Can you wear boots inside the Akula?

The cut is generous enough to enable wearing your boots directly in the Half Bag. This makes brief brew stops during all night climbs or hikes far more enjoyable. You simply slip into the Torre Parka as soon as stopping and when ready to hunker down for an hour or so you stick your legs into the Akula and doze off.

What's the appeal of the Back Country Blanket?

Well, the Blanket part of the name implies just that: A comforter for the hills. Simple and foolproof. But the full length velcro instantly converts this sprawling cover to an effective sleeping bag. And with two put together you have possibly the most versatile couple bag available.

 

 
     

Nunatak is dedicated to custom design and manufacture of quality back country sleeping bags and garments
utilizing 800+ goose down and sophisticated fabrics.

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