Raku Alpine Sleeping Bag named Editor's Choice in 2002.
"The most mobile sleeping bag I've ever tested" says John
Harlin, Northwest editor.
Like most alpine climbers, traveling light and fast is important.
With the Raku, I’m able to accomplish
this while maintaining a high degree of comfort during those freezing
cold nights. On a recent climb of
Mount Foraker (17,400 feet) in the Alaska Range, I purchased
a Raku bag and left my down jacket at home for the trip. My goal
was to make the Raku function as both a bag and jacket while climbing
Foraker. Well, it worked! The true test was passed at 14,000 feet
when my Raku performed FLAWLESSLY. It kept me warm during
sub freezing temperatures outside while saving me weight and space
in the pack. Since that night, I’ve been hooked. Now I reliably
use the Raku for alpine ascents throughout the Cascades, Sierra's,
and in particular, on Mount Rainier. Thanks Tom for making such
a great bag. The Raku is now my primary sleeping bag AND down jacket
Mount Rainier, Washington
Greetings once again from Okinawa. I used your Arc
Alpinist through the entire Eco-Challenge in New Zealand last
October. It was great! What a really neat, useful design. Since
I was a videographer assigned to stay with a team throughout the
race I had to go extra light. My camera weighed four extra pounds
the teams weren't carrying, but your bag helped lighten my load
and still sleep well... when we slept:) I frequently used your
bag without a tent, shook off the morning dew, stuffed the bag and
took off. It's a super flexible design. I apologize for not
sending this feedback sooner.
In a couple weeks I'm guiding a couple of newspaper reporters up
Japan's Mt. Fuji for a story about what winter looks like at the
top of Japan. Normally people only climb it during a two month window
in summer. Then next month I'm doing a story on a Navy Corpsman
who's soloing Mt. Whitney's mountaineer's route to prepare for bigger
Not a bad job, eh?
Kindest Regards, MSgt Al Moore, USMC
Just got back from the Redoubt/Spickard area. We had a wonderful
3 days of solstice climbing. I would have to agree with the description
of the approach (i.e. strenuous and athletic), it was the crux of
the climb. We climbed Spickard on Friday. Set off some 1-2 inch
slides on the descent. Snow on south facing slopes was awful. We
had planned on attempting Redoubt Saturday, but the snow was so
bad that we skipped it. I used my
back country blanket and kobuk
as my sleeping system. After 3 weeks in the Sierras late last season
and some time in the cascades early this season, I would have to
say that the combination is THE best system I have found for conditions
other than deep winter. You can't beat the weight/warmth ratio.
I'm definitely what one would call a 'gear freak'. Nunatak gear
-- Chris Kilmer Seattle, WA !"
Matt Stuart Falwell on Aconcogua 2000.
A quick note on my recent trip to Aconcogua. Being a full-time guide,
I have to keep my personal gear as light as possible, so that there
is room in my pack for ropes, first-aid kit, radios, etc. The Akula
Mukluks, and the Torre Parka,
worked exceptionally well! They allowed me the comfort of a warm
sleeping system without the bulk of a giant sleeping bag. I spent
five nights above 18,000 feet, warm and comfortable. This allowed
me to accommodate extra equipment, and keep my clients packs at
a reasonable weight throughout our expedition.
Thanks for providing a functional quality product that is filling
the needs of today's light and fast alpine ascents.
Assistant Director Sierra Wilderness Seminars
Mt Shasta, California
Every time Chad and I go Alpine Climbing we bring our Dual
Person Alpine Bag, it's incredible for lightweight alpine ascents.........Thanks
The versatility of the Back
Country Blanket makes it practical for light alpine ascents.
I carried the BCB up the North Ridge of Mt. Stuart because it weighed
in at a pound. Due to the lightweight nature of the bag I don't
have to trade safety for climbing equipment. I would not hesitate
taking the BCB for emergency purposes because it is so light. I
also have a pair of Nunatak booties that I use in base camps, again
essential .I am sold on the innovative Nunatak designs and promote
any endeavor to save weight without sacrificing quality or durability.
above is courtesy of Mike's www.crevasse.com
I want to tell how much I love my Raku
bag. I ordered a customized bag over the summer which was worth
the three month wait. It is very nice to be able to have a bag specially
made to suit my specific needs. I recently tested the bag during
a trip to the Absaroka Range in Montana. The weather was unusually
cold for early November, the nightly low was -15° F and very windy,
not to mention a good snow fall. At first I was very concerned about
staying warm at night as my particular Raku bag is a +40° F weight
bag; however, my concerns quickly diminished when I had to strip
down to boxers and a t-shirt in order to stay cool enough to sleep.
I awoke warm in my bag every morning despite the -5° F temperature
inside my tent. Fortunately, having customization my bag by adding
6” to the girth, I was able to dress in the bag and emerge warmly
adorned. I would like to make a few recommendations to you which
may be of interest to you. I think that a longer zipper would be
a benefit, perhaps 12”-18” longer, it would make it easier for taller
people to enter and exit the bag. Also, a zipper with a pull on
both sides of the zipping mechanism would make it easier to unzip
if you have your arms in the bag and are using the sleeves as a
neck gaiter. Finally, a small mesh “chest” pocket on the inside
of the bag would be a great place for lip balm and a handkerchief.
Thanks for making the best bag on the planet!
Beau Bisso New Orleans, LA
Blanket and I are off for Rocky Mountain National Park on Friday.
I am traveling very light and I think the bag will be perfect with
my bivy. I plan on climbing a couple of 13,000 foot peaks, not particularly
technical. We should camp at about 10,500 and it could get pretty
cold overnight. I'll let you know how the bag performs. -Glenn
Tom, Just a quick note to report on the BC
In short, it is tremendously versatile piece on gear. I compressed
it down to nothing and I saved myself at least 2 pounds over my
normal down bag. The weather at 11,000 feet was miserable, 60-70
mph winds and temperatures in the 30's at night. I did throw in
a bag liner which improved my comfort level. The combination of
the BC blanket
and bag liner was perfect---I was warm and I'm often a "cold sleeper".
Tom, your gear is top quality. I will look forward to talking with
you about a complete "winter system" in the near future. Take care
and let me know if you have any "super specials".
Glenn Roesler, Denver Colorado
worked great! I used them for the first time a couple weeks ago
while on a ski trip in the Talkeetna
Mountains. The snow was rather deep and dry so the booties inside
a pair of Neos were my choice of footwear at camp. I would say the
temps dipped to about 0, yet my feet never felt chilled....your
booties are just simply WARM!
Burrell Lindell Nickeson
Nunatak offers unconventional solutions to the weight issues that
have plagued climbers since........
I'm really into the Dual
Person Alpine Bag, which my wife Lara and I use. Weighing in
at two and a half pounds it's ultra light and packs amazingly small.
While we were on "Mt. Triumph" in the Washington Cascades
we brought the DPAB, where weight and performance were crucial to
the success of our trip synonymous. The bag was a perfect compliment
to our custom made tent by Integral
Designs, which enabled us to individually carry under 35 pounds.
I'm happy with my Arc
Alpinist already, and am looking forward to pushing it further
with the additional down, and possibly a baffled parka w/hood. The
strap system works great under a
closed cell foam pad, at 7+ oz. it's super light and reasonably
comfortable with a little extra padding under the hips. For colder
applications, I will use 2 or add an ultra light thermarest. We'll
see what works best after I get the warmer bag back. The one thing
I was a little bummed about that I wasn't really aware of at the
time of order was the lack of a differential cut in the foot box,
and my toes compress the insulation down to pretty much nothing
when lying on my back in a relaxed 'corpse pose'. I would have wanted
this as a custom option had I known it wasn't standard (I assumed
it was standard because all of my other bags have had it). It might
be worth noting to customers when they make their initial order.
Unfortunately I won't be able to give you too much more feedback
in the near future because I'm studying for a professional engineering
license test and can't take the time to have fun for a while. But
after April I'll be enjoying my further enlightened pack (I'm
down to 12.5 lbs with everything - even a tent - but not food,
fuel, water, and additional climbing gear) - alot.
Thanks again for helping me lighten my load while staying warm.