Overall Rating: Highly Recommended
Unlike sleeping bags sized for men, the Feathered Friends Grouse is a perfect fit for women and is available in shorter sizes than most manufacturers offer. It is lightweight at just 1.5 pounds, is conservatively rated, and is available in the new Schoeller NanoSphere fabric that is breathable, water resistant, and highly stain resistant.
by Doug and Amy Johnson |
The Feathered Friends Grouse is a 1.5 pound summer bag that is sized for a woman.
For a woman that is sized like Amy, it is often difficult to find a sleeping bag that fits well. At 5 foot 2 inches tall, even the shortest bags from most manufacturers are too long, leaving extra space in the footbox and decreasing the bag’s efficiency. Further, Amy has a woman’s body with narrower shoulders and wider hips than most men; men’s bags just aren’t the best fit for her.
When looking for the ideal woman’s bag, the options are limited and of the available bags, most fall outside of the ultralight range. Feathered Friends, a custom down sleeping bag company out of Seattle, Washington, however, has the woman’s market nailed. They offer 6 woman-specific bags ranging from -25°F to 30°F. Amy already had the 10°F Petrel and loved it so when looking for a summer bag, the 30°F Grouse was an obvious choice.
Like the Petrel, the Grouse is a perfect fit for Amy. It is 4 inches narrower in the shoulders and 4 inches wider in the hips than the comparable Merlin men’s bag. It also has an overfilled footbox to keep the feet extra warm. Unlike all of her previous bags, the short women’s bags from Feathered Friends also fit her short stature perfectly, increasing the bag’s efficiency.
Women’s bags from Feathered Friends are sized for a woman’s body with narrower shoulders and wider hips.
On the trail, the Grouse proved to be conservatively rated, which matched Amy’s tendency to sleep cold. The bag’s generous loft confirms this conservative rating.
There is no draft collar but the hood has a tight, ergonomic fit that minimizes heat loss. An inner draft tube keeps the zipper area warm and a stiff fabric strip makes zipping quick and snag-free.
The hood fits well and keeps heat loss to a minimum.
For the shell we chose the new Schoeller NanoSphere fabric (simply called Nano by Feathered Friends). This lightweight fabric has an effective DWR, is highly breathable, and is also very stain resistant. Having a one year old, food and drinks were spilled on the bag on several occasions; just as claimed, the spills wiped right off. I’m excited to see this new fabric used more widely in the market.
"2007 Feathered Friends Grouse Sleeping Bag SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Doug and Amy Johnson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2007_feathered_friends_grouse_bag_spotlite_review.html, 2007-09-23 12:45:00-06.