Thanks for the feedback. Obviously, a high quality down sleeping bag is not a mainstream item. If there was already a good source for purchasing one I would not be considering this venture. However, I don’t know of one children’s sleeping bag on the market that I could not make half the weight not to mention compactness, and water repellence. I am hesitant to use anything but the best materials. If I reduce quality in order to lower prices that would be a move in the direction of children’s bags that are already available. I agree that $250.00 is too much for mass produced mainstream bag. A $150.00 30oz sleeping bag would sell better than a $250.00 15 oz bag. I’m not sure how much I could lower the price below $250.00, I’m still sourcing materials, but I am confident it would not be more than $250.00. If I were looking to turn this into a main source of income, I would have to widen my market. I’m more interested in producing a unique product I would be proud of sharing.
Curt, I can see how this bag might not be ideal for your 7 year old. He or she may be tall enough to be better off with a short adult bag. Although most kids outgrow those as well. It can be tempting to just get the regular adult size, which is usually only 6 inches longer so that they don’t out grow it. I do think that there are many cases where a 4-foot bag would get many years of use. My daughter graduated from sleeping in a bag with me (not sure that I would recommend this due to possible smothering hazard of sleeping with infants) to her own bag when she was 1 year old. I think she will continue to fit that bag until about age 8. My wife and I plan to have more children and expect to hand it down. When all of our kids have outgrown it, I would pass it on to someone else with children. I think we’ll easily get well over 10 years use out of it before passing it on, which I think is reasonable.
I agree that kids can be hard on gear. To them it is not “gear,” it’s just another toy for them to try to brake. If your kid is fond of knives, scissors, or fire than I would recommend investing in a first aid kit rather than a sleeping bag or maybe a sleeping bag that you can lock closed Otherwise, I would not underestimate the durability of momentum fabric. All of my experience with it as well as what I have read and seen my daughter do to it leads me to believe that it is surprisingly abrasion resistant and much stronger than what a child could pull or kick apart. I would consider the bag durable, not “bombproof.”
I think any sleeping bag, down or synthetic, that has been peed in should be washed once the trip is over. This bag is machine washable. I have not been able to distinguish a difference in the DWR treatment of the momentum fabric after repeated washings. I would recommend that the dryer be set on low heat. I often run my sleeping bags through the dryer (a larger one at the laundry mat is ideal for adult bags) to get them back to their maximum loft. If a child is likely to pee in a sleeping bag, I think protection (diaper, plastic underwear, etc) is a good idea regardless of the bag. If they do pee in it obviously it should affect their comfort level, but I think the bottom (compressed/non-insulating) portion of the bag will be most affected. I have considered making a bag with an inner made of seam sealed silnylon for those who are extremely concerned about accidents.
I think that there are many backpacking parents looking for the right bag for their kids. I hope this thread stays alive and more people will comment on what bags have worked well for their kids and let me know if you think there is a market for the type bag I am considering selling to the BPL community.
Brett Rasmussen Nimbus Bags