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Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Valandré Mirage Sleeping Bag REVIEW on 10/17/2006 20:48:57 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Valandré Mirage Sleeping Bag REVIEW

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
alternative with full zip and stretch system on 10/18/2006 00:37:54 MDT Print View

This reviewed bag does not have a full zip, nor baffles, nor any stretch capability. An alternative is the 23oz Montbell UL super stretch down hugger #3 (-10C extreme, compared to the Mirage -7 extreme). It uses internal baffles to keep the inner bag surface in contact with the body, yet allow about 33% horizontal stretch for comfort. With the concept of dual use, I don't just sleep in my bag, I can sit in this bag cross-legged.. I'll never go back to a non-stretch type. Another advantage of the stretch system is that the inner surface is always pulled away from the outer surface, thus constantly maximizing loft. Montbell has the world patent for the "super stretch" system, which is why no other manufacturer such as W.M. or F.F. can copy it. Rumor is in a few months Montbell will upgrade to 800 fill from 725; their new down jackets are already 800.

Marcel Besemer
(warmbags) - F

Locale: Worldwide
Valandré Mirage on 10/18/2006 05:17:43 MDT Print View

A bag like this doesn't need baffles and any stretch will compress the down and give many people a "locked" feeling. Stretch IS used by other companies i.g. Mountain Equipment (UK).
The Mirage comes with a 3/4 zip and zipbaffle in 2007....!!!!!

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
large volume for upper body on 10/18/2006 09:29:38 MDT Print View

The large upper body volume seems typical of Valandre's bags. I tried this bag, but found it to be much less warm than, for example, Nunatak's Alpinist, which is similar in price and total weight, though I think more lofty. The difference is that the Alpinist fits more snugly in the chest region. Excess volume in a bag, though it might allow one to wear a down jacket, also pretty much demands that one wear that jacket to avoid having to heat a volume of air which changes during the night every time one rolls over, because of the bellows effect.
I also felt that the available down, spread over the larger area required by the greater chest volume, developed cold spots.
For much less money, on sale, one can buy a North Face Beeline, which, though it has no zipper at all, uses Pertex Quantum and 900 fill down, and weighs 18.6 oz.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Mirage testing down to 12 degrees w/ comfort on 10/18/2006 12:14:34 MDT Print View

I have personally tested the Valandre Mirage in 12 degree weather, without a shelter, and stayed warm. Not toasty, but comfortably warm.

I posted this review on Charles' site, www.backpacking.net, about two years ago.

I was wearing only a base layer of Marmot driclime, along with a balaclava, and had an Exped DAM underneath me.

Photos of two thermometers are included in order to support my claims.

As a side note, I was 250 lbs at the time, and found that the Mirage had adequate and spacious room for a torso of that size. I have since lost 60 lbs, and found that the Mirage has ample amount of room for layering.

As a result of my own personal testing with Valandre products, I feel that Valandre uses the finest down available, head and shoulders above what the U.S. companies are using. I have discovered, time and again, that their equipment is incredibly warm for its weight.

Randy Brissey
(rbrissey) - M

Locale: Redondo Beach, CA
New Mirage Bags on 10/18/2006 22:51:49 MDT Print View

Hello Marcel,

How do you know that the new Mirage will have a different zipper and a drafttube, and when will it available?

Randy

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: alternative with full zip and stretch system on 10/18/2006 23:23:54 MDT Print View

Hello all,

Just to reconfirm- Valandre announced TODAY that they will offer both this bag and a 3/4 zip model in the new year. Retail prices will be only $9 more for the longer zip model.

No word yet on how that will affect weight or what the configuration will be (ie draft tube or flap).

Doug Johnson

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: alternative with full zip and stretch system on 10/20/2006 06:14:36 MDT Print View

He Doug,
can this announcement be read anywhere? Does it include just news on the Mirage or also other stuff?

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Mirage info on 10/22/2006 02:04:02 MDT Print View

Hi Tom,

Here's the body of the e-mail I received- it has price info too. Just Mirage info though- sorry!

To all US-dealers:

At OR we noticed the need for a Mirage extreme-lightweight sleepingbag with a 3/4 zipper, next to a "short-zip" model.

It will be available !!! The prices will be for 2007:

Mirage short-zip (Retail) in USD:
small: 322
medium: 337
large: 354

Mirage 3/4 zip (Retail) in USD:
small: 331
medium: 346
large: 363

Best regards,
Marcel Besemer
Sales Director
Sarl Valandré

You know what's really neat about this model change? I was the BPL person that visited Valandre at the OR show and shared my opinion that a longer zipper model of the Mirage would be a good addition. Now I'm certain I wasn't the only one but Marcel did mention our interaction in an e-mail to me. It's exciting for two reasons: 1) Valandre is very interested in product development and reponds quickly with product developments. 2) Our BackpackingLight opinions are highly respected in the outdoor community. I just thought I'd share that with you, our BackpackingLight community!

Take care,
Doug Johnson