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Custom 20 oz Feathered Friends Vireo with 6"+ loft.
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Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Custom 20 oz Feathered Friends Vireo with 6"+ loft. on 02/21/2013 19:13:05 MST Print View

The goal was to have 20 degree bag that weighed 20 oz. Feathered Friends came through, plus some.

The loft was totally unexpected...and a nice surprise. It varies from 6.25 near the head to 6.5" in the mid section...and goes up to 7" near the footbox!

The design of the footbox is incredible. I can see no loss in loft at all from my feet. I can't even say that about my WM Summerlite.

It's the longest 74" version with 900+ fill. The actual weight is 20.69 oz. With the GooseFeet hood (10d shell, .34 cuben liner), total weight is 21.79 oz. The craftsmanship is as good as I've seen and I find an element of beauty in this bag's simplicity.

Lastly, Feathered Friends was awesome to work with. Huge kudos to Andrew!


Edited by rustyb on 02/21/2013 20:36:43 MST.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
zip on 02/21/2013 22:57:29 MST Print View

no zipper huh. is it roomy enough? hard to get in and out of?

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
height on 02/21/2013 23:16:10 MST Print View

Looks awesome. How tall are you?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: zip on 02/22/2013 07:24:37 MST Print View

Correct, Jason. No zip. Took me a long time to rationalize going this route. It came down to realizing that I rarely used the zip in my bag for anything more than ease of ingress/egress. Getting in and out definitely takes more effort....but the wide shoulder girth of 64" makes it easier than one might believe...and I'm sure that with a few uses, I'll have figured out ways to ease it more.

A note on the 64" girth: I was afraid it would be way too wide for my thin frame and nearly spent a big bill having FF cut it down to 60-62". I now see that would have been a big mistake. The bag is highly tapered (ie, not much of the bag is 64") by the time I get it cinched snug around my neck, most of that extra width is taken up. I still have room though to wear my WM Flash jkt. Very happy with the overall fit. Reminds me a bit of the regular Zpack cut...perhaps a bit narrower feeling at the hips.

Ozzy....I'm 6' tall and 150 at the moment.

To clarify for those not familiar with the stock form, the upper half is rated at 45 degree and the bottom half 25. Now the entire bag has the loft of a 10 degree bag. Hope I don't roast in this thing!

Edited by rustyb on 02/22/2013 07:27:17 MST.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
vireo on 02/22/2013 08:26:04 MST Print View

Was this the standard UL 74inch Vireo or did you ask for custom fill?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: vireo on 02/22/2013 08:31:39 MST Print View

It's a standard 74" Vireo UL that I asked to be overfilled.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Custom 20 oz Feathered Friends Vireo on 02/22/2013 08:38:30 MST Print View

That is one nice looking bag.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Custom 20 oz Feathered Friends Vireo on 02/26/2013 09:10:53 MST Print View

Thanks, Raymond. Pretty stoked to try it out. Took me two or more yrs to figure a bag out. My Summerlite just wasn't warm enough for my needs...and I was tired of getting lost in the hood of the typical mummy. Yet, I wanted something that wasn't any heavier than my Summerlite...that was nicely crafted, wasn't too snug and with a good footbox....that didn't cost me an arm and leg. On my paper, this set-up is the perfect solution...but time will tell.

Edited by rustyb on 02/26/2013 09:13:33 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Custom 20 oz Feathered Friends Vireo on 02/26/2013 09:13:52 MST Print View

Very nice, I know folks often overlook Feathered Friends custom work.

Katy Anderson
(KatyAnderson) - F
Nice bag! on 02/26/2013 10:39:19 MST Print View

Very nice looking bag with impressive loft. How many ounces of 900 down does it have?

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Nice bag! on 02/26/2013 13:23:46 MST Print View

Thanks, Stephen & Katy.

Re FF custom work, yes, I agree. Also, I don't know if I caught them at a slow time or what but they had it to me within 2 wks.

Re the ounces of fill, I'm sorry but don't know.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Nice bag! on 02/26/2013 13:26:33 MST Print View

That was a good turn around from them, I have a pair of down trousers and they are spot on.

Richard Fischel
i've always really liked this bag on 02/26/2013 14:55:21 MST Print View

i wonder if ff would install a zipper at the bottom or a draw string. if it got a little warm, i'd love to be able to stick my feet out.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: i've always really liked this bag on 02/26/2013 15:51:46 MST Print View


I spoke with them about this (drawcord) and, if I remember correctly, was told they would. I don't remember why I chose not to though. Perhaps it was more $ than I wanted to spend, a time thing, or extra weight. I suspect it was all of those. But yeah, it would definitely add some versatility.

I do remember that doing a customization such as mine was easy as nothing had to be changed to their existing pattern. Just add desired amount of fill and bingo!

Edited by rustyb on 02/26/2013 15:57:17 MST.

Scott Smith
(mrmuddy) - MLife

Locale: No Cal
Custom 20 oz Feathered Friends Vireo with 6"+ loft on 02/26/2013 17:00:36 MST Print View

Mr experience with FF is that they will do almost any kind of custom work that you want to have done ..on the bag.

For example, I had them sew in a little sleeve the hood . to stick my down jacket in .. and use as a " built in pillow"

works GREAT !

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Nice bag! on 02/26/2013 18:53:28 MST Print View

Katy, the standard Vireo has 8.7oz of down and weighs 15oz total, this version weighs ~20.7oz. If they didn't increase baffle size that's an extra 5.7oz of down, but from the sound of it they increased baffles a little. I'd say conservative bet is around 13oz of down total for the custom.

For comparison the the Swift UL (Wide cut like vireo) which has a hood and is rated 20F has 18.8oz of down and the narrower cut hummingbird 20F has 14oz of down (also with a hood).

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Nice bag! on 02/26/2013 19:27:13 MST Print View

I don't know how much difference it makes but the 68" version has 8.7oz of fill. My Vireo is the 74". Another variable is the 48" hip circumference. That's the narrowest hip cut of any bag I'm aware of.

Richard Fischel
the cut takes some getting use to on 02/26/2013 19:48:05 MST Print View

the top is cut wide so that you can wear your jacket inside and not reduce the loft. in the stock model it has less down (45* rating) in the wide area than in the foot (25* rating) in anticipation of the jacket you’d be wearing. it starts out wide, but quickly constricts to one of the narrowest circumferences of a sleeping bag i've ever been in. it's almost like a tube. it gets so skinny so that it can be both light and warm. this bag is not for everyone.

Edited by RICKO on 02/26/2013 19:50:47 MST.

Tommy Franzen
(Tomlike) - F

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
lofty goodness on 02/26/2013 20:05:52 MST Print View

Looks nice! I guess the obvious question (to me anyway) is why not just go with a quilt? For example a large 20 degree Nunatak Arc Alpinist has 12oz of down and weighs 22oz (I suppose it does cost an arm and a leg though). All of that 12oz. will be on top of you unlike the Vireo, not to mention much easier to get in/out of. Seems a shame to be sleeping on top of all that lofty goodness when it isn't lofting...

Edited by Tomlike on 02/26/2013 20:06:30 MST.

Richard Fischel
why not just go with a quilt? on 02/26/2013 20:26:23 MST Print View

the bag is designed for the alpine environment. I don't think you'd do as well with a quilt in a sitting bivy. you can easily pull the viero up under your arms, snug it with the draw string and sit up and cook or make coffee. no gaps in the back. Not as easy in a quilt.