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Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW

Priced at only $189 for a 25 °F rated ultralight down sleeping bag, it’s a very nice bag in all respects, except for one major issue.

Overall Rating: Below Average

My rating of BELOW AVERAGE is based on Lafuma’s 25 °F claimed temperature rating for this bag. Based on the quantity and quality of down contained in the bag, and my field testing, this is NOT a 25 °F bag. Don’t purchase this bag with the expectation that it will be warm, by itself, at 25 °F.

Alternatively, if I ignore the 25 °F rating for this bag and consider it as a 35 °F rated bag, my rating would be RECOMMENDED. The Pro 650 is equivalent to many 35 °F rated bags on the market, and is a good value when considered in that context. It incorporates lightweight downproof fabrics with DWR treatment, has baffled construction, and has adequate room inside to wear extra clothing to extend its warmth in true ultralight backpacking style. The zipper even works smoothly.

About This Rating

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by Will Rietveld |

Introduction

The Lafuma Pro 650 Down sleeping bag is targeted at a value price point of $189 for a 25 °F rated ultralight down sleeping bag. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? It has a very nice shell fabric and lining, ¾ zipper that doesn’t snag, and good shoulder room. What's not to like? Just one thing - and its not a flaw, but a misleading statement that should be revised.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 1

What’s Good

  • Lightweight at only 23.2 ounces
  • Zipper operates smoothly and seldom snags
  • Baffled construction
  • Good fitting hood
  • Water-repellent, downproof 20 denier shell and lining
  • Roomy in the shoulder area

What’s Not So Good

  • 700 fill down is entry level for an ultralight bag
  • Temperature rating is VERY optimistic

Specifications

  Year/Model

2007 Lafuma Pro 650g Down

  Style

Hooded mummy with 3/4 zipper

  What’s Included

Sleeping bag, compression stuff sack, storage bag

  Fill

8.8 oz (250 g) of 700 fill-power down

  Measured Loft

1.8 in (4.6 cm) single layer loft

  Manufacturer
Claimed Temperature Rating

25 °F (-4 °C)

  Stuffed Size

11 in x 5 in (28 cm x 13 cm)

  Weight

Measured weight 1 lb 7.2 oz (658 g); manufacturer specification 1 lb 7 oz (652 g)

  Sizes

One size fits to 6 ft (1.82 m), bag measures 6 ft 9 in long (2.06 m)

  Fabrics

Shell 20d polyester with DWR, lining 20d polyester with DWR

  Features

Down insulated hood with one drawcord, down-filled draft tube, 3/4 length zipper, snag-free zipper guards, trapezoidal baffle construction, trapezoidal footbox, inside pocket with Velcro closure, compression stuff sack and storage bag

  MSRP

$189

Performance

Lafuma’s terminology for their sleeping bags is a little confusing. This bag is named the “Pro 650 Down”, but the 650 references neither the quantity or fill power of the down in the bag. Rather, it’s the total weight of the bag (650 grams/22.9 ounces). The fill is 8.8 ounces (250 grams) of 700 fill-power down, which nowadays is considered entry level for an ultralight down sleeping bag (more on this later).

The bag’s feature set (see specification table) is typical for an ultralight sleeping bag - Spartan. It has lightweight 20-denier fabrics and a few simple features to minimize weight. The zipper is claimed to be ¾ length, but it’s actually a little over half length (38 inches). A notable point is that the zipper operates very smoothly and has a glow-in-the-dark zipper pull.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 2
The Lafuma 650 Down sleeping bag in a solo shelter (Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape).

Both outer and inner shell fabrics are 20-denier polyester with DWR. The lightweight fabric is soft, downproof, breathable, and durable (with reasonable care).

The shape of the Pro 650 also saves some weight. It’s slender in the leg and foot area and roomy in the hip and shoulder areas. The shoulder girth is 64 inches, which is enough to wear an insulated jacket inside to extend the bag’s warmth on cold nights. Please note that the bag is available in ONLY ONE SIZE which is 6 feet 9 inches long, equivalent to a size Regular. I’m 6 feet tall and the bag fits me perfectly; it would be too short for a taller person.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 3
The hood is not sculptured very much and draws up well with a single drawcord. The anchored cordlock is claimed to be operable with one hand, but it actually takes two hands to operate, and I would prefer to dispense with that gimmick.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 4
The Pro 650 comes with a serious compression stuff sack capable of compressing it down to nerfball size. In my opinion, a compression stuff sack is overkill for an ultralight sleeping bag. It adds unnecessary weight, and I personally feel that over-compression can damage the down. A simple lightweight stuff sack will do just fine.

Lafuma’s temperature rating for this bag is 25 °F/-4 °C, tested by an independent lab in compliance with European Standard EN13537. The 25 °F rating is the “Comfort” rating within that standard, which is roughly equivalent to the US sleeping bag rating system. I measured the bag’s average single layer loft to be 1.8 inches, which translates to about a 30 °F rating according to our table of estimated temperature ratings based on measured loft. For more information, read the Backpacking Light Position Statement on Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings. The Pro 650 has a T-Chamber baffled construction to hold the down uniformly in place, which coaxes a little more warmth from the down.

Field Testing

I tested the Lafuma Pro 650 on 14 separate occasions, in a variety of shelters, with nighttime low temperatures ranging from 45 °F down to 26 °F. Since the Pro 650 does not have the expected loft of a 25 °F bag, I was prepared with a Montbell Alpine Down Jacket and Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon pants at my side to put on when I felt chilly. I’m normally a warm sleeper, but I don’t like to get cold any more than the next guy! Each night I slept in the bag I started out wearing microfleece long johns, wool socks, and a fleece cap - which is my baseline sleepwear. If I got chilly, I wore the insulating clothing inside the bag - which is my normal ultralight backpacking technique.

Based on my testing, I slept warm in the Lafuma Pro 650 down to about 35 to 40 °F. I repeatedly got chilly in the bag at around 35 to 40 °F, depending on the shelter and nighttime breezes. When I wore insulated clothing inside the bag, I was able to stay warm (barely) at the bag’s specified 25 °F rating with the hood tightly drawn.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 5
Sleeping under the stars in the Lafuma Pro 650 in northern Arizona (left). Staying warm in the Lafuma Pro 650 in temperatures below 35 F required wearing insulated clothing inside the bag (right).

The bag’s shell and lining are very nice. The fabric is very soft and supple, downproof, and its DWR treatment resists wetting very well. The bag’s 64 inches of shoulder girth provides adequate room to wear clothing inside to extend the bag’s warmth, which is frequently required in this case.

Assessment

If you’re following me so far, you can tell that I like everything about the Lafuma Pro 650 except its claimed 25 °F temperature rating. Quite frankly, the Pro 650’s loft and warmth are less than several bags on the market that have a claimed 30-32 °F rating. In other words, it's equivalent to a 35 °F rated down bag, and does not deserve a 25 degree rating by our standards.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 6
The Lafuma 650 Down bag (right) next to a 2006 Montbell UL Down Hugger #3 bag (left). The Lafuma bag contains 8.8 ounces of 700 fill down, has 1.8 inches of single layer loft, and a claimed temperature rating of 25 °F; the Montbell bag is a size Long and contains 10.6 ounces of 725 fill down, has 2 inches of single layer loft, and a claimed temperature rating of 32 °F. Adjusting for the bag length, the two bags are roughly equivalent in terms of down content, loft, and warmth.

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW - 7
To show how much temperature ratings vary, here’s the Lafuma 650 Down bag (left) rated at 25 °F next to a GoLite Feather-Lite bag (right). The GoLite bag has more loft (2.25 inches, single layer) and is rated at 40 °F. Holy goose feathers - that’s a heck of a difference!

The following table compares the Lafuma Pro 650 with some popular 30-32 °F rated ultralight sleeping bags. The manufacturers of these bags provide information on the amount of down in the bag (many manufacturers do not provide that information - bummer!). All of the bags have baffled construction.

ManufacturerModelTemperature RatingSingle Layer Loft (in)Weight of Down (oz)Fill PowerTotal Weight (oz)Cost
Western MountaineeringSummerLite32210850+19$290
MarmotHydrogen30?1085021$309
MontbellSuper Stretch Down Hugger #330?1080023$270
Feathered FriendsMerlin30210.75800+24$284
LafumaPro 650 Down251.88.870023$189

Inferences from the table are:

  • Lafuma’s 25 °F rating for the Pro 650 simply doesn’t compute! All of the other bags contain at least 10 ounces of 800-850 fill power down to achieve a 30-32 °F rating. The Lafuma bag has less down, lower fill power, and less loft, yet it claims a lower temperature rating.
  • The Lafuma bag costs a lot less than the others.

If you are thinking about purchasing the Lafuma Pro 650, you must consider the fact that this bag is equivalent to about a 35 °F rated sleeping bag, not a 25 F bag as claimed. If you adjust the temperature rating to a more realistic 35 °F, the Lafuma Pro 650 is a decent ultralight sleeping bag for summertime backpacking in the mountains. Using our standard technique of wearing extra clothing inside the bag, the Pro 650 can keep a person warm down to about 25 °F, depending on the person and sleeping conditions.

That said, the Lafuma Pro 650 is a good value at $189, especially when you compare it with the popular Marmot Hydrogen (21 ounces, rated at 30 °F) which costs $309, or the Montbell bag mentioned above (which is now 800 fill down, 23 ounces, and rated to 30 F) at $270 in size Regular.

What’s Unique

The Lafuma Pro 650 is well designed, constructed of quality materials, and is a great value. And the zipper works smoothly!

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Revise the temperature rating to a more realistic level
  • Drop the one-handed drawcord feature on the hood
  • Upgrade the fill to at least 750 fill power down
  • Upgrading to 800 fill down would make this bag a great value

Citation

"Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/lafuma_pro_650_down_sleeping_bag_review.html, 2007-07-18 03:00:00-06.

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Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW
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Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW (Will Rietveld) on 07/17/2007 21:16:45 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW

Edited by bugbomb on 07/17/2007 21:35:50 MDT.

Mike Fuetterer
(nokky7) - F

Locale: Germany
Lafuma Temp Rating on 07/18/2007 02:12:42 MDT Print View

Hi,
Thanks for the review.
In Europe the bag is rated Comfort C 7° Extrem C 2° in F 44,6 and 35,5°.
Which fit the picture better.
I had the bag in hand and the impresson is not to good.

In Europe Lafuma is the outfitter for the mass-market and for the real sporty there is Millet, belonging to the same group.

Mike

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Lafuma FP Rating on 07/18/2007 02:46:45 MDT Print View

Addint to that,
the 700 FP is measured to European standards and usually is a bit less than measured to North American standards. According to American standards, the FP of this bag is 750.

Dan Healy
(electricpanda)

Locale: Queensland
Why test this dud?! on 07/18/2007 03:06:57 MDT Print View

Doesn't sound like a winner... the question though is why even bother testing a bag with less than 2in loft that claims that temp rating? Surely that claim alone smacks of yet another mass market manufacturer telling fibs... isn't this site about quality gear?!

...On another note. I measured the Marmot Hydrogen's loft at 5in using the height at the chest + height at the knees divided by 2... I believe it is a claimed 4in so well within the claim... it is my favourite bag at the moment - so light and warm... I have taken it above the artic circle with -5Cel nights while staying toasty...

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
"Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW" on 07/18/2007 04:06:01 MDT Print View

I could not find the EN13537 rating on their product page, and an internet search provides many different answers. I emailed them regarding this.

They could have spent some money having a native English speaker check their website before publishing it; like MB did..

"Does your Lafuma article present an anomaly or underwent some traumatisms?"

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Why test this dud?! on 07/18/2007 06:28:27 MDT Print View

All,

Great comments - I think that what you're seeing here is exactly what Will points out and criticizes in his review. You'll notice that he rated the bag "Below Average."

We can't review everything, so why would we choose to review a bag that looks more like hype than substance? It's simple - not everyone knows to evaluate a bag based on things like loft rather than marketing claims, and reviews like this fit perfectly with Backpacking Light's commitment to education. We all like reading the reviews of the *best* (and believe me, the staff would prefer to review that stuff - we have to use this equipment, after all!). It's important that we also evaluate the gear that sounds good, but doesn't deliver.

Edited by bugbomb on 07/18/2007 06:28:55 MDT.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: "Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW" on 07/18/2007 06:31:06 MDT Print View

BTW, Brett - here's Lafuma's product page for this bag:

Pro 650 Down

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Lafuma on 07/18/2007 06:58:41 MDT Print View

Doesn't look like it would be a bad value bag, just not at tempretures below 35-40* I don't know why any company would rate any bag with 8.8oz of 700 fill power down at 25*.

Johnathan White
(johnatha1) - F

Locale: PNW
Lafuma on 07/18/2007 15:40:25 MDT Print View

Bottom line: You get what you pay for.

Edited by johnatha1 on 07/18/2007 15:41:01 MDT.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Lafuma Pro 650 Down Sleeping Bag REVIEW (Will Rietveld) on 07/18/2007 20:56:54 MDT Print View

Will, nice balanced review, as usual. I especially like the fact that you gave it a thumbs down based on Lafuma's 25F rating but a thumbs up based on a 35F rating.

I found this statement a little misleading, though:

"Lafuma’s temperature rating for this bag is 25 °F/-4 °C, tested by an independent lab in compliance with European Standard EN13537. The 25 °F rating is the “Comfort” rating within that standard, which is roughly equivalent to the US sleeping bag rating system."

It appears that Lafuma has done a good job in burying the actual results of the En 13537 test, preferring to substitute it's own suggested rating. I really doubt that this bag earned a T-Comfort rating of 25F. The temperature ratings derived from the En 13537 tests tend to be on the conservative side, if anything.

For example, the Marmot Hydrogen mentioned above has received a T-Comfort rating of 40F and a T-Limit rating of 31F, according to the En 13537 standards.

Also, note the response of Mike Fuetterer in this thread:

"In Europe the bag is rated Comfort C 7° Extrem C 2° in F 44,6 and 35,5°.
Which fit the picture better."

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Lafuma temp rating on 07/19/2007 04:41:35 MDT Print View

I have to agree with the previous comment.
The 25°C is not the result of the European test. The already mentioned figures of 7°C for comfort and 2°C as a limit or much more likely in that respect. How they got the 25°F quote I don't know but perhaps it's the result of a North American test procedure.

That the comfort rating in the EN-procedure is more or less equivalent to the ratings of NA tests, is a matter of debate. If you look to the US en European website of e.g. TNF and you compare temperature rating, you can see how much difference there can be between a EN-rating and a US-rating. E.g. a classic TNF bag like the Cat's Meow gets a comfort rating up to -4°C in the EU but -9 °C in the US.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Lafuma temp rating on 07/19/2007 10:03:42 MDT Print View

Most US manufacturers post their US ratings based on the ISO TR 11079 - Extreme standard. Like the EN 13537 Extreme rating, this rating defines the hypothermia survival point, not the comfort rating. The ISO TR 11079 Extreme rating averages about 12 F more conservative than the EN 13537 Extreme rating.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Lafuma says this is a 7'C(44F) bag on 08/02/2007 11:06:10 MDT Print View

Lafuma says this is a 7'C (44'F) bag. So I guess the review can be considered a RECOMMEND.

Copy of email from Lafuma attached;

"Subject: RE: EN13537 rating of 650 Pro bag please
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2007 12:12:11 +0200
From: "SAMATO" Add to Address BookAdd to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
To:

Hello,
Please find below the requested information :
WARM AND LIGHT 650 PRO ref LFC1320: CONFORT: + 7°C - TRANSITION: + 2°C - RISK: -13°C
Best regards
Your Customer Service

De : Brett
Envoyé : mercredi 18 juillet 2007 12:04
À : CONTACT
Objet : EN13537 rating of 650 Pro bag please
Lafuma,
What is the EN13537 tested tenperature rating of the 650 Pro down sleeping bag please? 'C is fine.
Thanks.
Brett.

Carlos Bruno Yonzon
(zrialkilla) - F
Re: Re: Why test this dud?! on 08/06/2007 04:33:38 MDT Print View

Good reasoning for testing it. I for one have fallen ill to such marketing claims. For a lot of consumers, the information these gear makers proclaim are "truth". Even though it may sometimes seem "too good to be true", you can't help but think that it really could be a "breakthrough product". Thanks BPL for carrying on with your commitment to educate. Too bad it came after i almost froze my bum off using an inappropriate sleeping bag.:D

Lisa Koker
(lisa2677) - F
Lafuma reply's on 09/26/2007 09:09:28 MDT Print View

Hi Everyone,

My name is Herve Beaujean, i'am the sleeping bag product manager for the LAFUMA Group.

Before, all thks BPL for testing our gear and thks everyone for your comments. It helps us a lot for working on new products.

Two things :
Warm n light 650 PRO will be rated in the USA at 30°F in summer 09 sales season. It was a mistake from us to rate it at 25°F. For your information, European standart result test is (comfort/limit comfort/extreme) 7/2/-13°C.

Fill power is 700cuin in European standart test method. So it will be around 750+ FP in US standart.

Hope it will clarify your point of view on this product.

Best regards
hervé

PS : sorry, as everyone knows french people are not pretty good in foreign langage, like american and english people also ;-)

Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
2008? Model. on 09/11/2010 09:27:25 MDT Print View

Just an update - I have the 2008 model, I believe. I got it off Steep and Cheap in January. This is the model:

http://www.spadout.com/p/lafuma-pro-650-down-30/

I have slept comfortably in this bag at around 27 degrees. I was in a double-walled tent, on a Thermarest Trail Lite, wearing synthetic long johns, and a merino long sleeve top and a wool cap. There are some thin spots, but overall I was never too chilly to sleep. My eggs were frozen to slush when I got up in the morning. If a similar deal can be found (got mine for $85), I believe that this bag is a great value. The 2010 model is out and they both look to have the exact same specs - 500g 750 fill down, weighs 1 lb 7 oz