Rating: 5 / 5
This is from previous posts but I thought I would include it here as well.
I received my Chisos with 2oz overfill and just wanted to update those waiting to hear a little more about my initial impressions. First off I must say that I continue to be very impressed with the quality of the materials and craftmanship of the Katabatic quilts. I really like the green Pertex of the bag. Now that I think about it, several recently purchased items have been green, which must be the new "in" color for outdoor gear. I have always been a black or dark grey kind of a guy when it comes to outdoor gear but perhaps all the green will be a nice change.
I opted for a 2oz overfill and my bag came it at 16.6 oz without the mitten hooks used for attachment to the pad straps, and certainly within tolerance of the stated standard weight of 14.6 oz for the normally filled bag. My goal was to have a summer bag that could take me down to freezing, or slightly below, as these temps are often encountered in the summer where I like to roam. I measured the double thickness loft at an average of 5.25" for the length of the bag. In addition to a bit of extra warmth with the additional down, I wanted to keep down from shifting within the baffle chambers as I toss and turn during the night to help avoid cold spots.
I really like the subtle changes for these new models, particularly the elastic edging on the open back. This should help to avoid drafts even though I haven't had any significant problems with drafts during the use of my Sawatch quilt. Moreover, the new quilts have a better snap and come with straps with clasps and a bit of cross-grain webbing artfully sewn into the bag for attaching the straps for those that don't use the pad to quilt attachment system. Not huge changes but they certainly reflect Aaron's commitment to making evolutionary changes based on customer feedback.
I am looking forward to getting this out in the mountains and with some luck I will be able to push the limits of this bag along with a newly purchased Exped Syn UL7.
Four nights with the Chisos (2oz overfill) and an Med Exped UL 7 with a 48"pad underneath (1/4" CCF) on snow, with temps in the mid 20's makes me a believer. When I first laid this bag out next to my Sawatch, it appeared as though it was the 5'6" version, but the "shrinkage" is due to the 2oz overfill and the elastic edging that is sewn on under tension that gathers back up. Fit for me at 5'9" was perfect, but if you are opting for an overfill and are taller, I would seriously consider the large version.
As a recap, my regular Chisos came in at 16.8oz with the overfill and certainly within acceptable tolerance for manufacturer variance.
I slept in my normal sleeping clothes consisting of long silk weight underwear, light merino socks, a silk hood and a fleece cap. In addition to this I wore my hooded windshirt over it all and placed my down vest inside the quilt, draped over my arms and torso when on my back, or over my back and rear when sleeping on my side. This has been my typical sleep setup with all my bags and/or quilts for the past 7 or 8 years, and it worked well here. At these temps I was quite warm until the early morning hours when I would cinch up the drawstring a bit and make sure I was all tucked up underneath. I did not use the pad to quilt attachment, just simple small lengths of bungee cord across the back to allow for movement and keep everything together. I have been using a 24" wide pad and the 20" wide UL7 worked great but I had a few more drafts when I curled up and my rear-end hung out off the edge of the pad. Either moving the vest a bit or straightening out solved the problem and I quickly went back to sleep.
My Sawatch was originally listed at 54" shoulder width and 44" hip width. The Chisos, and other regular width non winter 2011 bags, are listed at 52" and 42". Based on my measurements I would say both are accurate - the Chisos is a couple of inches smaller across the shoulders and the hips. Moreover, the bag feels a bit slimmer from the thighs down - much like my old WM Highlite did. My Sawatch is feels a bit roomier throughout than the new Chisos but, the Chisos is more than adequate for me. Again for reference I am 5'9" 170lbs with a shoulder girth of 51-52"and a shoulder width of 21."
If I didn't already own the Sawatch I would have opted for the Palisade, but the Chisos with overfill will fit my needs for a summer bag that can handle temps that I typically encounter from early June to early Sept. If I were to own only one quilt, it would be a Palisade with 2oz of overfill and a bag that I am confident would be comfortable to 20f or below for me. Fortunately I have both and can leverage the benefits of each depending on the trip.