Downy Suave Cloudy Cumulus

 An honest review about Cumulus sleeping bag

Updated July 2017

I found your ‘real world’ reviews very useful over the years and because of them I have bought a Cumulus sleeping bag and down jacket.

First the very few negative points, as the sleeping bag is being used in cold and very wet weather for the first time on such a long-term (Patagonia in autumn and early winter).

  • The feathers tend to peep through quicker when the bag is damp
  • The back side is much lighter filled with down
  • The design is such that one needs to sleep on it’s back only, or the cold from the backside is coming through
  • The outer fabric gets wet from condensation immediately, it soaks into the feathers and only dries in warm and dry environment
  • The design should have vertical and horizontal stitches to keep the down in place
  • The zipper closes while constantly getting stuck with the fabric

Yet, I am still very happy with the bag, so read on:

Ever thought of spending less money because that’s something you haven’t got in abundance?

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Thinking about it, what a contradiction it is; we, worldly cyclists like to be close to Nature and live that basic experience but we like the latest big brands, with improved techniques and yet we need to replace that once latest big brand showpiece. For years I was so pleased with my not world-known brand Cumulus sleeping bag that I was initially a bit disappointed that I was cold underneath the downy fluffy feathery cloud of feathers. Cold? With an outside temperature of 3 degrees? Sure, I wore not much clothes but that shouldn’t have to.

Someone else made a smart comment: ‘A goose gets rid of the dirt immediately, but we don’t wash the sleeping bag for years, of course it wears out.’

And I remain of the assumption that (bicycle) gear last forever. I should get rid of that tale. Yet, Cumulus comes close.

Update May 2017: I do use an inner liner, either a thicker fleece one or a light cotton one. Yet, the upper part starts to get really dirty from the inside. That is after another year of daily use. After refilling it, a few feathers will pop out, I try to pull them back. Cold weather has the bag wet from the outside, due to condensation in the tent, so a waterproof fabric might be an option. I personally dislike sleeping in a closed sleeping bag much but when temperatures go below zero, I have to.

Less positive

  • There are less feathers at the back, at the seam opposite of the zipper. Even after a refill, the feathers tend to shift to the right and leave that seam (left side of my body) rather cold. This could be avoided by vertical stitches over the horizontal so a square would appear.

Cumulus sleeping bag

I bought a Cumulus Quantum 450 sleeping bag and used it intensively for 4 years. I paid €336 (online from an English store). The sleeping bag has goose down with a fill power of 870 grams, the total weight is 800 gram and comfort temperature supposed to minus 10. I was never cold at a temperature below zero but never was more than below 10 degrees anyway. And when I just got back from West Africa, I was shivering in the cool nightly air of France.

Recently I noticed I was not covered by goose down anymore but lay under an extreme thin synthetic layer, called Pertex Quantum. The feathers all gathered on the side, keeping the mattress good company.

I needed a new one.

Another torture of feathered animals, more waste, more recycling. And above all; a lot of money.

I contacted the company in Poland. As far as I know the company is not owned by a super-rich person (yet probably super-rich in comparison to many), where the production neither is outsourced in a cheap labor country. I spoke to RafaŁ and Jacek and we had, days after days, contact by email as were we old friends. Remarkable straightforward and quick, and with affordable prices.

Did I mention I didn’t need to buy a new sleeping bag?

Cumulus opted for a refill.

This is how we started the topic, Cumulus and me:

Hello Cinderella, thank you for your email. Of course down wears out after some time and loose it thermal features. Especially when used very often with moisture and so on. First thing I can advise is to wash. If you were not satisfied you can send it to us and we will add some feathers to reach same comfort temperature as it was at the beginning.

Costs are:

  • €15 service
  • Every 10 gr of down is €3
  • Shipping

200 gr of 850 cuin down (€60 total refill), shipping €15 and service costs €15 together with sending it from the Netherlands makes it €100. Not bad at all.

I am happy with the result.

The downside of a down sleeping bag are the moisture which makes the bag wet and thus loosing its thermal power.

The big plus is that I can use the sleeping bag under a wide range of temperatures. Which is handy because I am soon off to a continent with freezing temperatures and tropical heat. I won’t fail to use a fleece liner this time…

And oh, yes, I did weigh it before and after sending. I washed it, had it dried and weighted 830 grams. At return the sleeping bag weighs 1065 grams.

Would I be in the neighborhood, I would come by for pierogi, RafaŁ and Jacek from Cumulus, a big thank you!

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