The Sierra Designs Cloud 800 is very well named. It is as light and comfortable as a cloud! It takes our Top Pick Award for the most comfortable bag in this review, usurping the award from its big sister the Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700. Word on the street is that Sierra Designs has been working with well-known thru-hiker Andrew Skurka, and it definitely shows in the design of this lightweight sleeping bag, now the lightest in this review! The bag's high-quality materials and lofty 800 fill make it a high scorer in all categories, not just comfort. Read on to learn more about what we like about this top performer.
Sierra Designs Cloud 800 - Women's Review
Cons: Comforter sometimes does not stay tucked in
Manufacturer: Sierra Designs
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We did a double take when we put this super comfortable sleeping bag on the scale and discovered it's even lighter than our Editor's Choice Award Winner. It's high quality, high loft 800 fill down allows the Cloud to be lightweight and warm at the same time. It's integrated 'comforter' allows your arms to be out of the bag instead of locked in like with a mummy-style bag but will also wrap around you for lots of warm coziness.
The Cloud is EN comfort rated for women to 26 degrees, although we'd be hesitant to take it out when temperatures are forecast below freezing. This bag's rating is 1 degree warmer than the Rab Neutrino, but we actually think that the Neutrino is slightly warmer. The Rab is a traditional mummy bag with a zipper and drawcord that you can cinch down around your face to trap all the warm air inside. The Cloud has no zipper and one side of the bag will not seal shut. The "comforter" does tuck into the inner bag which will, ideally, stay closed. But you'll always need to be conscious of what it's doing when you move around, especially if you're a restless sleeper. Sierra Designs clams that the "shoulder pocket" will keep the comforter wrapped around you, but that was not our experience.
The Cloud has an integrated pad sleeve. In general, we find that pad sleeves can reduce the warmth of a sleeping bag. When a pad sleeve is used around a sleeping pad, it stretches the bag open, creating more space inside the bag and leaving you unable to pull the bag around you more for warmth. If you tend to get chilly at night, the REI Joule is the warmest, coziest bag in this review. It's rated to 21 degrees Fahrenheit.
We were blown away by what we saw when we put this bag on the scale! Weighing in at 27.4 ounces it weighs a half ounce less than the lightest bag we had previously tested (the Neutrino)! Because of its high quality, 800 fill down, light shell materials and lack of zipper, the Cloud beats out the competition. We really think that if you can afford it, an 800+ fill down product is the way to go for a backpacking sleeping bag. It saves on weight and is much warmer and compressible than lower quality products. The two 800 fill bags in this review are 7 ounces lighter than the next heaviest sleeping bag.
The lightest of the synthetic fill sleeping bags we tested was The North Face Cat's Meow, weighing in at a hefty 48 ounces. That's 20 ounces heavier than the Cloud. The next lightest bag in the review is the Joule at 35 ounces. Our Best Buy winner, the Kelty Cosmic Down that has lower quality, heavier 600 fill down weighs in at 47 ounces, again, 20 ounces more than the Cloud, but is half the price as well.
This is the area where the Cloud shines the most. For people who want to up their lightweight backpacking game, but don't want to commit to a full mummy style bag, this is a great choice. Sierra Designs has been focusing on their comfortable "bed" style bags, and the Cloud is the latest in this series. It has a "comforter" that you can pull over you and wrap around you like a blanket. It can also open it wide, freeing up your arms for stomach sleeping or sitting up in the bag. The Backcountry Bed 700 is also very comfortable, its comforter opens on both sides for even more flexibility for stomach sleepers. Because of the Cloud's high-quality materials, comforter, and lightweight it still beats out the Backcountry bed for overall comfort. Most of the mummy bag style bags we tested were equally comfortable but the Nemo Rave and the Neutrino stand out as having a great women's specific fit and soft shell materials.
This is where the very compressible yet lofty 800 fill down comes into play. It enables the Cloud 800 to pack down very small. It comes with a small-ish stuff sack, but it can definitely go smaller if you have a tinier stuff sack. The Neutrino is just about as compressible as the Cloud. The synthetic bags in this review were much less compressible, the smallest one being the Mountain Hardwear Laminina Z Flame. The Backcountry Bed is much bulkier and less compressible because of its lower fill down and larger comforter.
This sleeping bag is rather simple with the exception of the comforter. It has no zipper, which helps contribute to its low weight. We also like the "self sealing foot vent" that allows you to stick your feet out the bottom without undoing anything if they're feeling hot. It does not seem to let any warm air out when our feet are cold. The Backcountry Bed has the same foot vent feature. There is also extra down around the foot box of the Cloud that we appreciate.
The Cloud also has a sleeping pad sleeve, which we think is an unnecessary feature unless you're a very restless sleeper and fall out of bed often. A sleeping pad sleeve detracts from the warmth of your bag because it does not allow you to pull the bag closer for extra warmth. We base a lot of this theory on a very cold night out using the Big Agnes Roxy Ann's integrated pad sleeve. We would promptly cut the sleeve off to save weight if it was our bag.
The Sierra Designs Cloud 800 is a great choice for long, lightweight backpacking trips in spring, summer, and fall. It is not the warmest bag in this review. We wouldn't bring it out on nights forecast below freezing.
For an 800 fill down sleeping bag, the Cloud is a great value at $299, only $10 more than the lower quality, heavier Backcountry Bed 700. It's $85 cheaper than the Rab Neutrino and the same price as the Joule.
The Sierra Designs Cloud 800 is a top competitor and came in neck and neck with our Editor's Choice Winner. It has high-quality materials, is lightweight, and super comfortable. It takes our Top Pick Award for the most comfortable sleeping back in this review. We commend Sierra Designs for their efforts in making lightweight, high-quality products for female backpackers.
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