With a design unique to the manufacturer, the Cloud makes backcountry nights feel a little closer to home by excluding a zipper and replacing it with a comforter that tucks in or untucks to adjust to the nighttime temperature. The result is a comfortable, lightweight bag that rings in at a price much lower than its performance suggests.
The Sierra Designs Cloud is super comfortable and allows your torso to move around freely. Seen here with the Backcountry Bed.
The Cloud is EN comfort rated for women to 26 degrees, however, we'd be hesitant to take it out when temperatures are forecast below freezing. The Cloud has no zipper, and one side of the bag doesn't seal shut. The "comforter" does tuck into the inner bag and stays closed when the sleeper stays still, 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 claims that the "shoulder pocket" will keep the comforter wrapped around you, but that was not our experience.
As an added feature, the Cloud has an integrated pad sleeve that a sleeping pad can be inserted into. In our humble opinions, we think that pad sleeves reduce the warmth of a sleeping bag. When a sleeping pad is slipped inside the bag's sleeve, it stretches the bag open creating more space inside and leaving you unable to pull the bag around more tightly for warmth. As a result, it's not as warm as other contenders but does well in conditions that aren't below freezing.
The Cloud's comforter is attached on one side and has a 'shoulder pocket' that helps wrap it around you and close the opening to keep cold drafts out.
We are blown away by the lightweight design of this down bag. The svelte Cloud weighs in at just 27.4 ounces which right at the top of the ratings. Sierra Designs really made this bag simplistic by including high-quality 800-fill down and lightweight shell materials. By throwing out the zipper, it decreases the weight of the bag, making it easy to carry. Given its lightweight design, we'd recommend it for any adventure that demands equipment that doesn't add extra ounces. Feel free to use it on multi-day backpacking missions or while trekking up the side of a mountain. It'll have you using a lot less muscle than conventional sleeping bags.
Along with its low weight, this is an area where the Cloud shines. 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. The lofty nature of the 800-down fill makes the bag super cozy to snuggle up to for all-night-long comfort.
Sierra Designs has been focusing on their comfortable "bed" style bags, and the Cloud is an impressive member of this series. It has a 'comforter' that you can pull over you and wrap around you like a blanket, but can also open it wide and free up your arms for stomach sleeping or sitting up in the bag. Looking for something that feels like you're at home in bed? This is what it does best.
You can open the Cloud's comforter to free up your arms and release excess heat.
The Cloud 800 can pack down to a very small volume due to its lofty 800-downfill make-up. The included stuff sack is fairly small and fits nicely into a backpacking pack. If you need to maximize space in your backpack, consider purchasing a smaller compression sack as this bad will shrinks down even further! Because of its great packability, it makes it a wonderful option for long backpacking trips and explorations into the wilderness.
The Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed 700 (left) and Cloud 800 (right) in their stuff sacks. The Cloud packs down smaller.
This sleeping bag is rather simple with the exception of the comforter. It has no zipper to snag, which is nice. 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, and it does not seem to let any warm air out when our feet are cold.
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. We think using 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. As most of our testers aren't fans of this feature, we would cut it off to save further weight.
The Sierra Designs Cloud 800 allows you to have your arms out of the bag to read or sit up.
This bag does not have any down fill in the back torso panel with the logic being that the down would be compressed under your weight rendering it useless, so make sure you have a warm sleeping pad to insulate you from the ground. There is extra down around the foot box of the Cloud that we appreciate.
The Cloud's integrated pad sleeve.
We spent the night out on a portaledge in Zion in the Sierra Designs Cloud. A great choice to haul up a wall.
For an 800-fill down sleeping bag, the Cloud is a great value. Many other options on the market range to almost double the Cloud's price! While there are other products that offer a similar price to the Cloud, none match the level of performance offered. It deserves our Best Buy award for the unbeatable balance of performance and cost that it offers. It's designed for use on many camping trips for many years to come, whether you're hanging out on a portaledge or sipping cocoa on the John Muir Trail.
Two of our most comfortable bags, Sierra Designs Cloud 800 (left) and Backcountry Bed 700 (right).
The Sierra Designs Cloud 800 is a top competitor, slightly behind our top two choices, but significantly less expensive than both. It is constructed with super high-quality materials that make it lightweight and super comfortable. The best part? It's sold at a reasonable price. We commend Sierra Designs for their efforts in making a relatively affordable bag for female backpackers without cutting corners. This is why it wins our Best Buy award!