Valandre sleeping bags

8:18 a.m. on November 26, 2005 (EST)
kutenay
0 reviewer rep
391 forum posts

I would appreciate ANY feedback from owners/users of Valandre sleeping bags, especially the Shocking Blue model. I am particularly interested in "hands-on" comparisons with Integral Designs and Western Mountaineering bags, for those who may have one or more different sleeping bags.

This bag, if I buy it, is to be used on remote wilderness backpacks in northern B.C., the Yukon and the NWT. I expect, based on previous experience there, to encounter moderate temps. from +40F to -15F and this bag is much lighter than my current Integral Designs Himalayan O.F. which is my main bag.

Any info. is most appreciated, thankyou.

5:04 p.m. on January 6, 2006 (EST)
Edward Ripley Duggan

I've just purchased a lightly used Shocking Blue (2004 or 2005). No chance to use it yet, but I will be out with it in the next couple of weeks. My other bag in this range is the Western Mountaineering Antelope (rated 5 F by WM). I will mention the following for your consideration.

1. The Valandre is a loose fit, clearly intended for serious layering. I can wear a near expedition-weight parka with room to spare, and I'm not a particularly slender person. This bag is clearly intended to be used with layers of clothing as required. In fact, there's almost room for my Antelope inside the Shocking Blue! I like the layering approach, which is a basic in ultralight or alpine pursuits.

2. The "Marie Antoinette" collar, although a little tricky, really does seem to capture heat that would be forced out of a bag with a standard draft collar.

3. The loft is a tad over six inches at the waist, but much more at the foot and upper chest. The WM is a solid seven inches, but that's evenly distributed at all points in the bag.

4. It's a truly impressive sleeping bag in design and execution but(new) represents a substantial investment.

If you care to e-mail me in due course (erd@wilsey.net) I'll let you know by the end of January how the bag fares in the lower portion of your stated range. I'd also like to add that www.backpackgeartest.org is currently running a test series on the 2006 model (I test for them, but I'm not doing this bag). The initial reports are due to go up shortly, and the field reports and long-term reports will be in at the two-month and four-month marks (approximately March and May).

Ted.

11:02 p.m. on January 8, 2006 (EST)
vigilguy
RETAILER
8 reviewer rep
215 forum posts

I know a fair amount about the Valandre bags and jackets because I am an authorized dealer for them. I have had several customers purchase the Shocking Blue, the Odin, and the Thor. I own and use the Mirage myself.

One of my customers that went to Denali last year and purchased the Odin from me because she claimed it was a pound lighter than her other -40 degree bag.

I have tested their jackets and bags for the last two years and they have some real strong points that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Email me or call me if you want more feedback. Don't sweat the sales pressure, 'cause there won't be any. This post is not intended as advertizing for my biz in any way, but I did want to respond since I have dealt with their bags, the unique down they use, etc.

Charlie
www.bearriveroutfitters.org

10:47 a.m. on January 10, 2006 (EST)
kutenay
0 reviewer rep
391 forum posts

Charlie, are they now producing bags with the newer fabrics from Japan as shown on their website? I am pretty interested in this bag due to the info. I have on it so far, but, I REALLY prefer an Endurance shell on a down bag.

I hope that the mods here will not take your responses as advertising, I don't and this type of forum is the only way that I can get info. from folks with first-hand experience. I like WM bags and love I.D. bags, but, this bag strikes me as as close to perfect for my overall needs as I have EVER seen and, if an Endurance or similar shell were available, even as an extra cost option, I would buy one.

Thanks for your help.

11:03 p.m. on January 11, 2006 (EST)
vigilguy
RETAILER
8 reviewer rep
215 forum posts

They are making the bags out of the new fabric, and I do not know enough about the new stuff to be able to tell you what the characteristics are. You can view the new Shocking Blue on the rei site. They have a real nice picture available there. I know that Niels of Valandre really studies every facet of the bags, and I know he likes this new fabric over Pertex, which is what he used to use.

I will have to call him and quiz him on his thoughts about Endurance vs the new fabric and let you know. I believe that he is looking at eVent possibly down the road a ways.

Niels is always looking at better ways to improve the mouse trap, you might say. BTW, I have never met anybody that knew as much about goose down as he does!

11:09 p.m. on January 11, 2006 (EST)
vigilguy
RETAILER
8 reviewer rep
215 forum posts

Incidently, the prices dropped on the Shocking Blue (from the 2004 price) since they are sewing the bags in Tunesia and filling them in France. Labor costs are less than what they used to be. Still have very strict quality control, BTW.

July 6, 2020
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