Blackstone Bedroll Protector
Little bulky, but does exactly what they say it will do.
- Made out of some pretty tough material.
- The tub shape of it works keeping you and yours in.
- Probably not completely waterproof but kept me dry.
- One more layer of protection between you and the ground.
- The bag is slightly longer and wider than my pad and mummy bag.
- Can be a little noisy if you or your neighbor moves around alot at night.
I bought two of these for what I knew was going to be a long wet motorcycle trip to Alaska.
The first thing I noticed was there was some extra material around the bag that made it feel bulky when packed on the bike. The heavy material the Blackstone is made out of is a little noisy when you move around in it. Don't set this up on a hill — nuff' said.
I liked being able to zip the bedroll and all my loose stuff up inside the Blackstone. Added a layer of (tent camping) security and tidied up the inside of the tent when I wasn't sleeping in it.
In the mornings I opened the valve on my Thermarest, flattened out my mummy bag on top of it and just rolled the whole thing up (slowly to allow the air to escape). I left the top portion of the Blackstone unzipped as well until I got it rolled up to that point because beside keeping moisture out, it will hold the air in.
I tied the works onto the back of the motorcycle, totally exposed to the (heavy at times) rain and wet road spray. No moisture whatsoever got into the bag on this trip. I wish I could say the same for the rest of my stuff.
I would't recomend its use as a life raft or hold it in 30' of water with my bag in it for any length of time but for my purposes it worked great. I got rained on almost every day. My tent did't dry out completly for nineteen days straight but I always had a dry place to sleep.
I know the instructions tell ya not to but I've had a couple of really chilly nights in this thing and would have frozen had I not zipped myself (3/4 of the way) up in the Blackstone. To be honest, I've done this on a number of camping trips. I once 3/4 zipped myself into it next to my motorcycle instead of setting up my tent. It was not raining but cold and windy. The Blackstone added another (wind break) layer and was all I needed to stay comfortable.
I would recommend this bedroll protector to anyone car or motorcycle camping or otherwise not concerned with the rolled up space. For anyone who likes to those big heavy cotton bags, this is the only way to go if you're going outside. I would not recommend it to any of my backpacking friends because it was a little extra bulky with everything rolled up together.
PS: If you get dressed and undressed in your bedroll like I do... You won't need to unpack your tent to find your keys. All of your loose change and keys are in the in the Blackstone. Don't ask.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: I don't remember, had this thing for years.
Out here in Utah the weather can’t make up its mind, as one day it's winter then the next it's spring. We’ve gone from mid twenty temps to mid 50’s in a matter of days, which brings the snow, rain and sun, mud etc. But, this makes for some great field testing opportunities; it’s a little tough to dress for the constant change!
I have found the “Bed Roll” to be the perfect answer for the protection of you and your equipment from the elements. Plus, it adds to your comfort and brings convenience by giving a clean dry place to put you and all your necessities.
I have always carried some sort of ground cloth made out of nylon to protect me and my gear from the ground, my dirty old truck bed and the inherent dirt, mud, dust water etc. My ground cloth wasn’t very capable not like “The Bed Roll”, which is waterproof, very strong, light weight (1 pound 10 ounces) and can be rolled or folded into a very small space when not needed (6"x 4"x 6") and can be even squish smaller if you want! It can be carried on or in a pack under seat of cars, ATV’S etc. It’s a true multi task piece of must have gear, it could even be a shelter for survival!
I like the fact that you can put a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag and a camp pillow inside the Bed Roll and have a dry clean bed! But you can also put all of your camping gear inside too then just undo a zipper when you get to camp and set up camp with everything at your finger tips!
With the “Bed Roll” just be creative, think about it for a moment and you’ll find even more uses than you can shake a stick at, use it to lay on when you climb under a car or to store messy items in a car till you get home. Hmm, I’m gonna use it for laying out in the desert when I point my telescope at the stars and I’ll climb in my nice clean sleeping inside when I got tired and don’t want to risk a long drive home at 3 a.m.!
Technically, the zipper is smooth as silk and is bomb proof as is the fabric and of course if the fabric needs repair duct tape it! The “Bath Tub” Style floor is really great as it keeps water and dirt from accessing the Bed Rolls innards. I noticed little bumps all over the outside surface of Bed Roll and decided this must be for grip to keep you from sliding on slippery surfaces. The interior seems to keep sleeping pads in place as well. Around 1a.m. last night I decided to sleep out, but I didn’t feel like dragging out all the individual things I wanted with me making two to three trips. So, I put my Thermarest into the Bed Roll Then My minus 20 bag, two pillows, My 10x50 bino’s (for astronomy fun), zipped the zipper put on my head lamp and went out in one bundle!
I was amazed at how much room is in the Bed Roll, after all a 2" thick full length Thermarest and a 20° bag can be 10 to 12 inches thick when fully lofted. However when fully compressed may be only 2 inches thick and compresses a little further when rolled up in Bed Roll. As far as pillows go, it’s wise to use Thermarest or Slumberjack camp pillows as they can be large and comfy but very compressible.
I think there is another nitch Bed Roll can fit into! A lot of tent makers are designing their double wall tents (that is, a tent that has a tent body and a separate fly) to used with the fly only utilizing a ground cloth or so called foot print. Well, I have experienced this lightweight approach first hand and it isn’t a bad idea except those flat foot prints let rain roll on in along with blowing snow dirt etc, Bed Roll is a better option!
As an extreme option, it would be possible to attach on Bed Rolls corners of its zippered flap a loop to connect a line so as to hold this flap up at some angle to attach to a tree etc. Then on the underside of the flap you could create a fold out completion of this canopy to completely block out the weather, in effect a simple tent. It could even be a zip-in addition!