Sierra Designs Zissou Plus 700 3-Season
New zip down 1/2 quilt is the best idea ever!
- 1/2 quilt!
- Zippers are a little tricky
- No compression sack
I've been needing/wanting a new bag for colder weather that is also compressible.
I've never been willing to dish out hundreds of dollars for a top of the line bag because I mostly backpack in the summer months.
But after a freaky cold night on Labor Day weekend at the forks of the kern (27 degrees at night, when it was 90 in the daytime) I decided I needed to look into upping my warmth, but didn't want to sacrifice weight. Plus my girlfriend and I just got permits to join my friends on a 4-night 30-mile Grand Canyon backpacking trip in March where the temps will dip.
I've always said that if I ever decided to spend some $$ I wanted comfort. I've had my eye on the Backcountry Bed for a while. While that thing looks extremely comfy I don't see it keeping me too warm when I really need it.
So while I was checking out the Sierra Designs site to look at the Backcountry Bed again I spotted the brand new Zissou Plus 700 3-Season. The first thing I noticed was the new design. It has another zipper on the right side that zips down to just about my love handle. And when unzipped it has extra flaps that act as a half quilt to completely cover you when pulled up but not zipped.
I found this feature very innovative and provided me with the happy medium between a mummy and the back-country bed. The site has a quick video demonstrating which is what sealed the deal for me.
And I found it for super cheap at Moosejaw's anniversary sale and snagged it for $198!!! Yeah!
I recently got to test it out on a 3-night backpacking trip in Joshua Tree where we got temps in the low 30s and super high wind chill every night and blowing rain on one night.
I only have a 3-season older model Kelty Salida 2 tent (the one thats almost completely screen). While my tent amazingly withstood the constant blowing 20-30 mph winds with extreme gusts on the night it rained, it didn't provide much in the way of warmth.
The Zissou Plus performed amazingly. I had room in the foot box too, which is big for me because I have a tendency to get a little claustrophobic. I zipped it all the way up and it covered my face perfect without even having to cinch the drawcord (which I hate doing).
When the sun came up and I wasn't ready to get up (tequila hangover) I unzipped the quilt and was able to be free of the mummy's curse. And when I cooled down a little as the sun went back behind the boulders we were camped at I pulled the quilt over my head and it completely covered me and went to the ground on both sides.
The only thing that gave me a slight issue was zipping it back up.
The quilt flaps get in the way of the zipper, so you have to grab them a little making one-hand zipping nearly impossible. But it's OK because I know when the temps are just right I won't be zipping that thing up ever.
The bag isn't made out of any noisy crinkly materials either, which I read about a lot of other ultralight bags. It seams very durable and the inside is comfy and soft.
The Zissou Plus came with a mesh storage bag and a stuff sack. No compression sack.
I went out and bought a Sea to Summit ultralight dry compression sack (medium) and that bag compresses super small! I packed it in my 65 litre pack, side by side with my backup fleece North Face jacket that was stuffed in its own pocket and they slid in easy next to each other.
I love this bag so much I'm waiting for another sale so I can get my girlfriend the equivalent Eleanor Plus 3-season. But if the price never drops I'm more than willing to drop $299 on it.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $198
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Historic Range: $144.95-$289.95
Reviewers Paid: $198.00